Moving into the next phase of its evolution following last year’s merger with Marshall Hotels & Resorts, TPG Hotels & Resorts recently tapped industry veteran Ben Perelmuter to oversee day-to-day operations of the company as president and COO.
Perelmuter—whose experience includes nearly 30 years of hospitality leadership, most recently serving as division president at Aimbridge Hospitality—took over the new post in March. He is overseeing the operational performance of TPG’s entire hospitality portfolio of nearly 130 hotels. The company’s senior leadership team—which includes Perelmuter and Tim Muir, chief development officer—spoke to LODGING during the recent Hunter Hotel Investment Conference, where the newly named president discussed the appeal of joining TPG.
“When I got the call it was exciting to me because of the legacy and reputation that TPG has as an owner/operator over decades,” he said. “They’re also Northeast-based, which is where I’m from originally [Queens, New York]. With the acquisition of the Marshall platform, they want to grow in the third-party space, which is where I have a lot of expertise. So I looked at those combined synergies and where I feel like I could deliver value, and that’s where a light bulb went off that this is a good opportunity for both of us.”
While corporate headquarters for parent company Procaccianti Companies remains in Cranston, Rhode Island, TPG’s operations headquarters will now be located in Dallas, Texas.
Meanwhile, Mike Marshall—who served as president/CEO of the combined companies after the acquisition by TPG last January and held the same title for years with Marshall Hotels & Resorts—maintains a prominent role as CEO, but with more of a development focus going forward.
“I think it’s a good match being that my background is in operations. I enjoy getting to the properties and impacting change, as well as interacting with the owners that we have existing contracts with and working on those relationships. Mike’s working on future growth and development, which is where he likes to be,” said Perelmuter, who is also filling the void left by Marshall’s previous COO Mike Getzey who passed away last year after serving in that post for nearly a decade.
Prior to joining Aimbridge Hospitality, Perelmuter spent some 11 years serving as either GM or in other director-level roles for large convention hotels and resorts, such as the Grand Hyatt New York, Hyatt Regency New Orleans at the Superdome, Marriott Suites Clearwater Beach, and Embassy Suites in Tampa. Perelmuter detailed how his 15 years with Aimbridge, where he was involved with nearly a dozen mergers and acquisitions (M&A), will help him in his new position.
“That’s been something that I’ve just been exposed to for a long period of time. I understand how to get the best of both cultures and kind of piece things together. I’ve seen a lot of things that have worked throughout the years with M&A and a lot of things that have not worked,” he noted. As such, he described both Marshall Hotels and TPG as having “two very different cultures and ways of executing” as he touted their collective potential under one platform.
“They’re both very strong in different ways, and I see a lot of pride in both organizations. I see a lot of things that we can combine and take the best of each and mesh them together to create something that’s stronger,” he said. In addition to expanding its third-party business, the company continues to acquire, develop, and own hotels as well. Muir further added, “Most of the hotels that we have coming in are either new construction or they’re relatively new properties.” The company earlier this year assumed management of 10 properties previously operated by PeachState Hospitality.
Muir described 2022 as a “record-breaking year” as the company executed 30 hotel management agreements and transitioned 24 hotels. He added that he “expects this year to be better than last year” with another 10 hotels in the pipeline slated to be added by July.
With a portfolio of so many properties, there are “opportunities” for efficiencies gained from scale, according to Perelmuter. He did acknowledge that “both organizations have different platforms” and any significant scale advantages depend largely on where the properties are located.
“You look at procurement and there’s an opportunity there that we’re planning for. There are labor platforms that are out there, and those are some things that I’m looking at as well. From a scale perspective at [nearly] 130 hotels, there’s concentration in certain markets where you can scale staffing and utilize resources within the market, but we’re not quite there yet where we can fully maximize the scale piece,” he said, pointing out that specifically in the Northeast “we’re pretty well covered and a lot of properties are already utilizing and benefiting from scale.”
Finally, Perelmuter identified independent hotels as one area where the company may have a leg up on its competitive set. In fact, the company acquired the Newport Beach Hotel & Suites in mid-April.
“One thing that I’ve seen in the last month that’s intriguing to me is this independent space. I haven’t seen an organization that is as successful as TPG in creating a separate type sub-company environment that focuses on these independent hotels in resort markets,” he said, adding the company has been very successful in areas such as the Florida Keys, Cape Cod, New Hampshire, the Bay Area, and Long Island.
“I’m real impressed with how that’s being handled, and there are some more opportunities too to grow that,” he concluded.