This Hotelier Tells Bloomberg Why He’s Expanding, Even In This Economy

Michale Depatie, CEO of Kimpton Hotels

[credit provider=”Bloomberg “]

Around the same time Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz traveled to Milan and came back to the U.S. with his idea for European-inspired coffeehouses, the late Bill Kimpton did the same — though he traveled all throughout the Mediterranean and pioneered the concept for boutique hotel chains in America.Kimpton, then an investment banker, founded Kimpton Hotels in 1981 with the Clarion Bedford Hotel in San Francisco, where the company is still headquartered. His strategy was to take old buildings and convert them into boutique hotels — like the early-19th-century General Post Office in Washington, D.C., which is now Hotel Monaco.

Today the private hospitality group owns 51 hotels and 52 upscale restaurants across the U.S., including the Alexis Hotel in Seattle, Hotel Palomar in San Francisco, and several Hotel Monacos, among others.

Kimpton died in 2001, and his company is now led by Mike Depatie, a Harvard Business School alum who worked his way up through the hospitality industry and says he now has “the job of my life.”

In an interview that aired this week, Bloomberg spoke with Depatie about the state of the hotel industry, and why Kimpton is continuing to expand, even in this economy. You can watch the entire Bloomberg interview here, or check out these 6 takeaway points.

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permalink=”the-decline-in-2009-was-the-greatest-decline-in-demand-in-the-hotel-business-since-the-great-depression-2010-though-was-the-greatest-increase-in-demand-since-the-great-depression-so-we-had-the-v-down-v-back-up-in-2011-were-moderating-1″
title=””The decline in 2009 was the greatest decline in demand in the hotel business since the Great Depression. 2010, though, was the greatest increase in demand since the Great Depression. So we had the V down, V back up. In 2011, we’re moderating””
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permalink=”new-york-is-a-very-hard-market-we-have-four-hotels-now-were-planning-for-10-in-a-cyclical-industry-like-this-if-you-can-get-products-in-place-then-youll-be-in-a-very-good-position-in-a-few-years-2″
title=””New York is a very hard market. We have four hotels now. We’re planning for 10. In a cyclical industry like this — if you can get products in place, then you’ll be in a very good position in a few years””
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permalink=”our-biggest-competitors-right-now-are-the-big-chain-hotels-we-bring-in-separate-design-people-whenever-we-create-a-new-hotel-and-think-about-the-location-were-in-we-bring-in-a-different-restaurant-team-theres-no-cookie-cutter-formula-3″
title=””Our biggest competitors right now are the big chain hotels. We bring in separate design people whenever we create a new hotel, and think about the location we’re in. We bring in a different restaurant team. There’s no cookie cutter formula””
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permalink=”when-you-invest-in-historical-landmarks-you-can-get-historical-tax-credits-so-theres-a-tax-incentive-to-take-something-like-that-and-restore-it-it-can-make-a-lot-of-economic-sense-but-its-hard-and-youve-got-to-know-what-youre-doing-4″
title=””[When you invest in] historical landmarks, you can get historical tax credits. So there’s a tax incentive to take something like that and restore it. It can make a lot of economic sense. But it’s hard, and you’ve got to know what you’re doing””
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[slide
permalink=”a-strong-emotional-connection-tends-to-lead-to-very-high-customer-satisfaction-high-customer-satisfaction-leads-to-brand-loyalty-5″
title=””[A strong] emotional connection tends to lead to very high customer satisfaction. High customer satisfaction leads to brand loyalty””
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permalink=”right-now-were-the-biggest-player-in-this-segment-but-i-know-that-when-the-sun-is-shining-youve-got-to-go-make-hay-6″
title=””Right now, we’re the biggest player in this segment. But I know that when the sun is shining, you’ve got to go make hay””
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permalink=”now-read-about-another-tough-industry-the-restaurant-business-7″
title=”Now read about another tough industry: the restaurant business”
content=”Click here to see why it has an 80% fail rate, and meet 13 of the many NYC restaurants that closed last year >
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