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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