Sincerely, BLLA

An Interview with Jason Altberger

The Chief Financial Officer of Sage Hospitality Group & President of Sage Investments speaks his truth on boutique hotel investment. BLLA: How ...

The Chief Financial Officer of Sage Hospitality Group & President of Sage Investments speaks his truth on boutique hotel investment.

BLLA: How did you come to enter the hospitality industry?

JA: “I entered the hospitality industry through the real estate side of the business. I spent most of my career in real estate private equity and have invested in various asset classes, including lodging properties. I joined Sage initially as CIO overseeing our investment business.”

BLLA: What does boutique mean to you?

JA: “Boutique in the traditional sense connotes stylish, independent, bespoke, and not too large. However, we at Sage really think more in terms of ‘experiential hospitality.’ Through thoughtful storytelling, programming, design, art, partnerships, and on-going property activations, we bring hotels and their brands alive.”

BLLA: How would you define the word “luxury” in the hospitality industry?

JA: “In eras past, luxury in the hospitality industry was associated with grandeur and opulence, often associated with large spaces, luxury finishes, five-fixture bathrooms, spas, turndown service, and formal service. Today, I believe modern luxury is defined more by quality and style with some importance still placed on spaces having a comfortable sense of proportion. Service is also a critical ingredient for luxury.”

BLLA: What are the top trends that you see in the boutique hotel investment space?

JA: ”1.) Boutique hotels offer an authentic experience and sense of place by relying on local, art, architecture, chefs, and culture.

“2.) Boutique hotels offer more than just a stay; they are offering a lifestyle that can extend beyond the stay through the curation of retail and art that can be purchased.”

BLLA: What are you hoping to get out of your participation in the Boutique Hotel Investment Conference?

JA: “I am excited first and foremost to be meeting in person. I am also excited to converse with peers about trends in the industry and how boutique properties are evolving.”

BLLA: Where are you seeing the most boutique hotel development these days?

JA: “Boutique hotel development tends to occur more in urban markets (of all sizes) that value a sense of sophistication and style; however, resort locations can also work well for boutique hotels. Where they were historically clustered in the largest coastal cities, we are seeing boutique hotels growing everywhere.”

BLLA: Why do you believe boutique hotels are a good investment?

JA: “Boutique hotels typically afford significant flexibility in design and operations, thereby increasing the ability to generate a favorable return on cost. Additionally, the associated flexibility often drives a diverse and broad buyer group on exit, thereby providing the possibility of strong exit pricing. Boutique hotels also offer the opportunity to earn genuine loyalty from customers, building a base of repeat guests without the need to incur significant costs and fees to entice return visits.”


This interview was originally published on BLLAEvents.com

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