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Valencia Hotel Collection: Charting a New Course in Hospitality

In the dynamic world of hospitality, Valencia Hotel Collection stands as a beacon of innovation and growth. This year marks a significant milestone for the company, as it celebrates two decades of excellence in the industry. However, this anniversary is not just about looking back on past achievements; it's a launchpad for a bold new identity.

Originally known as Valencia Hotel Group, the Houston-based company has been a key player in the management, development, branding, and repositioning of independent and full-service hotels. The rebranding to Valencia Hotel Collection is more than a mere change of name. According to Chief Operating Officer Roy Kretschmer, this strategic move mirrors the company's evolving portfolio and its ambitious roadmap for future growth.

Kretschmer, in a recent interview with Hotel News Now, emphasized the company's unique position in the hotel industry. Two decades ago, the landscape was markedly different, with boutique and luxury independent hotels facing limited competition. Today, the scenario has transformed dramatically, with major hotel brands diversifying into lifestyle and soft-brand segments, often overshadowing the grandeur of independent hotels. Amidst this competitive backdrop, Valencia Hotel Collection strives to carve out a niche, offering an unparalleled boutique luxury experience that appeals to the discerning traveler who eschews commoditization.

The company's portfolio is a testament to its commitment to uniqueness and quality. It boasts seven independent hotels, each with its distinct charm, spanning across Texas and California. These include Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio, Hotel Valencia Santana Row in San Jose, Lone Star Court in Austin, Calvary Court and The George in College Station, Texican Court in Irving, and Cotton Court in Lubbock.

Looking ahead, Valencia Hotel Collection is set to embrace an expansion strategy predominantly through ground-up development in leisure destinations. Kretschmer highlighted that the company is not chasing after saturated markets but is instead eyeing secondary markets with steady demand and limited competition from other independent hotels.

The path to expansion, however, is not without its challenges. Rising development costs have necessitated a more innovative approach in both development and financing. Kretschmer acknowledges this as the 'new normal,' calling for adaptability and creativity to drive successful deals.

A significant factor working in Valencia Hotel Collection's favor is its established track record in the sector, which bolsters its position in negotiations with lenders. Additionally, Kretschmer sees potential in exploring third-party management contract opportunities.

As the world gradually recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kretschmer notes a resurgence in group business, particularly among smaller and regional groups. This recovery is seen in the return of corporate retreats and training events to the company's properties. Looking forward to 2024, the focus is on balancing group business with the anticipated return of business travel, ensuring a strategic alignment of interests.

In line with these developments, Valencia Hotel Collection has also realigned its internal strategies. Keeping employees engaged and satisfied is paramount. The company has not only returned to normal staffing levels but has also introduced innovative programs like "Philanthropic Days Off." This initiative allows employees to dedicate up to 40 hours annually, equivalent to a full work week, to participate in charity work or events of personal significance.

As Valencia Hotel Collection strides into its third decade, it does so with a reinvigorated brand, a solid strategy for growth, and a deep commitment to its employees and customers. The journey ahead looks as promising and exciting as the 20 years of success that have led to this pivotal moment in the company's history.

Source: Dana Miller, CoStar, MMCG


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