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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Internal Controls and the Important Roles They Play in Eradicating Fraud

    Although I have been preoccupied with getting in the education sessions purely related to hospitality finance, technologies and hotel pre-opening, I made sure to participate in Fun with Fraud and Enchanting Employee Embezzlement in Clubs and Hotels presented by Jerry Trieber, CPA, CHAE, CFE, CFF, CGMA, HFTP Global past president and director of audit services/support at HEI Hotels and Resorts.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

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Spirides Arranges $8.7 Million Hotel Development Loan for New Holiday Inn in Downtown Columbia, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 9 January 2019
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed an $8.7 million building conversion and term, first priority conventional loan from a Southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn in Downtown Columbia, South Carolina.This new 90 guest room, 10-story, full-service Holiday Inn is being developed by converting an existing 1950s era office building into a unique, first class hotel. The building is located at 1233 Washington Street in the heart of Downtown Columbia, Richland County, SC. Hotel amenities will include the Holiday Inn Gen 4 design package, interior corridors, swimming pool, fitness center, restaurant and lounge, business center, market pantry, and a guest laundry. Nearby attractions and demand generators include the South Carolina State House Capitol and government office buildings, University of South Carolina, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, the Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina State Museum, Colonial Life Arena, Williams-Brice Stadium, Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Gardens, EdVenture Children's Museum, local hospitals, and numerous office buildings, shops, restaurants, banks, and corporate headquarters.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn development project include a five-year term with a very favorable fixed rate of interest for the life of the loan, 70% loan to cost ratio, interest only monthly mortgage payments for the first 18 months through the construction period, followed by principal and interest payments based on a 20-year amortization schedule for the remainder of the term."Since there was no vacant land available on which to build a new hotel in the Central Business District of Downtown Columbia this ingenious building conversion project is an excellent example of adaptive reuse," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "The investors are breathing new life into an old building while conserving resources and extending the life of a historic landmark. There is a very good chance you will soon see this building on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, from a business competitive strategy perspective, this project is a clever way for a new hotel to enter a prime market which otherwise has very high barriers to entry," continues Spirides.The InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) "Holiday Inn brand family is the largest hotel brand in the world, with the largest development pipeline," according to the IHG website. The first Holiday Inn was opened in 1952, and today 1,173 Holiday Inns are open for business with another 263 hotels in the pipeline. Full-service Holiday Inns, all of which feature a restaurant and lounge, operate in the upper-midscale segment of the lodging industry.
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Spirides Arranges $5 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Radisson in Florence, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 3 December 2018
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed a $5 million construction to permanent first priority mortgage loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Radisson Park Inn in Florence, South Carolina.This soon to be built Radisson Park Inn will be a limited-service hotel featuring 60 guest rooms and suites in a 3-story interior corridor building situated on 1.5 acres of land. Hotel features will include a breakfast area, business center, indoor swimming pool, fitness center, guest laundry, meeting room, market, and vending area. The hotel will be located in Florence County, South Carolina on Mandeville Drive just off of Interstate 95 at the W. Lucas Street (U.S. Highway 52) exit. The hotel will be located in the Fairfield Festival business and retail development and will be situated less than three miles from Florence city center. The site is located just minutes from Darlington Raceway & Museum, Florence Regional Airport, and Florence Civic Center. Other nearby demand generators and attractions include The War Between the States Museum, Magnolia Mall, Pee Dee Farmers Market, Florence Art Gallery, Veterans Park, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence Symphony Orchestra, Florence Little Theatre, colleges, universities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, various businesses, and corporate headquarters.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Radisson Park Inn development include a favorable interest rate, a 25-year term, an 80% loan to cost ratio, interest only monthly mortgage payments for the first 12 months of the loan through the construction period, followed by principal and interest payments based on a 24-year amortization for the remainder of the term."The City of Florence, South Carolina, which was founded as a railroad hub, today remains vitally linked with the U.S. transportation system by being the midway point between New York City and Miami, Florida on Interstate 95. This geographic fact has led to strong demand for hotel accommodations at Interstate 95's exits in the metropolitan Florence area. Additionally, Florence's good interstate access, which also includes Interstate 20, has allowed it to be the home of a QVC Distribution Center, an Otis Elevator manufacturing plant, and a Honda manufacturing plant among numerous other businesses," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "Florence's national transportation system nexus coupled together with the City of Florence's ongoing large downtown redevelopment project will only continue to boost demand for hotel rooms in Florence," continues Spirides.Park Inn by Radisson is a growing upper midscale hotel brand. With 149 hotels currently operating and another 54 in development, the concept features all necessary modern hotel services and amenities, a unique guest service philosophy called "Adding Color to Life," and a cost-effective building design which includes colorful and contemporary interiors with a hip and modern feel. Radisson Hotel Group defines the Park Inn brand's competitive set as including Hilton Garden Inn, Four Points by Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott.
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Spirides Arranges $7.8 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Holiday Inn Express in Rock Hill, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company ·25 October 2018
TAMPA, FL--Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed a $7.8 million construction and term first priority mortgage loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn Express in Rock Hill, South Carolina.This soon to be built Holiday Inn Express will feature 92 guest rooms and suites in a 5-story building situated on 1.4 acres of land. It will be located at 680 Tinsley Way, just off of Interstate 77 at the Dave Lyle Boulevard exit, in the City of Rock Hill, York County, SC, which is part of the Charlotte, NC metropolitan area. The hotel will be located in the Manchester Village Business and Retail Center. Cherry Park, Winthrop University and York Technical College are only a 5-mile drive from the site. Nearby attractions include Narroway Productions, Carowinds, Historic Brattonsville, and the York County Museum.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn Express development project include a very favorable fixed interest rate, a four-year term, interest only monthly mortgage payments for the first 24 months of the loan through the construction period, followed by principal and interest payments based on a 20-year amortization for the remainder of the term."The incentives offered for new business formation in the Rock Hill area are quite remarkable," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "From the City of Rock Hill's tax increment finance districts which are funding public facility and infrastructure improvements, to York County's property tax abatement and exemption programs which are stimulating capital investment, to the State of South Carolina's numerous tax credits, exemptions, and caps, there are few places in the United States that all levels of government are this unified and serious about creating a favorable environment for business development, job creation, and corporate relocation," continues Spirides.Holiday Inn Express hotels is IHG's (InterContinental Hotel Group's) fastest growing franchised brand. It has operated for over 25 years in the midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. With more than 2,570 hotels open in 33 countries the Holiday Inn Express brand has the flexibility to perform well in any location, from an interstate to an airport to an urban center.
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Spirides Arranges $2.33 Million Hotel Debt Refinancing for Hilton Hampton Inn Laurinburg, NC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 4 September 2018
TAMPA, FL--Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed on a $2.33 million debt refinancing with a permanent loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered lender to refinance existing debt for the Hampton Inn by Hilton in Laurinburg, North Carolina.Hampton Inn Laurinburg, NC features 50 guest rooms with an interior corridor in one 3-story building and is situated on 6 acres of land. The hotel is located just off of Interstate 74 at 115 Hampton Circle, Laurinburg, Scotland County, North Carolina. It is located one mile from St. Andrews College and is near the Scottish Heritage Center. Scottish immigrants originally settled this area in the late 1700s. Laurinburg was named for a prominent family of Scottish settlers, the McLaurins. Laurinburg is located near the South Carolina border and is 80 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.The financing arranged by Spirides for Hampton Inn Laurinburg includes paying off a floating interest rate loan and replacing it with a fixed interest rate loan at a 52% loan to value ratio and a 25 year amortization. The interest rate is now fixed at a favorable interest rate for 5 years, and then it adjusts according to a set spread above the prevailing 5 year SWAP rate at the time and then is fixed for another 5 years upon franchise renewal.The Hampton by Hilton brand is the number one ranked lodging franchise for the past nine years according to Entrepreneur. Hampton has more than 2,380 hotels open in 22 countries and territories. It operates in the upper midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. The brand is about celebration and diversity - embracing local culture and giving guests a true experience during their stay, along with free, hot breakfast and free Wi-fi.
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Spirides Arranges $5 Million Hotel Construction Loan for New Holiday Inn Express in Latta, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 6 July 2018
TAMPA, FL -- Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged, and its client has closed on a $5 million construction and permanent loan from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Holiday Inn Express in Latta, South Carolina.This soon to be built Holiday Inn Express will feature 68 guest rooms and suites in one 4-story building situated on 4 acres of land. It will be located at 1325 Cattle Farm Road at SC Highway 38 just off of Interstate 95 Exit 181 near the City of Latta in Dillon County, SC which is part of the Florence metropolitan area. Exit 181 is one of the primary exits off of Interstate 95 that leads to the very popular Myrtle Beach, SC resort area. Dillon County is the home of the Interstate 95 roadside attraction called South of the Border.The site of this new Holiday Inn Express development is located just a few minutes drive from the recently opened South Carolina Ports Authority's Inland Port Dillon, a $50.5 million intermodal cargo transfer hub located 130 miles from the Port of Charleston, SC. Inland ports are where trains and trucks exchange tens of thousands of overseas shipping containers packed with consumer goods. Also located nearby are Darlington Raceway & Museum, McLeod Regional Hospital, Florence Civic Center, regional offices of Mohawk Industries and Johnson Controls, and two South Carolina National Guard stations."Inland port intermodal complexes are a new type of demand generator that we are now seeing as the shipping container traffic at our nations' shipping seaports continues to grow. Inland Port Dillon is expected to convert an estimated 45,000 shipping container movements from truck to rail and vice versa within its first year of operation, and it has already created 1,000 new jobs," says Harry G. Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction. "Inland Port Dillon is a state-of-the-art intermodal shipping facility which will turbo charge the economy in Dillon County. This inland port was brilliantly developed in a part of South Carolina which historically has had high unemployment and poverty rates, but that is now quickly changing thanks to the opening of this inland port," continues Spirides.The terms of the financing arranged by Spirides for this new Holiday Inn Express development project include a 78% loan to cost ratio, an interest rate of U.S. Prime Rate + 1.75%, a 12 month interest only period through the construction phase, and a 25 year term with a 25 year amortization. There is no prepayment penalty after the first three years of the loan.Holiday Inn Express hotels is IHG's (InterContinental Hotel Group's) fastest growing franchised brand. It has operated for over 25 years in the midscale limited service segment of the lodging industry. With more than 2,570 hotels open in 33 countries the Holiday Inn Express brand has the flexibility to perform well in any location, from an interstate to an airport to an urban center.
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Celebrating A Century of Hospitality

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company ·23 May 2018
Savannah, GA. -- In 1940, like so many people who travel to Savannah, George and Florence Spirides visited the city as an in-between stop on their vacation from New York to Miami, and that's all it took for the couple to fall in love with the Hostess City.They soon relocated and worked for the next five decades as hotel and restaurant owners and operators in Savannah and on Tybee Island."I enjoyed meeting people," said Florence, who celebrated her 100th birthday this past Saturday with a gathering at the Hellenic Center of St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church in Savannah."I had a lot of people to talk to when they came down."Born in Elmira, New York, in 1918, Florence met her husband in 1940, and the couple wed later that year. During their time in Savannah they owned or managed nearly a dozen restaurants and hotels between Savannah and Tybee Island, including the Tybrisa Pavilion, Hotel Tybee and Ocean Plaza Motel.After the couple retired in the mid-1970s, their nephew George H. Spirides and his wife Frances took the helm. George H. Spirides was not new to the hospitality industry, having assisted his friend Cecil B. Day in designing, building and establishing the world's first Days Inn on Tybee Island in 1969 and serving as the first Days Inn's first manager.Frances said her aunt Florence has stayed healthy and happy by walking, never smoking and gardening."She'll tell you, she's outlived all her doctors and friends," Frances said. "She's a strong woman."The family sold their hotel business in 2014, but Florence's great nephew Harry G. Spirides is still active in the hospitality industry, working as a nationwide financier of hotels. Harry said the answer to Florence's long and happy life is a short one."Spiritual bliss," he said. "Her close relationship with God, and her long walk with her lord and savior Jesus Christ has been an inspiration to us all.""Throughout her professional and personal life Florence has always treated others in the spirit of hospitality with love, kindness, respect, humility, generosity, patience, acceptance, and honesty," Harry said."I have never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She has a true servant's heart," he said. "She is a great example of what the power of positive thinking along with living a healthy, active, and Christian lifestyle can produce."Florence marked her birthday with a party surrounded by family and friends who traveled from around the south to help her celebrate. She was also personally recognized and a special prayer was said for her by Fr. Vasile Mihai during church services this past Sunday at St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church in Savannah. "I am glad to have a birthday at this age," Florence said before her birthday party. "I don't know what kind of celebration it will be, but it'll be fun."More can be learned about the Spirides family's hospitality industry contributions by purchasing the book Hotel Tybee authored by Florence Spirides' great nephew Harry G. Spirides and published by Arcadia Publishing. Copies are available online at Amazon.com.
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Spirides Arranges $7.5 million hotel construction loan for new Hilton in Florence, SC

Spirides Hospitality Finance Company · 7 April 2017
TAMPA, FL--Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has successfully arranged and its client has closed on a $7.5 million senior loan facility from a southeast U.S. headquartered bank to finance the development of a new Hilton Tru Hotel in Florence, SC. The terms of the financing are as follows: The first 18 months during construction will have mortgage payments which are interest only, priced at the prime interest rate plus .50% (currently 4.50%) per annum, adjusted quarterly. Upon completion of construction, the loan payments will convert to a 25 year fully amortizing principal and interest monthly loan payment schedule. The interest rate of the permanent loan will be fixed for five years, then adjusting every 5 years. The interest rate will be priced using the 5 year SWAP rate plus 3.55% (currently 5.55%) per annum. The loan amount was sized using a 75% Loan to Cost ratio, and there is no prepayment penalty after the first five years of the loan.The soon to be built 5-story Tru by Hilton hotel will feature 98 guest rooms on 2.1 acres of land located at 2140 West Lucas Street, Florence, SC. The site of this new development is located less than one-quarter mile from Interstate 95 and is situated less than three miles from Florence city center. It is located just minutes from Darlington Raceway & Museum, Florence Regional Airport, and Florence Civic Center. Other nearby demand generators and attractions include The War Between the States Museum, Magnolia Mall, Pee Dee Farmers Market, Florence Art Gallery, Veterans Park, Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center, Florence Symphony Orchestra, Florence Little Theatre, colleges, universities, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, various businesses, and corporate headquarters.Tru by Hilton is a new affordable brand that is intended to particularly appeal to younger travelers called millennials who are in their twenties and thirties. Tru properties have a modern design, public spaces in which to work and socialize, and advanced technology. Tru is Hilton's 13th brand and operates in the midscale hotel segment."It's no secret that hotel construction lending is not as prolific as it was a couple years ago, even though the demand has certainly not diminished. The sponsor of this project is a respected multi-unit and multi-brand owner and operator of successful hotels throughout the Carolinas. We know the lenders who are looking for new clients who fit this type of borrower profile to develop across the country new and very popular branded hotel concepts such as Tru by Hilton," said Harry Spirides, President of Spirides Hospitality Finance Company who led the debt placement team representing the borrower in this transaction.

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