Pyramid Hotel Group, operators of more than 100 hotels globally, put the Irish and U.K. hotel market on notice when Europe’s Hotel Asset Management Association recently awarded the firm its highest honour for work in repositioning the 136-room Temple Bar Hotel in Dublin, edging out a competitive field of talented European and global operators. The work was carried out over the 21 month period ahead of the group’s €55m sale of the asset late last year.
The group’s acquisition and renovation of the Irish asset, Pyramid’s first European engagement, was recognised as the Value-Add & Repositioning Project of the Year as well as Best in Class across all award categories at the prestigious awards ceremony. In less than two years Pyramid (backed by Angelo, Gordon & Co., its equity partner in this particular deal) executed a €6.2MM renovation and comprehensive operational retooling which generated a 100% increase in hotel profit and, upon sale in December of last year, equity returns of nearly 90%. Pyramid was then awarded its new owner’s first ever European 3rd party management contract, allowing the firm to continue its stewardship of the asset into the future.
The successful repositioning of the hotel in what was a foreign market demonstrates the firm’s fundamental ability to deliver value to its equity partners at home and abroad. The extensive project included the renovation and expansion of hotel room stock (moving the asset from 3 to 4-star), the introduction of creative food and beverage concepts including Buskers On The Ball – an interactive games-focused sports bar, and the implementation of strategic revenue generation and cost control measures to maximize both profitability and guest experience.
Among the criteria judged as part of the award process were: Overall Strategy, Innovation & Creativity, Value Maximization, and Outstanding Performance Post Implementation. Pyramid’s ability to deliver in all categories positioned them well to compete, and ultimately earned the group the title of Europe’s ‘Best in Class’.
Pyramid, has been a major player in the U.S. hotel management space for almost two decades (nearly four decades counting its predecessor companies), established its European office in Dublin in early 2015 with the acquisition of the Temple Bar Hotel and has since added several other engagements to its portfolio in the U.K. The group currently manages over 100 hotels and resorts globally and aims to expand its presence in Europe (primarily Ireland and the U.K.) by continuing to unlock value for both new and existing hotel owners.
Pyramid Hotel Group Chief Executive Officer Richard Kelleher commented, ‘’To have the efforts of our European team members recognised in such a way is a great honour for Pyramid. It goes a long way in validating our original thesis for entering the European market – that the sophistication of our systems, experience of our team members, and employee-centric culture translate quite positively to new markets, be they at home or abroad. It’s our aim to build on this achievement by continuing to apply our expertise in maximising value for other hotel owners in Ireland and the U.K.’’.
Casey Spilman Vice President of New Business – Europe (based in Dublin) added, ‘’The Temple Bar Hotel project was an enjoyable one as it allowed us to demonstrate every aspect of the systems and expertise that we offer. From deal sourcing to acquisition services, renovation to food & beverage concepting, and revenue management to cost containment, we really had to bring all our tools to bear in order to deliver maximum value to our owners. It was both a challenging and rewarding project, and one we’re thankful to be carrying forward as Manager for the new owner. It’s our aim to continue contributing positively to the Irish and U.K. hotel industry where we see a wealth of opportunity, further reinforcing our commitment to operating in Europe”.
The recognition garnered by the Temple Bar Hotel project is indicative of the experience accumulated by Pyramid Hotel Group since their founding in 1999, and throughout their earlier history when Pyramid’s senior leadership captained the growth of the Doubletree and Promus organizations throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s. The firm’s diverse experience in serving as owner, operator, franchisor and franchisee allows them to be an effective partner in virtually any situation in any market, offering its full range of hotel management, asset management, project management and acquisition services.