Paramount to grow third-party business

Paramount Hotel Group, a Fairfield, New Jersey-based management and ownership company, on Wednesday announced plans to aggressively ramp up its third-party management business, expecting to add eight to 12 new properties to the company’s portfolio over the following 12 to 18 months. To lead the new initiative, Steve Wilson, formerly vice president of franchise development for La Quinta Inns & Suites, has joined Paramount as vice president of development.

Paramount CEO David Simon said in an interview with HOTELS Wednesday that the news signals a change in focus for Paramount to becoming more of a fee-based service provider. “The timing is right due to the instability of ownership in a tough economy. The eight to 12 number could easily double,” Simon said. “Within 30 to 60 days we should have several announcements (initial focus will be on the East Coast). We are targeting La Quintas, Qualitys, Comforts, Holidays and Courtyards where owners need help. Longer term, I see us going to larger hotel owners, but that is not now.”

Explaining the Wilson hire, Simon added, “In addition to long-standing relationships with institutional investors, Steve has strong ties to passive investor groups that are seeking alternative investments, like hotels, that can generate appropriate risk-adjusted returns. We expect to work with owners who have sourced their own deals, as well as work with investors to identify suitable acquisition opportunities.”