A green, customer service-oriented approach to hotel development
Based out of Ocala, Florida, Hospitality Development Group has earned a strong reputation for
finding locations with high exposure, great access and long-term value, as well as developing
properties with hotels to maximize brand value.
“We really excel at developing limited service hotels without food and beverage in underserved
markets, as well as establishing optimal operations, revenue management, cost control and
leadership training for our team members,” says Navroz Saju, CEO and President.
Hospitality Management Group (HDG) has over 25 years of experience under its belt, using
that expertise to provide its clientele with a first-rate experience. The company has a hand in
nearly every aspect of the industry, including hospitality consulting, hotel yield management,
strategic business planning, financial analysis, consulting service acquisitions and dispositions
“We like to look at secondary and sometimes even tertiary markets, where there is a lack of
quality product,” Saju says. “We mostly stay away from big cities or metropolitan areas because
there are demand generators within those small towns that are not being served because of
the products being very old. That is really our main criteria and how we go about acquiring our
product and our markets.”
The mission of HDG’s Hotels division is to find and develop sites that will maximize brand
value, and to follow through by operating them with highly trained and competent leaders. The
company carries out this task despite hurdles in the field.
“There are a lot of challenges involved in the work that we do,” Saju says. “In developing the
hotel, you borrow money that you are responsible to pay back for the next 25 to 30 years, so
there are big challenges to find the right architect, contractor or civil engineer, because you are
giving them your pocketbooks to spend.”
It is this level of financing that creates a challenge for HDG Hotels to not only acquire the right
contractors, but to purchase the right locations for development.
“This is not a home you buy in foreclosure at 40 cents per dollar,” Saju says. “You are borrowing
between $5 to 6 million, which means that you really have to execute everything meticulously
and without error, which can be a very difficult challenge.”
HDG currently manages seven hotels in Florida, six of which have been designated or are in
the process of being designated as green certified by the State of Florida, a practice that the
company hopes to continuously expand on in the future. Its hotels have also ranked within the
top 10 percent of its respective brands based on guest satisfaction surveys and brand standards
“Green initiatives are very important to us,” Saju says. “They help create a consciousness of
saving, of non-wasting and a sensitivity to our environment, and ultimately it creates a great
benefit to both the environment and our bottom line.”
One such initiative is with the HDG Hotels Quality Inn in Titusville, located only a few minutes
from the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility and other Orlando, Florida attractions. The property had
been a foreclosure that the company took over only days prior to it being boarded up.
“Since acquiring the Titusville location, we have rented more then 7,000 hotel rooms, we
doubled our rev par index, have moved up in the brand ranking in quality from 1,000 to the
Top 200 and have put a team in place that really believes in the HDG culture,” Saju says. “This
project has really been a success story for us, taking a site that was days from being boarded
up and turning it into a property that is a leader within the market and within the brand.”
It is projects like these that won HDG Hotels the 2011 Minority Business of the Year Award,
which was presented by the Ocala Marion Country Chamber of Commerce and highlights the
company’s path to prominence, innovation and dedication to quality and service.
As of late, an increased demand in the hotel industry has spurred a great deal of competition
in the marketplace. However, HDG Hotels is prepared to face the challenges in front of it,
realizing that hotels need to prepare by looking forward at marketing strategies that reflect a full
understanding of market conditions. In this way, the company hopes to ensure that its hotels are
in tune with the times and meet the required level of operation and service that have become
such integral components of hotel management today.
“We continue to work on solidifying our company culture of being customer service-oriented and
to do whatever it takes to make our customers happy,” Saju says. “Maintaining our product is
very important to us and we continue to put procedures in place to ensure that our maintenance
is at the highest level.”
Since its inception, a conscious purpose to provide service through integrity has been at HDG
Hotels’ core. This is a mission that the company has stood by and continues to stand by as it
increases its presence in the Florida hospitality market.