I thought it was about time to update friends and colleagues and clients on what is happening and what I have been doing for the last several months. The bad news (I think) is I turned down a very good opportunity to work with and for Transnational Hotels, a subsidiary of Heirs Holdings, in Nigeria. They are building two new Hilton Hotels, one in Lagos and another in Port Harcourt, and renovating the existing Hilton in the capital of Abuja. They were great people and it was a great opportunity that I ultimately could not make work due to family considerations. The good news is the day after I decided to pass on that opportunity my phone rang and I was asked to take on a renovation of the downtown Marriott Renaissance in my home town of Phoenix. So one door closes and another opens as the old saying goes. I will be contracting as the Owner Representative and Project Manager overseeing a renovation of guestroom corridor areas and most likely ADA room conversions and suites. The project will last at least until the end of September 2014. Renovations are not may favorite thing but new build projects and opportunities have become far less prevalent these past few years. And new build resort properties have for the most part vanished, at least in the US. One of my good friends landed a new Four Seasons Resort property in Mexico this past year, (he beat me out for that job by the way) and there are new projects coming up in Columbia and I hear Rio but not much stateside. So hopefully this project will bear some dividends. There seems to be a lot of renovation work and opportunities. I didn’t intend to do so much freelance work when LXR/Blackstone asked me to work for them as a contract consultant back in 2006. I thought it as going to turn into a long-term association. But then 2008 happened and everyone pulled back their horns and reduced capital projects and exposure and the everything slowed down. Things are starting to come back but for me it is new people and new types of projects and I have found it much harder than I expected to rebuild and regroup. I have been really fortunate to have always had work but I really want to focus on longer term assignments and longer term associations. It turns out I have been skilled and adept at going into new situations and projects with some level of distress and getting things as squared away and functional as possible. And it has provided me an opportunity to see parts of the world that I never thought I would see. In the past year I have been to Africa, France, England, India and Dubai. But while it pays the bills it has not proven to be satisfying to me. I would really prefer to be part of an ongoing team building a well oiled machine and organization.
November 1, 2012
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