Celebrating the joy of hospitality every day for 30 years, our suite of hotels offer comfort, quality and community through meaningful experiences.
We are a family-owned hotel investment and management company based in Palm Springs, California. Drawing on 50 years of hotel operating experience & 30 years of investment management and marketing, our dynamic, hands-on team delivers an operating model that has proven to be resilient over the long term, underscored by remarkable guest loyalty, limited turnover, robust operating performance, and the revitalization of distressed & underperforming properties to highly profitable market-leading assets.
Founded in 1991 with the acquisition of the Las Brisas Hotel in downtown Palm Springs, we have grown the initial equity position from $650 thousand to $25 million, while maintaining attractive annual cash distributions. We received the Developer of the Year Award from Starwood Hotels & Resorts for their Select Service Brands and are a Preferred Management company of Marriott International (Starwood Hotels & Resorts), Hilton Worldwide, Intercontinental Hotel Group, and Best Western International as a result of our exemplary management and award-winning guest service. Check out our timeline to see our success one property at a time.
We are expanding our operating portfolio in California through new investment opportunities with attractive risk-adjusted returns and upside potential with the implementation of our proven business model. Our investment criteria includes independent or branded hotels that range from midscale to luxury with 20 to 150 keys. Our dynamic organization leverages its expertise to develop and underwrite creative and tailored business plans for prospective deals that have proven to unlock value for investors.
Repositioned as a full-service property within a niche market segment, Las Brisas Hotel is now…
…one of the top performing hotels in downtown Palm Springs. We acquired the 90-room Las Brisas Hotel in in 1991 and repositioned the property from an independent midscale hotel in foreclosure to one of the top performing hotels in downtown Palm Springs. Through the repositioning of the hotel between the four diamond and limited service properties, the property benefits from a niche market in downtown Palm Springs.
The food & beverage operation was expanded, tripling its capacity, including the conversion of meeting space to a dedicated breakfast room. With limited back-of-house area, we added a new exterior terrace grill, specialized equipment to the kitchen and bar areas, and implemented innovative measures to offer an assorted menu that delivers a full service atmosphere for our guests to enjoy. Furthermore we invested heavily into the landscaping and architectural elements of the public areas to create an oasis for our guests to enjoy year round.
We have a dedicated staff of 27 employees whom are cross-trained in all areas of the hotel providing an extremely efficient and profitable operation. During the past 25 years, we have created a sense of community for our associates as well as our guests, leading to incredible employee satisfaction with an average retention of 16 years and a repeat customer base of 75%. Our exceptional guest loyalty enables us to retain our position as the occupancy leader in the downtown market largely through word-of-mouth with a minimal marketing budget.
Through a full renovation, expanded F&B and creative sales & marketing tactics, the property transitioned from…
…negative cash flow to $3+ million profit within 18-months. We assumed management of the 760 room Airport Marina Hotel in 1995 while in receivership and implemented an 18-month turnaround program including a $6.5 million renovation. Our operating plan targeted local corporate business as well as tour and travel and involved recruiting and training a new executive and sales team, along with the implementation of creative strategies to target premium accounts. Through these efforts the property secured a long term contract with the local university for three dedicated guest room floors. By offering customized renovations and a 24-hour executive lounge serving a continental breakfast, evening refreshments, and an honor bar, our offering stood out from the competition and the University account provided a solid demand base for the operation to build on. The food & beverage operation was also repositioned to meet the needs of our guests, including adding an a la carte breakfast buffet and a Starbucks. We took the property from a negative cash position to a $3 million annualized profit, creating substantial value for ownership, whom elected to sell the property upon completion of the 18-month turnaround project. The property re-traded a few years later at an incremental price of $14 million that was largely attributed to our repositioning of the asset.
Through extensive renovations with a Best Western flag, a management overhaul and repositioned F&B, the…
…distressed property stabilized within its second year. We acquired the 80 room Big Bear Chateau in 1997 and invested over $2 million to reposition the property from a distressed, negative cash-flowing asset to one of the premier mountain resorts in Southern California. The repositioning program involved adding the Best Western Flag, implementing all new IT systems, recruiting and training a new executive team, and renovating the entirety of the hotel’s guest rooms and public areas without suspending operations. We furthermore repositioned the food and beverage experience to include programmed nightly entertainment for our guests and the local community and created the highest-rated restaurant and bar in the market. The property was in a strong cash flow position within our second year of operation. In 2005, we sold the property at a substantial price premium and utilized the sales proceeds to acquire the Hampton Inn Tucson Airport in a 1031 Exchange.
Applying our streamlined operating model, NOI increased 50% after just one year of operation and we…
…sustainably occupy a leading market position. We acquired the 126 room Hampton Inn Tucson Airport Hotel in May 2006. Within our first year of operation, we increased the Net Operating Income by over 50%, and the property has sustainably occupied a leading position within the airport market. During our 13 years of ownership we have invested and provided project management oversight for $3.5 million in capital improvements, including a full renovation of the guest rooms and public areas as well as a recladding of the hotel’s façade. We furthermore added a 15-year term to our Hampton Inn franchise and continue to maintain an “Outstanding” rating in quality assurance, ranking our property amongst the best operated hotels in the Hampton Inn system.
We repositioned the closed midscale property to a full-service upscale Four Points, expanding facilities to…
…target corporate business and capture a leading marketing position. Another acquisition in 20016…we acquired a 150 room midscale hotel that has been recently deflagged by Best Western and was closed for redevelopment. Upon our takeover in September 2006, we invested and oversaw a $3 million phased renovation to reposition the property to an upscale full service Four Points by Sheraton, which is now established as one of the major competitors in the airport market. Our repositioning program was targeted at attracting the corporate and group market and involved reconfiguring the public areas to add a boardroom, fitness center, and a new restaurant and bar – an amenity that sets us apart from our competitors. We received the Developer of the Year award from Starwood Hotels & Resorts for their Select Service Brands and were rated as the top restaurant in the Four Points North American portfolio.
Our business model produces market leading assets with exceptional guest loyalty. We strive to deliver everything our guests want and nothing they don’t, providing exceptional service while remaining efficient and profit-driven.
We are a family-owned hotel group that leverages synergies and expertise from within and outside of the hotel sector to deliver a distinctive platform based on industry leading practices and innovations.
A seasoned hotelier and entrepreneur, Raymond Johnston is the visionary and founding partner of Las Brisas Hotel Group. His distinguished 50-year career began at the property-level with advancing leadership positions throughout the US, Mexico, and the Caribbean, which led to executive positions including President of Yellowstone National Park, President of Campbell Soup’s Restaurant Division, and Chairman of Best Western International Worldwide. Raymond’s success is evidenced through his storied career highlighted by significant development, turnarounds, and the restructuring of financially distressed hotels and companies.
During an extended period abroad, Raymond spent ten years pioneering the major international resort destinations throughout Mexico and Aruba, while opening the first luxury hotels in Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, and Aruba N.A. Over the course of his career, Raymond has operated select and full service hotels with 80 to 800 keys in city center and resort destinations, casinos, and free standing restaurants. The operating model of Las Brisas Hotel Group is the culmination of best practices and a unique operating style that Raymond honed through his diverse operating background. Raymond is a graduate from Michigan State University with a BA in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management, as well as a BS in Business Administration from Oregon State University.
Michelle is involved in all aspects of the organization and plays a significant role in driving the expansion of Las Brisas Hotel Group. Michelle brings a 13-year proven track record within three leading global hospitality corporations underscored by a breadth of experience with a diverse portfolio of real estate assets including over $1.5 billion in real estate transactions. Michelle is a strategist and marketer with an entrepreneurial mindset to innovate and optimize performance.
During her 10 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Michelle had direct oversight of $1 billion of assets, working with property-level and cross functional teams to drive operating performance, evaluate market fundamentals, guide capital planning initiatives, and implement real estate strategies. Michelle also directed dispositions, led the analysis of new investment opportunities, and oversaw the pre-development planning and design for prospective new-build and redevelopment projects. With Marriott International, Michelle led dispositions, guided the real estate strategy, and managed partner relationships for joint venture hotels. Michelle is a graduate from New York University with a MS in Hospitality Industry Studies and Hotel Investment, as well as a BS from Boston University.
Michael is actively involved with all development and investment activities for Las Brisas Hotel Group and leads our innovation strategy. Michael is currently paving the way for emerging trends in how people work, live and travel serving as Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of DIT Coworking Technologies, recognized for its premier co-working and event space venue in Eastern Europe with 15 locations in the pipeline across Europe. Michael is also the co-creator and first investor of June Homes, a home sharing company recently valued at $30 million with 45 locations globally since its 2017 launch.
Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Michael was Chief Executive Officer for Regional Hotel Chain, a leading investment and development company in Russia that he expanded from 3 to 9 hotels and ultimately sold at a 22x EBITDA valuation. As Head of Private Equity and Principal of Global Strategy for KPMG and Deloitte CIS, Michael consulted leading global private equity firms on M&A, CDD, PMI, change management, and operational improvements. Michael also functioned as Investor Director at SigmaBleyzer, a top 5 PE firm in the CIS with over $500 million in committed capital and served on the board of the Four Seasons Lion Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. Michael is an MBA graduate from Thunderbird School of Global Management and received a BS from the University of Southern California. After USC, Michael volunteered for Peace Corps in Ukraine, which began his 15 year career abroad
Mark is an Executive Producer with over 20 years of production and creative development experience working with prominent brands in technology, lodging, and retail. Having worked with the likes of Apple, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Adidas, The North Face, and Bacardi, Mark brings to Las Brisas innovative methods for concept development, promotion, and branding.
Mark honed his production expertise during his 10 years with TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles, and has since been working as a creative producer and documentary filmmaker in New York City and San Francisco, achieving acclaim for numerous cutting-edge advertising campaigns and an award-winning film. Mark’s core expertise spans across all facets of production including financing, talent negotiation, physical production, post production, distribution, and developing brand identities for Fortune 500 companies. Mark earned his BA from University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.