Eyeing considerable expansion for the next decade within its unique niche as a boutique hotel owner/operator, Pacifica Hotels has identified the next generation of leadership with the recent promotion of Adam Marquis to the position of president.
Marquis joined the company in 2010 where he would work closely with his brother and CEO Matt Marquis as well as his father Dale Marquis, who is Chairman of Pacifica and Founder and President of Invest West Financial Corporation, parent company of Pacifica. During his tenure, Adam Marquis—who was most recently EVP--led asset management, feasibility, brand relations, acquisition dispositions and strategic repositioning efforts for the Aliso Viejo, CA-based company.
Prior to joining Pacifica, Marquis got started on the operations side of the business holding positions with Hyatt Hotels and Walt Disney Resorts before moving to the feasibility side as a senior consultant with PKF Consulting.
He noted his career path began taking shape as far back as the age of 16 when he checked into his first hotel. “I think at that point I had a strong passion for the hospitality industry. I think that’s helped me develop my leadership skills as I’ve stayed in the industry figuring out what successful hotels should be operationally; how it should be built from an investment standpoint; and what kind of return it should give your investors,” he said.
Marquis referenced the company’s experienced executive team while noting he expects a relatively easy transition. “I feel fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of great leaders to learn from. I look forward to growing with them as we move forward together,” he said, adding that he doesn’t expect a dramatic change in his responsibilities. “I think the new role it’s really a bonus for me. A lot of these things I’ve been doing [as EVP].”
Nevertheless, in deference to his new role Marquis described his leadership style.
“I think I’ve always strived to create a work environment that’s stimulating for everyone. I tend to overcommunicate my thoughts and ideas in an effort to jump-start out-of-the-box thinking, conversation or comments from others so that we can reach our company’s objectives. In the process individual professional goals are important too. I take that very seriously and I try to help people fulfill those goals within our company and I do everything I can to mentor or support them,” he said.
Pacifica--which develops, owns and manages--was formed in 1995 and now has a portfolio of 41 focused-service boutique hotels open and in development, which are located primarily on the California coast with the exception of a pair of Hawaii properties and a hotel in St. Lucie, FL.
Marquis elaborated on the company’s overall strategy and its unique position within the industry. “The core business has always been for us adding value to hotel properties in key locations. That won’t change; we’re either going do that by operational enhancements or by strategic renovations or repositionings…We’re excited about just where we’re at in the industry. There’s not a lot of private boutique owner/operator hotel companies anymore. A lot of them have become institutionalized or been gobbled up by the major hotel chains,” he said.
To that point, Marquis acknowledged the company has considered growing through acquisition but ultimately has decided against it or any disposition opportunities for that matter. “It’s just not our model to be quite honest. We like to make money for our investors. We have investors that have been with us for 30 or 40 years. At the end of day we create returns for them through our hotel properties and our management company is an extension of that goal to create returns. Selling that or rolling it up with a company is really not of interest to us. We’d rather build carefully and slowly and not just jump on a boat everyone else is jumping onto right now,” he said.
However, the new president did add that one of the company’s primary objectives is to expand nationally. “We’re coming from this west coast concentration and looking at strategic U.S. platform locations that we can maximize value in,” he said.
Meanwhile, Marquis pointed out the company--which generated $220 million in total revenue in 2018--has experiences rapid growth within the last few years and acknowledged that can present some challenges as well.
“We’ve gone through significant growth in the last 3-5 years so with all company growth comes bumps and bruises that I feel become important learning tools as you move forward in the company. So I think the challenge for me and others will be navigating through all of that with a really clear and strategic vision,” he said.
Part of that vision, according to Marquis, includes expanding its third-party management opportunities as well as expanding its two internal brands; The Wayfarer and Kinney. He described them as “experiential” brands while noting “we’re going to try to expand those on a national scale. We currently have three of those with one coming into downtown this summer.”
In addition, Marquis revealed for the first time to Hotel Interactive® that the company has created an acquisition platform under which it is joint venturing with a partner “to invest in and operate branded focused-service hotels in strategic locations across the U.S.”