Benchmark, Gemstone Hotels & Resorts Merge

The new company, which will be chaired by Burt Cabañas, will operate 58 independent properties, most of them located in the U.S.

By Bogdan Odagescu, Associate Editor

Burt Cabañas, founder & chairman, Benchmark Hospitality
Burt Cabañas, founder & chairman, Benchmark Hospitality

Houston—Gencom affiliate Gemstone Hotels & Resorts and Benchmark Hospitality International announced that the two entities have merged, creating a company that operates 58 independent properties, most of them located in the U.S.

Burt Cabañas, the founder & chairman of Benchmark Hospitality, will continue in his role of chairman of the newly-merged company, with Alex Cabañas holding the CEO position and Jeff McIntyre and Greg Champion sharing responsibilities as co-presidents and co-COOs. Gemstone partner Thomas Prins will serve as managing director, real estate investments.

Gencom—which is led by Karim Alibhai—and Burt Cabañas will be the principal shareholders. The company will be based in Houston, with additional offices in Miami and Park City, Utah.

“The platform that is being created is robust and in part designed for well-measured growth, something we will take advantage of while at the same time creating great case studies at each of our existing properties,” said Prins in a prepared statement. At the moment, Gemstone and Benchmark are working on a branding strategy, outlining the consolidated company’s future layout and action plan. The partners have not revealed a name just yet.

Almost all hotels and resorts are situated within the U.S., with California (nine) and Florida (eight) being the states with the most locations. Colorado, New York and Tennessee each bring three properties to the package, with 12 other states also represented on the new company’s map. The Gemstone-Benchmark merger also brought together 11 private conference center and an asset management portfolio comprising 15 properties. The international portfolio includes assets in Canada, Curaçao and Japan.

Image courtesy of Benchmark Hotels & Resorts