New Firm to Focus on Hotel Investment

Anticipating opportunities to come, Ardent Hotel Advisors, a hospitality management and asset management company, has partnered with Steven Surgent to form Ardent Hotel Investors, a new entity that will invest in hotel properties nationwide. “The partnership is a good one because of the experience and expertise on both sides,” said Surgent, who will serve as a principal with the newly-formed AHI. AHI will act as a real estate private equity firm with a focus on the acquisition of value-added hospitality opportunities throughout the U.S. As principal of AHI, Surgent will be responsible for launching the company’s hospitality investment platform in addition to providing support to Ardent Hotel Advisors in sourcing third-party management contracts. “We’re not necessarily out in the market right now. As economic and real estate market fundamentals continue to deteriorate through next year and property values continue to fall, we believe the next 12 to 36 months will represent an opportune time to put our capital and turn-around capabilities to work,” he told CPN. “There are a lot of things that need to take place before we get active, but today’s historic economic and capital market difficulties will create the most compelling buying environment since 2001-2003.” Surgent said several high net worth individuals have expressed interest in partnering with AHI, too. “That allows us to have capital to play around with,” he said. “We have the ability to raise significant amounts of funding that will allow us to capitalize on opportunities we feel will be out there. We are looking for partners routinely. We take the equity raised and examine opportunities and if something is worth the risk, we’ll go for it.” “Our collective investment and management expertise will provide complete control of the value-creation process from start to finish, a key component to our growth strategy. Surgent said AHI will focus primarily on premium select- and full-service branded hotels targeting both distressed opportunities and traditional value-added properties at what he things will be significantly higher cap rates than the past four years. Prior to joining Ardent Hotel Advisors, Surgent was vice president of acquisitions for Everest Holdings, a privately held real estate investment company based in Scottsdale, Ariz.. He was involved in the underwriting of more than $12 billion of hotel, office and multi-family assets and the acquisition and disposition of more than $100 million in hotel assets. In addition, he has been actively involved in the completion of more than 100 advisory assignments involving the development, acquisition and disposition of a broad array of high-profile hotel, office, multi-family and residential assets across North America. Ardent Hotel Advisors is an independent, third-party hotel management and asset management company focused on properties in the western half of the U.S. The company concentrates on operating both branded and non-branded hotels and resorts of 150 rooms or more in the luxury, upscale and mid-market segments.