Travel Technology, Hospitality Management
Virgin Voyages | September 08, 2023
Virgin Voyages announced a $550 million funding round led by Ares Management for global expansion.
Founder Tom McAlpin transitions to Chairman of the Board, while Nirmal Saverimuttu takes over as CEO, bringing extensive experience from Virgin Voyages' early days.
Virgin Voyages looks forward to continued success and collaboration with investors, including Ares Management, to drive future growth and innovation.
Virgin Voyages, the award-winning cruise brand backed by Richard Branson's Virgin Group, has announced the completion of a $550 million fundraise led by Ares Management's Private Equity Group. This funding, including contributions from existing investors such as Virgin Group and Bain Capital, is poised to propel Virgin Voyages into international markets while enhancing the overall customer experience.
Partner and Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Opportunities in the Ares Private Equity Group, Aaron Rosen, remarked,
With this new investment alongside our partners at Virgin Group and Bain Capital, we believe the company is on strong footing to capitalize on its differentiated product and value proposition in the growing cruise industry.
[Source - Cision PR Newswire]
Established as a leading player in the industry, Virgin Voyages has swiftly gained recognition and accolades with a fleet serving various destinations and recent wins like topping the mega-ship category in Travel + Leisure's 2023 World's Best Awards and sweeping all five cruise categories in the 2023 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards.
Alongside this development, Tom McAlpin, the founding CEO, is transitioning to the role of Chairman of the Board. Nirmal Saverimuttu is taking the reins as the new Chief Executive Officer, having formerly served as President and Chief Experience Officer. In addition, Nirmal Saverimuttu has been a foundational figure at Virgin Voyages since 2014, when he joined as Chief Commercial Officer after securing initial investments from the Virgin Group. His role expanded in 2021 to President and Chief Experience Officer, making him well-prepared to guide the brand into its next phase of growth and innovation.
Nirmal Saverimuttu, CEO of Virgin Voyages, said,
I want to send our deepest thanks, on behalf of all our Crew and the Board, to Tom for his leadership and passion for the business. We are so grateful for all he has done and are thrilled to continue to partner with him as our Chairman.
[Source – Cision PR Newswire]
Virgin Voyages is a trusted brand due to its crew's dedication and passion for offering remarkable experiences for its guests. Nirmal also expressed his anticipation of collaborating with the Ares team and Virgin Voyages' current investors to execute growth and expansion plans as the company contemplates its promising future.
PR Newswire | October 26, 2023
Red Roof, an award-winning leader in the lodging industry, hosted over 200 attendees at its 2023 SHE Leads Forum in Dallas. From sound baths to sound advice and student scholarships, attendees – mostly women in the hospitality industry – left the Forum inspired and armed with insightful information and tools to support, help and elevate themselves for future success.
This year's SHE Leads Forum was based on SHE, inspired by Red Roof'sSM pillars of ownership, personal branding, and wellness brought to life, with support from HBO, through interviews, a stellar lineup of speakers and workshops, networking, and even a meditative sound bath. Program leader and founder, Red Roof Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Marina MacDonald opened the Forum celebrating the growth of women in the hospitality industry and at Red Roof.
"In recent decades, there has been an evolution, a growing emphasis on women's professional development as part of broader efforts to close gender gaps in the workforce. And while hospitality is still a male-dominated industry, even that is evolving," said MacDonald. "Last year, we celebrated 31 percent of our Red Roof properties owned or partially owned by women, and this year, that number is over 35 percent, thanks in large part to participation in Red Roof women initiatives throughout the year."
The Forum also celebrated the future of the hospitality industry by presenting seven deserving students with 'SHE Leads Forum Student Scholarships,' sponsored by DISH Business. Each student was selected by their school, including Cornell University, Florida International University, Howard University and University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to attend the SHE Leads Forum free of charge.
Dr. Lalia Rach, Founder and Partner, Rach Enterprises and best-selling author of Managing the Book on You! Rewriting Your Leadership Story, moderated the two-day Forum. "Red Roof's 'SHE Leads Forum' is in a class all its own! It is jam-packed with interesting speakers, iconic women leaders sharing information, and a passionate leader, Red Roof CMO Marina MacDonald," said Rach. "The biggest difference is the engagement of the attendees, all successful professionals, who want to learn, be inspired, meet new people and connect with those they know. The energy, the desire to be more, is so inspiring."
Keynote speaker Dorothy Dowling, Founder of Introspect Strategic Advisor Services, helped motivate the crowd with her inspirational thoughts. "Women's leadership events such as 'SHE Leads' are like having a trusty guide on our journey, whether it's climbing the corporate ladder or venturing into the world of hotel ownership. They're not just about empowerment, they're about real-world guidance. These events let us tap into the experiences of women who've been there, done that. It's like getting insider tips for navigating our own unique paths," said Dowling.
Through a session on Red Roof's Strategic Initiatives, with Red Roof Director of Strategic Initiatives Lina Patel and Chief Development Officer Matthew Hostetler, attendees also learned about SHE, inspired by Red Roof's sister program, RIDE with Red RoofSM. While SHE is intended to motivate, RIDE is intended to activate — providing access to capital, educational resources and the connections needed to build a strong network of industry partners.
SHE Leads attendees also heard from experts offering business advice. Jyoti Sarolia, President and CEO at Ellis Hospitality gave an informational talk about how attendees can fine tune their lending skills and be ready to finance their next project. Christine Taylor, Claims Consultant & Strategic Insurance Partner at Lockton Companies, spoke about the state of the property and casualty insurance market, educating attendees on the importance of insuring their assets and understanding risk.
Listening to and interacting with so many enthusiastic and seasoned business owners left many inspired. AAHOA EVP of Communications and Chief Strategy Officer Heather Carnes, who also spoke at the Forum, was struck by the collective fearlessness in the room. "When I looked at the strength, intelligence and the daring nature of the women in attendance, I know that the future of the hospitality industry is in great hands. The can-do attitude and entrepreneurial spirit in the room was palpable and contagious. I left feeling like, in conjunction with this amazing group, I could change the world," said Carnes.
Forum speaker Marti Winer, Executive Leader and General Manager of Casa Bonita said, "Programs like SHE Leads are crucial to women in hospitality and beyond for three important reasons. The first is that they provide a forum for conversation. They are a safe space to meet, explore and create the critical relationships that advance careers. The second reason is education. These forums provide much needed and customized learning opportunities for women that are largely unavailable elsewhere. The final reason is innovation. Dedicated time away from the day-to-day allows for more focused thinking, processing and collaborating. As a result, great ideas are born and given space to germinate."
The annual SHE Leads Forum kicks off a year-long infusion of inspiration for women primarily in hospitality that facilitates sharing professional experiences and provides collaborative learning opportunities to continue to foster change in the industry. 'SHE' provides thought leadership, access to resources, and serves as a platform, sharing content and best practices through a dedicated website.
ENNISMORE | September 20, 2023
Ennismore and Shivom LLC to Launch Mama Shelter Downtown LA in 2026, the Second of Its Kind in the City: Ennismore and its partner Shivom LLC are set to open Mama Shelter Downtown LA in 2026, following the success of Mama Shelter LA in 2015.
Mama Shelter Downtown LA, housed in the transformed Mart South Building in Downtown LA, will offer 149 keys, including 145 standard rooms and four suites, known for its lively design, exceptional dining, and entertainment.
Guests can enjoy three lively F&B outlets, including a ground-floor all-day dining restaurant and café, a rooftop bar and terrace with city views, an on-site fitness center, and a parking garage.
Positioned in the heart of Los Angeles' Fashion District, the hotel provides convenient access to over 4,000 retailers, local and national restaurants, iconic venues like the California Market Center, and nearby shopping corridors, enhancing the guest experience in the entertainment capital.
Ennismore, a creative hospitality company, and its partner Shivom LLC have announced the forthcoming Mama Shelter Downtown LA. This venture, set to launch in 2026, marks the second establishment of the popular Mama Shelter brand within the city, following the successful debut of Mama Shelter LA in May 2015. The new Mama Shelter, situated within the transformed Mart South Building in Downtown LA, is poised to offer a dynamic and immersive hospitality experience. Boasting 149 keys, including 145 standard rooms and four suites, it will embody Mama Shelter's signature style, combining vivacious design with exceptional dining and entertainment options.
Cédric Gobilliard, Head of Central & Southern Europe and COO of Ennismore, commented,
"We are thrilled to be opening a second Mama Shelter in LA. Los Angeles is a place to live life to the fullest, carrying so many fundamental values of the Mama brand, including her irreverent, popular, sassy and sexy personality; which fits perfectly with the glamour of LA. We look forward to bringing Mama's spirit to the city again with partner Shivom LLC."
[Source – Cision PR Newswrire]
Mama Shelter Downtown LA will offer three festive F&B outlets to party and play, including an all-day dining restaurant and café on the ground floor, as well as a rooftop bar and terrace with city views. Guests at the hotel will also have access to and use an on-site fitness centre and parking garage. Mama's exuberant interior decorations, homemade, high-quality menus and year-round happenings have become a staple in every one of the destinations. Guests will find all the design elements that distinguish a Mama Shelter, including graffiti carpets and ceilings, comfortable chairs, cartoon masks and one-of-a-kind decorations that reflect Mama's personality, signature food, and Mama nights to get the party started.
As the world's entertainment capital, Los Angeles is an unrivaled cultural center with over 100 museums. Mama Shelter Downtown LA enjoys a prime location within the city's Fashion District, surrounded by more than 4,000 independently owned retailers and a thriving selection of local and national restaurants. Adjacent to the hotel, the California Market Center (CMC) stands as an iconic DTLA landmark, known for hosting premier events and epitomizing the city's rich fashion industry heritage. For those seeking retail therapy, Santee Alley, a shopping corridor, and the Los Angeles Flower District, the largest flower marketplace in the United States, are just a stroll away from Mama Shelter Downtown LA. This strategic positioning ensures that guests have access to an array of attractions and experiences within arm's reach, enriching their stay in this dynamic metropolis.