General Manager Appointed – Hampton Inn & Suites, Burlington WA

On June 1st, both Fercie Cabrera and HSG came to the clear conclusion about the position from which she can best serve our guests and team members at the Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington, WA.  We are pleased to formally announce Fercie Cabrera as General Manager!

Andy Tift, Fercie Cabrera, and Lennart Bentsen
Andy Tift, Fercie Cabrera, and Lennart Bentsen

Fercie Cabrera takes the place of Damian Humphreys, who moved on to new challenges in early April, 2016.  Cabrera joined the Hampton team about six years ago, and has served their guests as Front Office Manager for the past three years.  She has also participated in our HSG Management Training Program since last September – this is a natural fit for Fercie and we’re excited about the hotel’s future under her leadership.

In other news, Hilton concluded a Quality Evaluation visit this week; a process that evaluates cleanliness, condition and guest experience scores.  Fercie and her team earned an “Outstanding” designation – the highest possible.  This is one of many exciting metrics that we anticipate seeing more of as she continues to settle into her new role.

Congratulations 2016 MTP Graduates

We are excited to congratulate our inaugural Hotel Management Training Program graduates – class of 2016.

For the past 9 months, Lennart and Andy have worked with one or two individuals from nearly all portfolio hotels to deepen their understanding of key areas of hospitality management.  The goal of the program is to enable participants to have a rounded understanding of hospitality management as it relates specifically to HSG’s approach to running hotel operations.  At its conclusion, program participants presented their key takeaways from the program, and shared with all current General Managers and participating hotel investors their desired career path.

HSG is excited about the outcome of this program, and will be continuing to create opportunities for both graduates and other hotel team members to facilitate their career advancement.

This year’s program graduates are:

  • Amanda Zimmerman, Front Office Manager at Best Western Plus Harbor Plaza in Oak Harbor
  • Jamie Rueb, Guest Services Representative at Candlewood Suites in Burlington
  • Fercie Cabrera, now General Manager at Hampton Inn & Suites in Burlington
  • Chelsea Thornton, Director of Sales at Hampton Inn & Suites in Burlington
  • Poonum Sandhu, Family/Ownership at Best Western Plus in Arlington
  • Austin Dudley, Front Office Manager at Best Western Plus in Arlington
  • Veronica Verge, Front Office Manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Marysville
  • Kim Straight, Director of Sales at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Sumner
  • Kelly Robinson, now HSG Regional Director of Sales at both hotels in Chehalis

Congratulations again, class of 2016!

2016 MTP Graduates
Management Training Program Graduates – Class of 2016

Regional Director of Sales & Marketing selected for Extended Stay hotels

We are excited to announce Kristen Keltz, our new Regional Director of Sales & Marketing for our Candlewood Suites hotels in Oak Harbor and Burlington.

Kristen Keltz has an extensive background in Skagit County and Whidbey Islands, both personally and professionally. She’s returning to the hospitality industry after about 13 ½ years as CEO at the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce. She has earned tremendous accolades throughout her career, and made countless connections in the region. For 8 years prior to her time with the Chamber, she was the Director of Sales & Marketing at the now Best Western Plus Skagit Valley Inn in Mount Vernon.

The Regional DOSM for these two Candlewood Suites is a new position at HSG. Keltz will be responsible for all sales and marketing activities for both hotels and serve as an integral part of the Revenue Management process.

Welcome Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites

After much anticipation, excitement, and hard work; our family has grown by 20 Team Members – welcome team Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites in Chehalis, WA!

Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites
Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites

The deal closed at noon on Friday, April 29, 2016 and the hotel was purchased by five of our investors.  At HSG, we’re excited about the opportunity to manage yet another hotel, and engage this team in our mission to work together and become stronger as a group of hospitality professionals.

The Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites was constructed in mid-1999, has 60 guestrooms, and is well known as one of the top two places in which to stay in Chehalis.  Our Holiday Inn Express & Suites is, of course, the other.  We’re excited about offering a larger portfolio in the Chehalis market, and leveraging strategic opportunities to deliver higher value for our guests, our team members, and investors.

New Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bellingham to reveal a whole new look for the brand

Dan Mitzel at the September 2015 IHG Owners Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Dan Mitzel at the September 2015 IHG Owners Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Once we roll this out, Holiday Inn brand will become relevant to the people in their 20s and 30s who weren’t alive when Kemmons Wilson started this whole thing back in the mid 50s”.

These are the words of Dan Mitzel, Hotel Services Group.  Mitzel has been engaged in an InterContinental Hotels Group taskforce for the past 18 months, a taskforce that has focused intensely on the Holiday Inn brand’s new design standards.  “Our investor group is excited about what’s coming, and we’re going to be the first to implement it in Bellingham.

Mitzel has developed and owned hotels for over 30 years, and is a major investor in the coming Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Bellingham, WA International Airport (BLI).  Mitzel also owns M&H Contracting, the project General Contractor.  “We’re pouring concrete for the hotel right now, but we’ve intentionally been stalling the interior design portion of the project.  This is work that’s usually done as much as 12 months before we start site work, but our investor group made the decision to be part of the new IHG SRDs released on October 1st.

Along with the new SRD (Standard Room Design) to give the brand new full-service Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites the latest look and feel, the group is also developing a new restaurant concept from scratch.  Aptly named northwater cascade kitchen, the restaurant will present travelers and local residents with a refreshing combination of Pacific Northwest cuisine at competitive market prices that deliver high value with every bite.

For more information about the project, Mitzel encourages Ragan Humphrey be contacted at  Humphrey is currently serving the investor group as Director of Operations for the project.  Once the hotel opens, he will continue as the General Manager.  The hotel is currently targeting an opening date in early September, 2016.

Announcing Matthew Rosenthal, General Manager, Best Western PLUS – Arlington, WA

We are excited to announce that Hotel Services Group and the owner of the Best Western PLUS – Arlington have hired a General Manager.

Matthew Rosenthal has accepted the position as General Manager and is enthusiastic to return to the hospitality industry after successfully managing one of the top 10 cleaning franchises of the United States. With his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management and extensive management experience we’re excited to see the Best Western PLUS’s performance escalate to new levels.

Announcing the opening of Best Western PLUS – Arlington, WA

"VFMLID=59544099"We are excited to announce that the Best Western PLUS – Arlington, WA is officially open as of 2:30pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2014!

It’s been a fantastic opening project experience for HSG. We have tremendous appreciation for Tahnya Shafer, our General Manager. From her first day of work on January 2nd, Tahnya has presented an impressive degree of professionalism, organization and all around strong leadership throughout the entire pre-opening process, and she’s created a phenomenal team around her along the way. Special thanks to Andy Tift also, who has been HSG’s pre-opening lead and Tahnya’s key support person throughout the project.


M&H Contracting’s phenomenal team, led by Dave Smoots, Project Manager, has built a fantastic looking and quality hotel to be proud of. They make it look easy and routine. The Arlington community will undoubtedly see the Best Western PLUS Marysville/Arlington hotel as a great addition to the community; one to be proud of. Dan Mitzel, Principal of M&H Contracting calls it “a custom hotel” with finishes that extend beyond industry standards. It truly looks spectacular, thanks also to Sue Nemo’s hard work and design.

Raj Sandhu and his family have been fantastic to work with and we sincerely appreciate all the trust they have bestowed in us. This is Raj’s second hotel, and he and his family have committed a great deal to make sure that our guests are impressed and wish to return.

The Brand Team at Best Western International have been great to work with, providing clear guidance and timely support at all times.  Special thanks to Tom Keogh, Regional Service Manager and Amy Lowry, New Member Development Manager.

Jim Vandermey and his team at People’s Bank provided funding for the project, and there are many other key individuals like Rose Tjeerdsma, Jarrod Custer and Pam Leamer with M&H Contracting, and other partners and sub-contractors who have made this project a smooth success.

If you haven’t already, we hope you take an opportunity to visit the hotel in person very soon.

Click here to make your first referral! More photos will be available very soon.

Announcing Tahnya Shafer, General Manager, Best Western PLUS – Arlington

It is a great pleasure to announce that our new General Manager for our newest partner hotel has begun working on pre-opening activities for the Best Western PLUS – Arlington.

Shafer brings with her a strong background in hospitality management, including full service hotel General Management, Director of Sales, Revenue Management and much more. Outside the world of hospitality, Tahnya has also had an interesting stint in Human Resources Management that will undoubtedly benefit her in this business that is so highly dependent upon human potential!

The Best Western PLUS at Smokey Point in Arlington, WA is slated to open in April, 2014.

Announcing Ariel Schonberg, General Manager, Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Sumner

We are excited to announce that Hotel Services Group and the owners of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Sumner have hired a General Manager.

Ariel Schonberg is excited to return to the hospitality industry after successfully managing a multi-million dollar and award-winning clothing store in Marysville. She has extensive operational and management experience and has worked at both our Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Marysville and our Hampton Inn & Suites – Burlington.

“We are excited to have Ariel at the helm in Sumner” says Lennart Bentsen, adding that “Ariel brings a strong combination of essential skills to the hotel and is exactly what we need”.

SOLD: Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Burlington, WA

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites – Burlington, WA (HIEB) was sold by HSG Members Don DeBode and Dan Mitzel on Friday, June 28, 2013. HSG will no longer be overseeing the operation, so Friday was met with mixed feelings as we supported the transition to the new ownership team and said goodbye to our hotel team members.

The Burlington hotel has been a valuable contributor to HSGs success for 6 years, and we suspect that the hotel will continue to do quite well. The property was purchased by Mr. Chung Kim, whom we understand also participated in the purchase of the Best Western PLUS Cottontree Inn – Mount Vernon, WA on June 27, 2013. Mr. Kim has invited HIEB’s employees to remain on the team.

HSG is continuing to work on new opportunities, and see that the next few years are going to be busy.