General managers break time barriers as they work to keep hotel businesses afloat
Antonio Jones has been a general manager in hotels in several cities over the past 20 years. And he’s worked to save hotel businesses in the wake of disasters such as the terrorist attacks of 9-11 and Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans in 2005. These days, Jones is general manager of a dual-brand complex in Atlanta – the Staybridge Suites Atlanta Midtown and the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Midtown, which is managed by Spire Hospitality. The management company is an affiliate of the property’s owner, AWH Partners LLC in New York City, which acquired the 500-room property in 2014 when it was branded as a Melia. Over the next two years, AWH Partners spent $20 million on renovating and repositioning the asset. InterContinental Hotels Group owns the brands. Staybridge Suites is an upscale extended-stay hotel and Crowne Plaza is an upper-upscale full-service property. The complex’s seasoned GM is applying what he learned in previous challenging circumstances to keep the hotels operating.
Jones believes the U.S. hospitality industry will recover from the unprecedented downturn in business caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but it will take more than a year for performance to reach pre-pandemic levels. Until then, Jones is committed to the long haul.