We spoke to Lembi-Detert this morning and she told us that she's currently working with an equity group to buy back the hotels. This group would then use Personality Hotels as a management company for the properties, something she said would be a stepping stone for her boutique hotel collection.
That's our goal. There's no promises I can make but no one wants [these hotels] back more than me.
Lembi-Detert, who calls herself a "rare breed" for a hotelier in that she's very engrossed in the vision, the marketing and the operations of her hotels, says her situation is no different from what's going on in the rest of the hotel market. From big resorts to small boutique hotels, properties have been struggling under the weight of their highly financed loans as room rates still remain weak.
So while Lembi-Detert waits for things to unfold with the Metropolis, The Vertigo and The Frank, she says she'll be touching up the other hotels in her collection--The Diva, The Kensington Park, the Union Square and The Steinhart.
Every little bit of our core hotels will get some attention too.
Currently, the three orphaned hotels have been wiped from the Personality Hotels website. They also have no valid websites of their own and when we dialed up the Frank, their automated answering system still referred to the hotel as a Personality Hotel. However, we were able to connect to the reservations line. According to Lembi-Detert, Centerline Capital has put in a "babysitter" to oversee the hotels' operations and she says they probably haven't made those changes yet.
In the meantime, we'll be pouring out a little liquor for these hotels. We hope they find as loving of a home as Personality.