Interstate, from startup to stardom
From relatively humble beginnings in 1960, Interstate Hotels & Resorts has evolved to become a leader in the hospitality industry. Once the owners of a single property in Erie, Pennsylvania, we’ve expanded internationally and are now recognized as the leading third-party hotel management company. Along the way, we’ve forged partnerships with major brands in the industry and earned a reputation for high-quality, performance based operations.
Interstate was founded in May 1960 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when Milton Fine and Edward Perlow purchased the Capri Motel in Erie, Pennsylvania. In the early 1970s, Interstate began its long partnership with Marriott, and the company continued its strategy to develop, own and operate hotels. By the end of the decade the company owned and operated four hotels with 1,800 rooms in four states.
- Interstate is founded and first hotel is purchased, the Capri Motel in Pennsylvania (1960).
- Interstate develops and operates four Howard Johnson Motor Lodge properties located throughout Pennsylvania (1965).
- Interstate opens its first full-service hotel, and one of Marriott’s first franchised properties, the Green Tree Marriott in Pittsburgh (1972).
Interstate experienced rapid growth in the 1980’s, developing its 16th Marriott-branded property by 1986; the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. The decade also saw the genesis of other prominent hotel companies which served as the foundation of today’s Interstate. By decades end, Interstate operated 29 hotels with over 10,300 rooms in 15 states, of which 25 were Marriott-branded.
- Interstate forms Continental Design & Supply (CDS), providing ground up, new-build hotel project management, interior design and FF&E services (1981).
- Irving, Texas-based American General Hospitality is founded by Steve Jorns (1981), which would later merge with CapStar to form MeriStar Hotels & Resorts in 1998.
- Interstate opens and manages The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1985).
- The company develops its 16th Marriott-branded property, the Pittsburgh Marriott Airport in Pennsylvania, which opens in 1987 (1986).
- Washington, DC-based CapStar is founded by Paul Whetsell (1987), which would later merge with American General to form MeriStar Hotels & Resorts in 1998.
- Interstate begins managing the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and the San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf, California (1988).
This pivotal decade was marked by a number of significant events for the industry as a whole. For Interstate, this included the formation of Crossroads Hospitality, international expansion, and significant growth of its hotel portfolio. In the 1990s Interstate also achieved an initial public offering (IPO). The company was subsequently acquired by Patriot American Hospitality (later spun off as in independent management company). Towards the end of the decade Interstate operated 230 hotels.
- Interstate forms Crossroads Hospitality select-service division and by the mid-90s its portfolio size doubles (1992).
- Interstate expands internationally, opening and operating the Hotel Tverskaya in Moscow (later reflagged to the Marriott Tverskaya (1995).
- Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Interstate Hotels Corporation (IHC) (1996).
- Interstate begins managing The Roosevelt Hotel, New York (1997).
- Interstate opens its third hotel in Moscow, the Marriott Royal Aurora (1998)
- The company opens the first franchised Marriott hotel in Manhattan, the Courtyard by Marriott Times Square South, New York (1998).
- IHC acquired by Patriot American Hospitality (1998), which is spun off two years later as in independent management company.
- CapStar and American General merge and form MeriStar Hotels & Resorts (MHR), the 2ndlargest independent hotel management company (1998).
The first decade of the new millennium provided significant opportunities for Interstate: in 2002, Pittsburgh-based Interstate Hotels Corp. (IHC) and Washington, DC-based MeriStar Hotels & Resorts (MHR) merged to form Interstate Hotels & Resorts (IHR). By the end of the decade, Interstate announced it would be acquired by a joint venture between Thayer Lodging and Jin Jiang Hotels. In between, the company executed on a strategic growth plan through hotel investments along with an intensified international expansion, ultimately holding interests in 56 properties and operating in seven countries.
In 2010, Interstate celebrated an anniversary milestone, “Exceeding Expectations for 50 Years,” and embarked on another decade of success with renewed energy to deliver excellence to customers and carry out its vision to be the leading, independent, multinational hotel operator worldwide.
- Interstate named to manage J Hotel, located in the under-construction Shanghai Tower, anticipated to be the highest hotel upon opening in late 2014 (2010).
- Blackstone names Interstate to manage 13-hotel portfolio (2010).
- Interstate opens the 366-room Renaissance Moscow Monarch Centre, its seventh managed hotel in Russia’s capital city (2010).
- Interstate signs a joint venture agreement with Jin Jiang Hotels to manage hotels in China, creating a platform for independent hotel management in that country (2010).
- Interstate is acquired and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of a 50/50 joint venture between Thayer Lodging and Jin Jiang Hotels (2010).
- JHM Interstate Hotels India opens the Four Points by Sheraton Jaipur-City Square hotel in India (2009).
- Interstate expands its international portfolio with three boutique hotels in London, making England the seventh country outside the U.S. with an Interstate presence (2009).
- The company forms a joint venture with JHM Hotels, named JHM Interstate Hotels India, to operate hotels in India. Interstate also invests in the Duet Fund which is focused on the development of hotels in India (2008).
- The company’s Crossroads select-service division opens and manages the first Aloft hotel in the U.S., the Aloft Ontario-Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Later in the year, Crossroads opens the Aloft Nashville-Cool Springs, TN (2008).
- Interstate opens a branch office in Moscow to oversee Moscow and Europe hotel operations, sales and development (2007).
- Interstate is selected to manage the first Hilton-branded hotel in Moscow, the Hilton Leningradskaya, which re-opens in 2008 after extensive renovations (2006).
- The company enters Mexico through a joint venture with Steadfast Companies, named IHR de Mexico, which invests in and operates three resorts under the Tesoro Resorts brand (2007).
- Interstate opens and manages the Marriott Ghent in Belgium and the Marriott Ashbourne in Ireland (2006).
- Interstate opens and manages the first Residence Inn in Manhattan (2005).
- Interstate acquires Sunstone Hotel Properties, an operating company with 54 premium full- and select-service hotels (2004).
- Interstate Hotels Corp. (IHC) and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts (MHR) merge to form Interstate Hotels & Resorts (IHR) (2002).
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts is acquired by New York-based Kohlberg & Company, a leading private equity firm (2016).
- Interstate adds 18 hotels in the United Kingdom (2015).
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts acquires the management agreements of California-based Rim Hospitality Management, increasing the Company’s managed portfolio by 75 hotels (2014).
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts acquires Glasgow-based Chardon Management, significantly expanding its footprint in the UK (2013).
- Interstate establishes a third-party hotel management platform in the United Kingdom, operating 9 hotels and 5 additional hotels under construction throughout the UK (2013).
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts opens its fifth hotel in the Netherlands, the Holiday Inn Express The Hague (2012).
- Interstate China Hotels & Resorts signs its tenth hotel management agreement in China (2012).
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts transitions management of eight upper tier full-service hotels (2012).
- The Company expands its managed hotel portfolio in India to 13 (2012).
- Interstate Hotels & Resorts unveils new logo and website as part of global re-branding initiative (2012).
- Interstate announces management agreement for the first franchised DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in China, the DoubleTree by Hilton Shanghai-Pudong (2012).
- In 2011, Interstate transitioned 171 hotels, growing its portfolio by 60% and by year-end the Company operated and/or owned 387 hotels.
- Jim Abrahamson transitions to chief executive officer and Ted Knighton is promoted to chief operating officer (2011).
- Interstate enters Hungary with a management agreement for the under-construction Four Points by Sheraton Kecskemét hotel (2011).
- Interstate signs a management agreement for its 6th hotel in India (2011).
- Interstate acquires Noble Management Group and begins managing 55 properties with over 9,000 rooms throughout the U.S. (2011).
- The Company invests in a 9-hotel portfolio aggregating 1,800 rooms under development in the Netherlands, representing the company’s 10th country of operations (2011).
- Interstate assumes management of a 30-hotel portfolio owned by affiliates of Inland American Real Estate Trust (2011).
- Interstate assumes management of Summit Hotel Properties’ 65-hotel portfolio (2011).