Davidson Hospitality CEO prioritizes organic growth amid flurry of hotel deals

LOS ANGELES – At a time when hotel management companies are rushing to join forces through mergers and acquisitions, Davidson Hospitality Group President and CEO Thom Geshay said he feels comfortable with its internal growth strategy.

Speak to Hotel News Now at 2022 Americas Accommodation Investment SummitGeshay said his business has added various distinct verticals and has the ability to manage properties that few other operators can handle, especially large resort properties.

“We see the resort space as a place where we can grow,” he said. “We now have the corporate team that can handle any part of that. Resorts are very complicated, and we feel defensible in that regard.”

Geshay, who has worked with Davidson since 1988 and has served as chairman since 2019, took over the CEO role in early 2022 when John Belden stepped down. Belden remains with the company as executive chairman.

Geshay said he does not foresee a dramatic change in direction for Davidson under his watch.

“I had a seat at the table for a long time with company strategy, team decisions and things like that,” he said. “The truth is really with our business, management is kind of a team sport. I’m lucky to have a great team of people who work with me at all levels and keep me honest, and I try to keep them honest. Collectively we do. So we don’t change the strategy.

He said he was generally very optimistic about the trajectory of the hotel industry in 2022.

“I think people are getting more and more comfortable with the fact that this is a way we’re going to have to live,” he said. “And it will make people feel more comfortable hanging out and meeting and greeting each other. So I feel good about the direction our industry is going. I think we’re going to have a better year in 2022 and by 2023 we will be back to pre-pandemic levels.”

For more from Hotel News Now’s conversation with Thom Geshay, watch the video above.

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