Schiffman, Lasky Launch Lodging Opportunities Group to Acquire Distressed Hotels

Two experienced hotel and real estate professionals, Marty Schiffman and Morris Lasky, have partnered with two high-net-worth New York-based families to create The Lodging Opportunities Group (LOG), which will acquire and operate troubled institutional-grade hotels in urban and suburban U.S. markets. The properties will range from the economy to luxury segments.

All LOG hotels will be managed by a sister company of Lodging Unlimited, Inc. (LUI), a 40-year-old, third-party hotel management company based in Chicago. LOG and LUI will be joined by their western affiliate, Lodging Unlimited West, located in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Schiffman will lead the company as president. He has been a real estate industry leader for more than 30 years, having participated as managing principal and in senior management roles in over $1 billion in transactions in all asset classes for investment management companies such as Sonnenblick-Goldman, Lehman Brothers and Carl Marks & Co.

“There are a growing number of funds entering the hotel industry,” says Schiffman. “We believe we are different from many of those players because they include a high percentage of financial buyers, and we have a hands-on, intensive management approach to creating solutions.”

Schiffman says LOG plans to differentiate itself from other investors by seeking highly challenged assets that can benefit from enhanced management, investment and repositioning. “We have the expertise, capital and patience to revitalize assets that more traditional funds may find too complex or encumbered,” he emphasizes.

Lasky will serve as chairman of the board of LOG. He brings more than 40 years of experience to the position. He is president of Lodging Unlimited, which has operated or consulted on more than 300 hotels valued in excess of $7 billion.

Lodging Unlimited is an active participant in the troubled hotel management industry, and provides litigation support, development consulting, and crisis consulting.

“The hotel industry is just now coming out of an economic tornado that severely impacted all segments and markets in the country,” says Lasky. “We seek hotels that are in situations that may be difficult to untangle or require substantial work to turn the property around.”

LOG is seeking situations as much as it is seeking assets. Typical investments sought by the company include, but are not limited to, hotels.

“As we come out of this recession, there are hundreds of properties with seemingly insurmountable problems,” says Lasky. “These types of properties are our sweet spot. We have the people and systems in place to perform due diligence quickly, complete the acquisition quickly and take over a single property or portfolio in less than 24 hours.”

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