About Arbor Lodging Partners

Based in Chicago, Arbor Lodging Partners is a national debt and equity investor in the hospitality industry. Its affiliate, NVN Hotels, was recently named one of the nation’s top hotel companies of 2015 by Hotel Management Magazine.

The company was founded on the principle of uniting the best practices of enterprising hotel operators and sophisticated institutional investors to effectively underwrite and execute value-add opportunities in the lodging space.  Today, Arbor Lodging Partners is primarily involved in three lines of business:

  • Investments – Arbor Lodging Partners, with joint venture capital partners, acquires underperforming hotels that can be enhanced through renovations and the implementation of operational efficiencies to provide attractive returns.
  • Loan Acquisitions – Arbor Lodging Partners, with joint venture capital partners, acquires loans secured by hotels that can be restructured with the existing borrower to provide attractive returns.
  • Management – Arbor Lodging Partners’ management affiliate, NVN Hotels, manages hotel operations for assets in the Arbor Lodging Partners portfolio, as well as hotels owned by third-parties.

 

Investment Philosophy

Arbor Lodging Partners’ investment philosophy is simple: create exceptional value.  By adhering to its established and tested underwriting methods, Arbor Lodging Partners has built a strong track record of identifying and capitalizing on lodging investment opportunities that create exceptional value.  Arbor Lodging Partners’ underwriting methods are based on the firm’s, and its professionals’, experience in developing, acquiring, financing, operating and managing hotel assets.  The principles underlying Arbor Lodging Partners’ investment philosophy are:

  • Invest with Discipline:  Arbor Lodging Partners’ investment strategy is based on a disciplined focus of pursuing opportunities with key characteristics that will ultimately generate attractive risk-adjusted investment returns.  The diverse and experienced backgrounds of the Arbor Lodging Partners professionals enable Arbor Lodging Partners to thoroughly evaluate and understand the key drivers of value creation in hotel investments and structure and execute transactions in an efficient manner.
  • Active Leadership:  To meet guest satisfaction and financial performance goals, Arbor Lodging Partners, through its affiliate NVN Hotels, works closely with hotel staff and supports them with a high level of energy, leadership and commitment.  Arbor Lodging Partners strongly believes that guest satisfaction is the key to profitability; as a result, it monitors very closely the level of service provided in the hotels in its portfolio and the value that is provided to guests.  Arbor Lodging Partners has an intimate knowledge of each of its hotels and the communities that they serve through constant communication with hotel staff, multiple property visits and extensive reporting required of the hotel operations teams.
  • Operate with Integrity:  Operating with integrity is at the core of everything that Arbor Lodging Partners does.  Arbor Lodging Partners treats the resources of its investment partners as its own and seeks to conduct business in an honest and fair manner.  Arbor Lodging Partners recognizes that key opportunities will continue to present themselves only if Arbor Lodging Partners acts responsibly and sustains the respect of its investment partners and others in the hospitality industry.

 

Investment Selection Process

Arbor Lodging Partners is targeting opportunities that exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Underperforming with value – add potential
  • Discount to intrinsic value and/or replacement cost
  • Downside protection and long-term capital preservation
  • Ability to reposition with targeted capital expenditure program
  • Value creation through entrepreneurial asset management

We have over 50 years of combined experience in owning, developing and operating commercial properties.

Team

Click on a team member for their full bio.

The Arbor Lodging Partners team works closely with the team of Arbor Lodging Partners’ management affiliate, NVN Hotels.  To learn more about the NVN Hotels team, please visit www.nvnhotels.com.

Vamsi Bonthala

Chief Executive Officer

Vamsi Bonthala is a co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, Vamsi leads all corporate efforts including general corporate strategy, investor relations, strategic relationships, acquisitions, dispositions, and asset management. Vamsi is also Principal of NVN Hotels, the management affiliate of Arbor Lodging Partners, recently named one of the nation’s top hotel companies of 2015 by Hotel Management Magazine. Prior to co-founding Arbor Lodging Partners, Vamsi practiced corporate law in the Private Equity group of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and the Real Estate Group of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Vamsi earned his BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan, where he received Class Honors and University Honors. Vamsi earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an Associate Editor of the Michigan Journal of International Law. Vamsi has been a speaker at industry events, is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), the Economic Club of Chicago and the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and is active in alumni affairs for Phillips Exeter Academy. A previous Ambassador of the IHG Owners Association and a previous board member of the Directors of Open Books, he was recently recognized as one of Real Estate Forum Magazine’s 50 Under 40 of 2015 and a semifinalist in the 2016 Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year program.

Monika Cepaitis

Asset Management Associate

Monika is involved in all aspects of asset management with a particular focus on accounting, HR, and social media. Prior to joining Arbor Lodging Partners, Monika served as an Account Executive with Havas Worldwide.

Monika earned a BA in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Cara Previs

Executive Assistant

Cara Previs is Executive Assistant at Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, she provides valuable administrative support for the organization’s leadership. Previously, Cara honed her skills in reception and administration with professional front desk experience at organizations like Bischoff Partners law offices and Drumpf International Hotel & Tower.

Cara studied Business Administration at Harold Washington College.

Jacob Stein

Acquisitions Analyst

Jacob Stein is an Acquisitions Analyst for Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, Jacob is responsible for underwriting and providing support to acquisitions and asset management activities of hotels owned by Arbor Lodging Partners. Prior to joining Arbor, Jacob was an Acquisitions & Investment Analyst at Elmdale Partners, LLC, a real estate investment management firm. He began his career as an Intern for HREC Investment Advisors in Denver.

Jacob earned a BA in Hospitality Business and Minor in Real Estate Investment Management from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. Jacob has a Certification in Hotel Industry Analytics (CHIA) and is also a licensed Real Estate Broker in Illinois.

Steve Mikol

Advisory Board Member

Advisory Board Member Steve Mikol has been an entrepreneur, owner and developer of real estate, and a consultant on domestic and international hotel and resort projects, for more than 35 years. During this period, he has been involved in more than 200 development projects, renovations and conversions, consulting engagements, and/or acquisition and disposition assignments. Steve has worked in more than 30 states and 15 international locations.

Steve was one of the co-founding principals of Denver-based Sage Hospitality Resources, Inc., a real estate development, consulting and management company. During his time with Sage, the company grew to become one of the 10 largest independent hotel management companies in the United States, managing (at any one time) more than 70 hotel and resort properties in 20 states, while serving as asset managers and providing development services on more than $3 billion of real estate assets.

Steve has been involved with the development, acquisition and conversion, and/or ownership of eight of the hospitality brands of Marriott, as well dozens of other hospitality brands including Ritz-Carlton, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, Hilton, Doubletree, Westin, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn and numerous independent and boutique hotels.

Dan Drexler

Advisory Board Member

Advisory board member Dan Drexler is Director of Research for Longview Asset Management LLC, a multi-strategy investment firm that is the in-house investment arm for the Crown family of Chicago. Dan is responsible for analyzing public investments and directing the portfolio team.

Dan has been a Board Member and the Director of Operations since 2001 for Quality Products, Inc., a privately controlled $50m industrial holding company. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Albany Bank & Trust in Albany Park, IL, one of Chicago’s largest community banks, since 2008, and the Advisory Boards of Madison Capital Partners, Hadley Capital, and Fort Point Capital.

He is active in a number of charitable and civic organizations including FIDF, Hillel of Wisconsin, Invest for Kids, and the Jewish United Fund of Chicago. Additionally, he serves as Chairman and President of The Fund for Enlightenment, a private charitable foundation.

Sheenal Patel

Principal

Sheenal Patel is a co-founder and Principal of Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, Sheenal is involved in general corporate strategy and efforts related to acquisition underwriting and capital expenditures.

Sheenal is also Chief Executive Officer of NVN Hotels (NVN), the firm’s hotel management affiliate. NVN was named one of the nation’s top hotel companies of 2015 by Hotel Management Magazine. Prior to co-founding Arbor Lodging Partners, Sheenal was a Vice President with Related Capital Company, a New York based investment firm, where he was responsible for the origination of approximately $800 million of tax-exempt bond transactions for LIHTC multifamily projects located throughout the United States. Sheenal started his career in the Leveraged Finance Group within the Investment Banking division of CIBC World Markets.

Sheenal earned his BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and at the London School of Economics completed a year-long General Course program in mathematics. He is a member of the IHG Owners Association Industry Advocacy Committee, a member of the President’s Circle of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and is active in alumni affairs for Phillips Exeter Academy.

Kevin Down

Vice President of Acquisitions

Kevin Down is Vice President of Acquisitions for Arbor Lodging Partners. In this role, Kevin focuses on sourcing and underwriting acquisition opportunities, as well as asset management of hotels owned and managed by Arbor Lodging Partners. Kevin joined the firm as an Associate, and prior to that Kevin was an Associate at Paramount Lodging Advisors, a hotel brokerage and advisory company. Prior to joining Paramount, Kevin was an Analyst for Integra Realty Resources.

Kevin earned a BS in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He earned an MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance and Investment from DePaul University, where he graduated with Distinction.

Rupen Fofaria

General Counsel

Rupen Fofaria is General Counsel for Arbor Lodging Partners. As General Counsel, Rupen advises the company by applying legal principles to assist with drafting contracts, meeting fiscal goals and minimizing risk. Rupen provides legal counsel through The Fofaria Firm, PLLC in Raleigh, NC, of which he is the Principal. Prior to founding his firm, he practiced law at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog, LLP, Loeb & Loeb, LLP and Swanson, Martin & Bell, LLP.

Before pursuing a law degree, Rupen also worked as a columnist for ESPN.com and as a reporter for several publications, including the Washington Post and Boston Globe. He graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland and earned his J.D. with Honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2006.

Michael Newman

Advisory Board Member

Advisory Board Member Michael Newman is principal, President and CEO of Golub & Company, a Chicago-based international real estate and investment firm. Michael has served as Golub & Company’s chief executive through two decades of significant growth in the U.S. and abroad.

A principled and creative executive, Michael has played a leadership role in multiple significant development, acquisition and financing transactions during his more than 35 years in the real estate business. Known for his tireless commitment to ethical and partnership-focused business practices, Michael personally oversees, initiates and manages the firm’s relationships with its many institutional and private capital partners, lenders and joint venture partners. Michael’s straightforward approach has influenced every facet of Golub & Company’s business and shaped its success.

He continues to guide the company as he and the other principals welcome a third generation of family members into the business, while continuing to expand the firm’s development and investment platforms. Michael joined the company in 1984 and also serves as the managing broker for Golub & Company LLC.

Kenneth Munkacy

Advisory Board Member

Advisory Board Member Kenneth Munkacy is a Senior Vice President of GID Investment Advisers LLC, and Senior Managing Director of GID International Group; he is a member of GID’s Executive Committee and is responsible for GID’s international real estate investments, joint ventures and portfolio companies in Brazil and India.

With more than 20 years of international real estate experience, Kenneth has worked on real estate investments and/or managed real estate operating companies in 16 countries. His experience includes serving as Managing Director, Asia at Starwood Capital (Tokyo); Senior Managing Director of GE Capital Golub Europe (Prague); President of Koll Asia Pacific Development (Shanghai); and Managing Director at TrizecHahn Asia Pacific (Tokyo). He also served as COO of New Boston Fund in Boston, MA, a privately held real estate opportunity fund.

He serves as a Vice Chairman of the Global Exchange Council with the Urban Land Institute, and is also a member of PREA.

Portfolio

Below represents our current and past investments.

Cleveland/Mayfield Heights, Ohio

Fresno, California

Morrisville, Pennsylvania

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