AJ Capital Partners Acquires 112-Key Hilton Garden Inn Across From University of Tennessee

USA, Knoxville, Tennessee. June 11, 2019

Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners announced today that it has acquired the Hilton Garden Inn on Cumberland Avenue across from the University of Tennessee. The hotel will operate independently as The Volunteer Hotel prior to and during renovations, which will begin in December 2019. Once complete in spring 2020, the 112-key hotel will debut as Graduate Knoxville, part of the Graduate Hotels® collection.

Saloon 16, opening in partnership with University of Tennessee graduate and former NFL quarterback, Peyton Manning, will bring a western-inspired, high-end watering hole to Graduate Knoxville. The name was inspired by Manning's nickname "The Sheriff" and his UT football number 16. The vintage saloon will boast a refined, yet old-school, experience including a jukebox, dart board, live piano and outdoor dining.

Positioned along The Strip, the main-drag connecting downtown Knoxville to the University of Tennessee, Graduate Knoxville will be located on Cumberland Avenue, just steps from campus and the Fort Sanders neighborhood and close proximity to Neyland Stadium. Nestled along the Tennessee River and the nearby Great Smokey Mountains, Graduate Knoxville will offer access to both the city's rich cultural and outdoor offerings.

Created for travelers who seek memory-making journeys, Graduate Hotels is a thoughtfully crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most dynamic university-anchored cities across the country. Each property celebrates and commemorates the optimistic energy of its community while offering an extended retreat to places that often play host to the most memorable days of our lives. There are currently 14 Graduate Hotels open and operating across the U.S. and an additional 17 properties under development and slated to open by the end of 2020.

"Since the inception of Graduate Hotels, it has been a goal of ours to bring a property to Knoxville," said Ben Weprin, Founder and CEO of AJ Capital Partners. "While each Graduate hotel is distinct and personal, this project hits especially close to home."

The hotel will undergo a comprehensive renovation that will touch all guestrooms and common spaces, including the conversion of the existing meeting and event space, as well as the addition of the forthcoming Saloon 16 and Poindexter coffee shop.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.