Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Sims

Andrew M. Sims

Chief Executive Officer, Sotherly Hotels

Andrew M. Sims is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Sotherly Hotels Inc., a position he has held since leading the company's initial public offering in 2004 as MHI Hospitality Corporation. Sotherly Hotels Inc. is a self-managed and self-administered lodging REIT focused on the acquisition, renovation, up-branding, and repositioning of upscale and upper-upscale full-service hotels in the Southern United States. The company's portfolio currently consists of investments in 12 hotel properties comprising 3,011 rooms. Before his tenure at Sotherly Hotels, Mr. Sims served as vice president of finance and development of MHI Hotels Services for seven years before serving as the company's president for nine years. During his time with MHI Hotels Services, he was instrumental to the purchase and renovation of several properties, including but not limited to the Hilton Wilmington Riverside in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the Shell Island Resort in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina - driving the company's significant growth throughout the 1990s. Mr. Sims is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, from which he holds a bachelor's degree in commerce. He currently serves as a director for Chesapeake Hospitality and previously served on the Franchise Advisory Board for Hilton Hotels. He resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he is involved in his local community as a former trustee and basketball coach for Walsingham Academy. Mr. Sims' work with Sotherly Hotels continues a family tradition in the hospitality industry that began with his father, Edgar Sims, Jr., over a half-century ago. Edgar Sims founded Maryland Hospitality Inc., later known as MHI Hotels Services, in 1957 with the purchase of the Royal Pine Motel in Columbia, Maryland.

Please visit http://www.sotherlyhotels.com for more information.

Mr. Sims can be contacted at 757-229-5648 or andrewsims@sotherlyhotels.com

Coming up in January 2020...

Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.