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 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.