Appointments & Promotions

AJ Capital Partners Names Clay Thelen as Chief Financial Officer

CHICAGO, IL. May 1, 2017 – AJ Capital Partners announced today the hire of a new member to its executive team. Clay Thelen joins the team as Chief Financial Officer, with a specific focus on capital markets.

“Clay is an exciting addition for our Company,” said Eric Hassberger, COO of AJ Capital Partners. “Clay's extensive knowledge and experience in the capital markets and lodging industry make him an ideal fit for the AJ Capital and Graduate Hotels team.”

Prior to joining AJ Capital Partners, Clay was Vice President, Capital Markets, Acquisitions, and Treasurer at Strategic Hotels & Resorts (SHR) where he led the capital markets, financial planning and analysis, and treasury functions. Additionally, in his time at SHR, Clay directly participated in the company’s hotel acquisition and disposition activity as well as its transition from being publicly traded to privately held. Clay began his career as a CPA in the risk advisory and audit practices at Ernst & Young, LLP.

About AJ Capital Partners

Adventurous Journeys Capital Partners, based in Chicago, is an accomplished team of hospitality and real estate investors whose innate passion is to create a one-of-a kind portfolio of timeless assets. The counter-culture investors acquire, design and develop transformative real estate throughout the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In fall 2014, AJ Capital Partners launched the Graduate Hotels brand. AJ Capital Partners continues to grow its portfolio of lodging investments, firmly establishing the group as visionary leaders in the lifestyle-driven investment industry. For more information on AJ Capital Partners, please visit www.ajcpt.com.

Contact:
Meg Connolly
meg@mcc-pr.com
212-505-8200

Coming Up In The June Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Sales & Marketing: Who Owns the Guest?
Hotels and OTAs are, by necessity, joined at the hip and locked in a symbiotic relationship that is uneasy at best. Hotels require the marketing presence that OTAs offer and of course, OTAs guest’s email when it sends guest information to a hotel, effectively allowing OTAs to maintain “ownership” of the guest. Without ready access to guest need hotel product to offer their online customers. But recently, several OTAs have decided to no longer share a data, hotels are severely constrained from marketing directly to a guest which allows them to capture repeat business – the lowest cost and highest value travelers. Hotels also require this data to effectively market to previous guests, so ownership of this data will be a significant factor as hotels and OTAs move forward. Another issue is the increasing shift to mobile travel bookings. Mobile will account for more than half of all online travel bookings next year, and 78.6% of them will use their smartphone to make those reservations. As a result, hotels must have a robust mobile marketing plan in place, which means responsive design, one-click booking, and location technology. Another important mobile marketing element is a “Click-to-Call” feature. According to a recent Google survey, 68% of hotel guests report that it is extremely/very important to be able to call a hotel during the purchase phase, and 58% are very likely to call a hotel if the capability is available in a smartphone search. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.