Simon, Kramer Form Paramount Hotel Group

FAIRFIELD, NJ? Paramount Hotel Group, a new venture specializing in acquisition, new construction and management contracts, has been formed by David Simon and Ethan Kramer, both former top executives at Prime Hospitality Corp. Simon, who was Prime?s chairman/CEO for seven years, is CEO of the new organization. Kramer, who headed up the real estate team at Prime for the past five years, is Paramount?s president. ?We?re very excited about it. It?s a great time to be in the industry and we see a lot of opportunities to acquire hotels in certain markets as well as for management contracts,? Simon said. Simon reported that Paramount is looking at three sites for new development in Virginia, Pennsylvania and on Long Island, NY. ?We?re also working with an institutional client to buy and manage a portfolio of hotels,? he said. Paramount has not signed any management contracts yet. Noting that the company was only formed a month ago, Simon said, ?we have a solid management team and they are out there meeting with potential clients.? In describing Paramount?s niche in the industry, Simon said, ?On the development side, it will be the middle to upper limited service segment such as Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Garden Inn.? As far as management contracts, he said Paramount will manage properties in all segments, from limited service to resort. The company will concentrate its efforts in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region from Boston to Washington, D.C., according to Simon. ?We?ll be in markets where there are high barriers to entry because we have the relationships with lenders to get the financing we need and have sources of equity,? he said. By the end of the year, Simon expects Paramount to have three or four hotels in the ground. ?And we could have anywhere from three or four to 25 management contracts,? he said, adding Paramount may own a percentage of some of the properties it manages. Simon also announced two senior executive appointments. Stephen Siegel has been named senior vp/construction and Peter Marino is senior vp/operations. Prior to joining Paramount, Siegel was vp/construction for Prime Hospitality and Marino was responsible for the operations of Prime?s portfolio of hotels.