FITZPATRICK GETS ITS IRISH UP

Hotelier John Fitzpatrick loathes over-the-top displays of Irish pride — profusions of shiny shamrocks and gallons of ghastly green beer make him cringe. The CEO of Fitzpatrick US Hotel Group prefers a more subtle display of his heritage, (his family owns hotels in Ireland) and his four U.S. hotels reflect that philosophy, both in design and operations. Fitzpatrick currently owns and manages two hotels in New York, The Fitzpatrick Manhattan and Fitzpatrick Grand Central, and operates a third under a long-term contract. The group also owns and manages a fourth hotel in Chicago, at E. Superior Street.

The day Fitzpatrick spoke with Lodging Hospitality, his company announced plans to add a fifth property to its portfolio, a 250-room hotel to be built on 29th Street and 6th Avenue in the fashionable West Side district of Manhattan. The hotel, slated to open in 2009, will form the centerpiece of a $500-million mixed commercial and residential development by J D Carlisle Development Corp. Fitzpatrick will manage and operate the hotel, which is being purchased by an investor group.

Defined by upscale décor and unpretentious service, Irish-influenced furnishings and traditions, Fitzpatrick hotel guestrooms feature traditional touches like Irish canopy beds, oversized umbrellas and Irish chocolates and mineral water, and modern amenities including Wi-fi high-speed Internet access, multiple phones and generous work desks.

Business is booming, reports Fitzpatrick, especially for its New York properties. Fitzpatrick marveled at the average daily rates they're achieving: “We're getting from $380 to $400 per room a night, which is fantastic.”

The company is looking at other development opportunities on the East Coast, including Washington D.C. and Boston.

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