Leisure & Hospitality International 2018 - Volume 6, Issue 2 - 87
SHA M I N HO T E L S
couldn't immediately fix the complex's old boiler system,
so Shamin reached out and offered to house the residents
in a nearby hotel at no charge. "In my career - 40 years - I
have never heard of anybody putting up 60 people for free
for a month. That's just over the top. But that's the kind of
family I work for and I'm very lucky for having the honor of
working for them."
The compassion Shamin showed for the Creighton Court
residents comes directly from its founder. A first-generation
Indian immigrant, PC Amin purchased his first hotel in 1979.
In the nearly 40 years since, he's grown Shamin into the
largest hotel owner/operator in central Virginia and has expanded its footprint to Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and
Colorado. "His story is literally the American dream where he
built a company through his keen insight into locations, hotel
brands and changing traffic patterns," Yardis says.
Yardis joined the company 11 years ago and immediately realized the difference between Shamin and the larger
chains he had worked for in the past. "For PC, first and
foremost, it was about providing service to the guests and
getting customers for life."
The select-service market was a change of pace from
the full-service hotels he was used to, but Yardis quickly
realized the level of targeted service for a customer staying
in the smaller, less amenity-rich hotels was just as high. A
little Hampton Inn with 70 to 100 rooms could hit a RevPAR
(revenue per room available) index of 145, better than many
full-service hotels. "When I came on board I was aware that
there were select-service hotels out there but I had never
worked in one or stayed in one," he says. "To see one of
those was truly an eye-opener for me because I've been in
cities all around America for my career and never considered that type of hotel as a competitor."
The company was still relatively small with only 16 hotels
when Yardis came on board. Yardis' role was to put the
standards in place and solidify Shamin's operational footing
so that it could open and manage full-service hotels in the
upscale category with an eye toward consistency in the
product and service. Following those plans, Shamin has
grown to 53 hotels and 7,055 rooms. "It has been an exciting
decade," Yardis says.
unusual for the company to build a Homewood Suites next
to a Hampton Inn and for there to be a Holiday Inn across
the street. The approach also creates better economies of
scale since certain items can be purchased from the same
supplier and shared across multiple locations. Finally, the
proximity of the hotels makes them easier to manage since
executives can visit multiple locations on the same day.
The closeness of the hotels helps to foster open communication between hotel workers and Shamin's upper
management. "A housekeeper at a hotel can call the CEO by
his first name," Yardis claims.
The ease of that communication creates a culture where
the line between management and employee is blurred and
everyone feels more in tune with the company's direction
and success. "It's a very powerful concept to have people
engaged with their positions and taking ownership of their
respective responsibilities because at the end of the day we
all want to passionately serve the guests," Yardis says.
"Whatever the day or event is, you try to go out there and
help the team members create a memory where you really
touch somebody's heart," he adds.
Shamin's strategy has been to cluster its hotel brands
together in the same submarket to give customers a greater
variety of choice. "For the customers that are brand loyal,
they can choose the hotels they want," Yardis says. It's not
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