|The National Conference Center is poised for a revamp from LaKota Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality management company specializing in turning around under-performing hotels, resorts, and conference centers. - Courtesy Photo|
The National Conference Center in Lansdowne has been acquired by NCC PS Enterprises, LLC, a venture between PCCP, LLC, a California-based investment firm and Stoneleigh Capital, LLC, a Connecticut-based private equity investment company.
“We are very excited about the future of the National Conference Center,” said Frank D. Palmer, managing director of Stoneleigh Capital, LLC. “We’re looking forward to completing a program of capital improvements that are proposed to enhance the guest experience.”
NCC PS signed Stoneleigh Asset Management, LLC to take over operations of the facility.
Stoneleigh Asset Management, along with LaKota Hotels & Resorts, will take over the conference center and West Belmont catering from ARAMARK effective May 16, and "will immediately begin the operational upgrade of all aspects of the property."
Stoneleigh and LaKota Hotels and Resorts will also take over all aspects of the marketing of the project.
One shortcoming of the conference center has been its hotel facilities, which have not met the needs of many executives. The new owners are expected to address the problem.
LaKota Hotels and Resorts approach is to reposition properties like the National Conference Center as high end, full service hospitality operations, according to their website.
The National Conference Center has had financial issues in recent years as a result of federal cutbacks for meetings caused by sequestration.
By marketing the space to a wider audience the hopes are that the facility can capture a high demand for conference facilities around Washington D.C.
“We look forward to quickly addressing capital improvements and implementing a targeted customer communication campaign,” explained Sam Haigh, president and CEO of LaKota Hotels & Resorts. “We are confident that these initiatives will significantly enhance the guest experience."
Possible the greatest change will be a redesign of the kitchen operation and the servery.
LaKota plans to brighten up the venue with new carpet, paint and signage according to Haigh, but "there will not be a major shift in the amenities offered."
All employees with the exception of a few senior executives will remain in place and have the option to join the new team.
Haigh said he plans for it to be a "seamless transition."
Expect more spending in the area of marketing, advertising and sales also.
The facility currently has 917 guest rooms and a catering destination.
The National Ballroom, which is one of the largest event spaces in the area, has been host to many Chamber of Commerce proceedings, various networking events and at the end of the month is slated to host the United States Cybercrime Conference.