Monday, January 31, 2011


What weighs about the same as a fully loaded Boeing 747, requires 2 acres to park it, costs $10M, takes 10 months to construct and requires roughly 27,000 different things to be placed inside of it before it can take off?

You guessed it, a 100 room new construction Hotel Equities select service hotel.

When we built our first hotel, I was amazed to learn about all of the FF&E [furniture, fixtures and equipment] as well as other operating supplies and material that needed to be purchased and then placed into a new hotel before opening [I admit that I guessed at the number 27,000 but I bet I’m close]. I had managed numerous hotels, but my mind had been on operations of the existing asset and not on the attention to detail that is necessary to develop, construct and then open one.

Our first hotel was the Alpharetta, GA Fairfield Inn and Suites which opened on May 17, 1995. I remember that date well because May 17th is my oldest daughter Rachael’s birthday.

I recall my conversation with the General Contractor about how long it was going to take to build and how many rain days he had built into his assumptions. He said that it would take approximately 10 months to construct and that he had allowed for 29 “rain days” in his projections. We broke ground on July 1, 1994 and it proceeded to rain in Alpharetta for the next 29 days straight.

I thought at first that we had been jinxed, but have since come to learn that we had indeed been blessed. The FFI&S-Alpharetta has been one of Hotel Equities’ most successful hotels in corporate history. In fact, a number of our current Coaches and General Managers received their start with our company or have spent some time working at this great property. With an approximate employee to room count of I to 4 and a far lower than industry standard of management and associate turnover, this property has seen its share of talented hotel people.

Dolly Parton once said, “If you want to see a rainbow, you have to put up with some rain”.

I’m thankful for the rain.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Well it happened again. As hard as I tried to not get caught up in the commercialization of Christmas, I have to admit that I once again did. I don’t have a real good excuse especially since my wife Christine does most of the Christmas shopping. I did do a little better, but it was my goal this past year to be more intentional about enjoying each day leading up to the holiday while focusing on the true meaning of the season. It doesn’t help that the department stores begin advertising Christmas shortly after Halloween.

In 2011 I plan to do better. I’m going to try to focus more on our family traditions. One of which is the placement of the 29 cent star that has sat atop each Christmas tree since Christine and I were first married. Like most young couples we didn’t have a lot of money. I earned 77 cents an hour at my first job as a mail and information clerk at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. If you have been to our home during the holidays, perhaps you have seen the green and silver tin-foil star on top of the tree. Having survived six moves and untold packing and repacking abuses, the star has taken its share of dings. In fact it is now hard to get it to sit straight and so this year in particular it leaned hard right, similar to most of my drives in golf. In spite of its lackluster appearance, the star will be out this year as well, just like it has the past 43.

Another tradition we started a few years ago is the “ tree envelope gift drawing”. Here’s how it goes. Christine and I have six grandchildren, so we take six envelopes and fill them each with a different dollar denomination from one to one hundred. So, one lucky grandchild wins $100 while the others win 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 respectively. The kids choose numbers from 1 thru 6 out of a hat which determines the order in which they retrieve an envelope. This year our youngest grandson Jake won. You may have heard his shouts of joy. He did a good job of withstanding the harassing chants and offers to trade envelopes from his sister and cousins.

My grandfather used to say, “the older you get , the faster time goes by”. That never used to make sense as a kid, but it sure makes sense now. So, with that thought in mind, why don’t you join me this year in committing to be more intentional about Christmas. I know it seems a long way off but it will be here before you know it. And even faster for some of us, depending on our age.

Welcome to Fred Cerrone's Blog

Welcome to “Stuff Worth Sharing”! It is our hope that this blog will help you to know more about our Founder & Chairman, Fred Cerrone, as well as gain some insight into his vision and dreams for Hotel Equities. We welcome your feedback as well as any topics that you would like Fred to cover. Thanks for all you do to help make Hotel Equities a success!

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