OTO Celebrates 15-Year Milestone

May 17, 2019 | Development

OTO Development, part of The Johnson Group, celebrated a significant milestone in the Spring of 2019. The Spartanburg-based hotel development and hospitality management company has been building excellence – in partnership with the Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt brands – since May 2004.

“What a privilege, to reach our 15-year anniversary with the same enthusiasm and ambition – maybe more – that we felt on Day 1,” says Corry Oakes, President/CEO of OTO Development. “This company is thriving, thanks to the commitment of our employees, our brand partners and our investors. As we continue growing our portfolio of ‘excellent hotels and exceptional people,’ I’m eager for every opportunity the next 15 years will bring.”

Much of the OTO team had previously worked together to create, grow and then ultimately sell Extended Stay America, a company that opened 475 hotels in 42 states before being purchased for $3 billion by Blackstone Group in what was the largest public-to-private transaction in South Carolina history.

OTO opened the very day the ESA deal closed, says Oakes, “and it’s been a race ever since.”

The company’s first project was a 110-room Hampton Inn in Cypress, California; overall, OTO has developed 72 hotels throughout the country. Five more projects are currently under construction in New York, Maryland, Washington DC and California, while 11 additional sites are in the entitlement process or under negotiation. Total development investment thus far is $2.6 billion.

OTO was in business only one short year before earning its first development award, and the company has enjoyed steady industry recognition ever since. OTO has been honored as Developer of the Year by all major brand partners – some more than once – in addition to a variety of accolades recognizing environmental stewardship, community service, guest service/satisfaction, and revenue success. Prominent recognition for operations includes twice winning Marriott’s Partnership Circle Award, the brand’s top honor accorded to less than 1% of franchisees.

Another measure of success is OTO Development’s long-running streak on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. After earning a spot for six consecutive years, OTO was added to the Inc. 5000 Honor Roll. Last month, OTO was ranked the 19th largest hospitality management company in the United States, based on gross annual revenue.

As part of The Johnson Group, OTO Development’s business strategy is based on a set of shared Guiding Principles – integrity, partnership, humility, principled entrepreneurship, initiative and fulfillment – that apply at every level of the organization. These Principles serve as a framework for making decisions and taking actions to create value for team members, partners, customers and communities, which ultimately leads to a stronger company culture and better business performance.

OTO by the Numbers: 15 Facts from 15 Years (click here to watch the video)

  • OTO Development launched on May 11, 2004 with 11 employees; there are 2,118 team members today.
  • OTO has developed 72 hotels since 2004; currently there are 5 projects under construction plus 11 sites in entitlement or under negotiation.
  • Our 1st project was Hampton Inn Cypress in California; we’ve since opened 26 more hotels in the Golden State with another 2 on the way.
  • Total investment thus far is $2.6 billion.
  • Stacked one upon the other, OTO hotels would be ~1.5 miles tall.
  • We’ve poured 100,000 cubic yards of concrete into our projects – enough to build a 3’-wide sidewalk from AC Hotel Spartanburg to AC Hotel Times Square.
  • OTO hotels incorporate 2,400+ miles of pipe – enough to stretch from our corporate headquarters in Spartanburg SC to our satellite office in El Segundo CA.
  • Our portfolio includes the #1 RevPAR performer in 4 brands: Courtyard by Marriott, AC Hotel by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn AND Hampton by Hilton.
  • Committed to sustainable construction, OTO has certified 19 LEED/LEED Silver hotels.
  • We are the 19th largest hospitality management company in the United States, based on gross annual revenue.
  • OTO earned a spot in the Hall of Fame after a 6-year streak on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America.
  • OTO was in business 1 year before earning our first development award; we recently earned 2 consecutive Developer of the Year awards from 2 major brands.
  • We are among the select 1% of franchisees to earn Marriott’s Partnership Circle Award.
  • OTO builds careers as well as hotels: 40% of management positions were promoted-from-within.
  • 6 Guiding Principles inform all our actions: integrity, partnership, humility, principled entrepreneurship, initiative and fulfillment.

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