News Room

August 2019


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 27th, 2019

Eastern Hospitality Advisors Announces New Hires in Face of Executive Changes and Strengthening Business within WNY, Florida and Eastern U.S. Regions

BUFFALO, N.Y. August 27th, 2019 – Eastern Hospitality Advisors (EHA) is pleased to announce that since appointing Shane Vanstrom to CEO and Sam LaGambina to President in April, following long-time Founder and former CEO, Douglas Vanstrom’s retirement, the company has now welcomed eight new full-time hires. Among the new-hires is Kevin Hartwig, Procurement Manager, who now adds FF&E services backed by 20 years of experience. “EHA’s foundation of long-standing vendor relationships, combined with Kevin’s expert oversight offer our clientele exceptional, unsurpassed cost-savings and a one-stop shop service experience,” stated Sam LaGambina, President. Mr. Hartwig’s talent within EHA’s fit-out operations align with every client’s brand standards, for personalized results. The new-hires are symbolic of EHA’s combined strength to better serve the needs of customers within the Eastern United States market and to continue to build great things in the community.

Excellency through Projects, People and Leadership

Latest project wins include the $28 million mixed-use Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort, located in the Finger Lakes region of New York, Avid Hotel, a new $9.5 million midscale hotel brand by InterContinental Hotels Group, located in Revere, Massachusetts, a $9.6 million Hampton Inn, located in North Attleboro, Massachusetts, and several other projects spanning the northeast. “As we continue to expand our capabilities in the Western New York region and other markets within the eastern United States, it is imperative we attract and retain the industry’s top talent to best serve both our long-standing, new and future clients,” said Shane Vanstrom, CEO, Eastern Hospitality Advisors.

Eastern Hospitality Advisors has added the following members to its team:

  • Kevin Hartwig, Procurement Manager
  • Josh Rorrie, Superintendent
  • Will Richardson, Superintendent
  • Dave Lyons, Project Manager
  • Shawn Corneal, Project Manager
  • Stacey Bezon, Administrative Assistant
  • Lisa Kilian, Account Clerk
  • Kim Collignon, Marketing Manager
  • Mike Bezon, Field Superintendent

Shane Vanstrom has been with Eastern Hospitality Advisors, learning every facet of the business, since starting with EHA the day after he graduated from college 13 years ago. Sam LaGambina is a seasoned construction professional with nearly 30 years of experience, having worked in a leadership capacity for most of that time. He has worked for two of Buffalo, New York’s most prominent real estate development companies as well as for a notable real estate development/construction management company in Sarasota, Florida, and an ENR Top 100 specialty contractor. Sam will be celebrating his third anniversary with EHA this coming October.

This announcement comes with the successful culmination of a multiyear succession plan. Shane and Sam have worked closely with Douglas Vanstrom over the years. 2019 will be a significant year for EHA as it continues to position itself for the future, expanding their service model across several new markets within the United States.

Eastern Hospitality Advisors is a full-service commercial development company active in Western New York and throughout the Eastern United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, EHA offers turnkey hospitality contracting services. As the premier dedicated hotel construction concierge, with unmatched talent, dedicated passion and international cultural understanding to help clients build success in the hotel industry, EHA has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. EHA has been known for its expertise in commercial and hospitality development, as well as quick, quality turnaround, for over 30 years. For more information, please visit www.eha.us.com

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Kim Collignon, Marketing Manager
Eastern Hospitality Advisors
716.362.1220
kcollignon@eha.us.com


Eastern Hospitality Advisors wins $28M contract to complete Finger Lakes resort

By Jonathan D. Epstein, The Buffalo News
Published August 18, 2019 | Updated August 18, 2019

More than four years after work stalled on a new hotel and condominium resort in the Finger Lakes because of a lack of funding, the developer behind the project is moving forward with new financing in place, and hired Buffalo-based Eastern Hospitality Advisors to complete the $28 million job.

The commercial development and construction management firm, which specializes in hotel and hospitality projects, received a contract from developer Robert Murphy to complete the 197,000-square-foot Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort project, which has been delayed since 2015.

Located on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake, the five-story project will include 109 Hilton Tapestry hotel rooms on the first three floors, 44 condos on the top two floors, and a lower level with a restaurant, a wine-tasting room, a full-service spa, a fitness center, two meeting rooms and a banquet facility for large events and weddings. Also planned are an outdoor pool and hot tub, as well as a scenic outdoor venue.

The project came to a halt in 2015, but Murphy obtained a new $37 million bridge loan from Acres Capital earlier this year. Work is expected to take about a year to complete, with an opening expected in early summer 2020.


Source

Jonathan D. Epstein – Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers commercial and residential real estate and development. He has worked at The News since 2004.


Travel & Tourism

Eastern Hospitality takes over $28 million Finger Lakes hotel project

By James Fink  – Reporter, Buffalo Business First Aug 13, 2019

The long-stalled Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort project has been revived by a Buffalo-based hospitality development firm.

Eastern Hospitality Advisors is leading the $28 million development of a five-story, mixed-use building along the northern end of Canandaigua Lake. The shell of a structure has sat idle for years along the Ontario County waterfront.

Plans call for the 197,000-square-foot building to be anchored by a 109 room Hilton Tapestry hotel on three floors and 44 market-rate condominiums on the top two floors.

Also planned is a restaurant, wine tasting room, full service spa, fitness center, two meeting rooms, a banquet center.

Playing off its lakeside presence, the complex will also have an outdoor pool, hot tub and tents.

“The resort is an integral component to the long-term development plans of the Finger Lakes region,” said Sam LaGambina, Eastern Hospitality president and partner.  “The resort was designed keeping the Finger Lakes beauty in mind.”

LaGambina said he anticipates that the project will take approximately one year to complete, with the resort and hotel opening in early summer of 2020.


Source

James Fink covers real estate, commercial development and government for Buffalo Business First.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13th, 2019

Eastern Hospitality Advisors Offers Glimpse at Future of Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort; Completion Date

BUFFALO, N.Y. August 13th, 2019 – Eastern Hospitality Advisors was awarded a contract to complete the once stalled Canandaigua Finger Lakes Resort project with a construction value of $28 million. The highly anticipated Resort will be five stories, comprised of 109 Hilton Tapestry hotel rooms on the first three floors, 44 condominiums on the top two floors, and a lower level that presents a restaurant, a wine-tasting room – where guests can savor locally sourced wines, a full-service spa, and a fitness room. Additionally, the property maintains two meeting rooms, and a stunning banquet facility to host large events and weddings. The property showcases a scenic outdoor venue, complete with tents. There will also be a relaxing outdoor pool and hot tub for guests. The project spans 197,000 square feet and is appropriately situated on the north end of Canandaigua Lake.

“The Resort is an integral component to the long-term development plans of the Finger Lakes region. Our objective is to complete this destination complex on-time and within budget,” stated Sam LaGambina, President & Partner of Eastern Hospitality Advisors. “The Resort was designed keeping the Finger Lakes beauty in mind.” EHA anticipates that the project will take approximately one year to complete, with the resort and hotel opening in early summer of 2020.

Eastern Hospitality Advisors is a full-service commercial development company active in Western New York and throughout the Eastern United States. Headquartered in Buffalo, EHA offers turnkey hospitality contracting services. As the premier dedicated hotel construction concierge, with unmatched talent, dedicated passion and international cultural understanding to help clients build success in the hotel industry, EHA has been built on a foundation of trust, reputation, experience and financial stability. EHA has been known for its expertise in commercial and hospitality development, as well as quick, quality turnaround, for over 30 years. For more information, please visit easternhospitalityadvisors.com

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Kim Collignon, Marketing Manager
Eastern Hospitality Advisors
716.362.1220
kcollignon@eha.us.com


Eastern Hospitality Advisors Ranked as #9 for General Contractors in Book of Lists, 2019


ARCHIVES

2015-2018


Abandoned Dunlop offices on Grand Island could become hotel

By Jonathan D. Epstein, The Buffalo News
Published July 24, 2015

The long-vacant former Dunlop Tire Corp. headquarters building on Grand Island near the north I-190 bridges could be converted into a Holiday Inn Express – if the veteran hotel operator behind the plan can get tax breaks to help defray costs.

Jayesh Patel, CEO of Rudra Management and Rosewood Hotels, said he is considering a $5.3 million renovation of the derelict former office building into a limited-service hotel with 75 to 90 rooms, plus a breakfast bar area, lobby and two business meeting rooms.

Details are still in flux, and he stressed that the project is not yet definite, as there are “many components still in the works,” he said. Firmer plans may still be a month away, he said.

In particular, he said he intends to submit paperwork next month to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency seeking tax incentives or other assistance in reusing the neglected building at 2761 Long Road, widely viewed as an eyesore visible from the nearby interstate highway. Plans also would have to be filed and approved by the town of Grand Island.

“If they all get on board, then yes, we would like to bring life to this building,” Patel wrote in an email. Construction could begin by November and be completed within 10 months.

Patel bought the 72,600-square-foot building in January 2014 from James Metz’s JSJ Holdings, paying $850,000 to the owner of Beauty Pools in Lancaster. Metz had taken over the 28.8-acre property, then run-down and covered in grafitti, after repossessing it in a foreclosure from former partners who defaulted on a mortgage he held. Metz had planned to spend more than $2 million to restore the building and market it as Gateway Center, but those plans never succeeded.

The three-story white building with a slatted facade was the former North American headquarters of Dunlop Tire, but hasn’t been occupied since 1993. It was originally built in the 1960s for Hooker Chemical & Plastics Corp., but Dunlop took it over in the 1970s.

It includes large floor plates of 24,200 square feet each, plus an indoor parking garage, and had been marketed as either office space or an apartment conversion. Patel originally had said he expected a mixed-use project, with retail and offices on the first floor and residential space on the upper two. Significant work was expected just to fix environmental and infrastructure problems.

“We are pleased that the Patels look like they are interested in developing it,” said Grand Island Town Supervisor Mary Cooke. “It’s such an eyesore, and we are hoping that the Patels are the ones that can put it together.”

Eastern Hospitality Advisors of Buffalo, a hotel construction firm, has already been hired as the construction manager for the project. Douglas Vanstrom said the building’s exterior look will change. “It’s going to not really look like that,” he said. “It’s going to look more like you would expect to see a Holiday Inn Express look.”

Cooke said Patel’s firm has been working to remove asbestos from the building, a giant task given the building’s size. However, most of that work has been inside, so local residents and observers wouldn’t notice it from the outside. “It’s the nature of the beast,” she said. “A whole lot of time and money is being spent, but you don’t get to see results.”

She said designers representing Patel have approached town officials with some general site questions, but nothing specific regarding his plans.

“It’s such a prominent building. Everyone gets to see it, and it’s a source of consternation for many of our residents and visitors,” she said. “So I’m cautiously optimistic that this is going to turn out and be a very positive thing very soon.”

Patel’s firm now operates more than two dozen hotels in Western New York, Rochester, and Syracuse, as well as in Bradford, Pa., Georgia and Baltimore.

It’s also affiliated with four restaurants and lounges in Williamsville, Buffalo, Batavia and Hamburg.

Patel recently acquired the University Manor Inn and the Boulevard Inn, both in Amherst, and is proposing a four-story Hampton Inn on Camp Road in Hamburg, at the site of the Hideaway Bar & Restaurant and next to a Quality Inn and Super 8 at 5440 Camp Road.


Source

Jonathan D. Epstein – Jonathan Epstein is a business reporter at The Buffalo News, where he covers commercial and residential real estate and development. He has worked at The News since 2004.


Eastern Hospitality Advisors – Second-to-none Hospitality Construction Services in Buffalo, New York

Written by: Jeanee Dudley | Produced by: Joe Atwood, US Builders Review

Since 1984, the biggest names in hospitality have counted on Eastern Hospitality Advisors (EHA) of Buffalo, New York, for quality construction of hotels, motels and extended stay accommodations. Douglas Vanstrom founded the business more than 30 years ago as a commercial construction management operation. In 1985, the business picked up its first hotel project and has since grown, fostering a reputation for value and dependability.

For several years the business maintained a broad scope of work in the commercial sector before shifting focus to the hospitality market exclusively. EHA’s footprint has expanded to include projects across the U.S., though Vanstrom says work is still concentrated in the Northeast. With an additional office in Philadelphia, the company’s staff consists of 31 full-time employees.

“Because we specialize solely in hotels, we aren’t distracted by any other markets,” says Vanstrom. “We have become a household name in hospitality construction. We do our best to provide impeccable service and save money for our clients.”

A growing portfolio

The firm’s track record for quality construction has attracted major hospitality brands over the years. EHA has completed projects for Hilton, Howard Johnson, Best Western, LaQuinta, Holiday Inn, Marriott and other well-known chains of hotels and motels. With over 100 years of combined expertise and the resources to provide quality and value on a national scale, the company continues to expand its portfolio, reaching new markets and new brands on a regular basis.

EHA just finished the new Spring Hill Suites for Marriott in Bridgeport, West Virginia. This hotel project serves as a prototype for the chain. At four stories and 97 rooms, the 66,635-square-foot project was completed on a tight schedule – just under one year. Marriott, a repeat client of the firm, relied on EHA to turn around an efficient and successful project and saved $300,000 versus what the chain would have paid another contractor.

Another recent project for an important repeat client is the Hampton Inn in Niagara Falls, New York. The four-story, 79-room hotel was completed ahead of schedule and opened in June 2014. EHA was able to fast-track the project, reducing construction time by two months and saving the owner $394,000.The hotel received the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015.

EHA has a strong and growing backlog. Currently underway, the company is on-site at projects including a new Hampton Inn at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and another in Yonkers, New York. The firm is also launching an endeavor for Aloft, a growing airport hotel chain, and continues to serve its many repeat hospitality clients.

Steady, progressive growth

Vanstrom and his colleagues use traditional measures to gauge success – margins and sustainable growth are important indicators. “We also think about our success in terms of completed contracts and satisfied customers,” he says.  “We want to do what we set out to do, meet our projection and deliver a quality end product. Around 90 percent of our business comes from repeat customers, which is important in this market.”

The leadership team takes great pride in the company’s longevity. However, even after years of success and growth Vanstrom says his team faces different challenge every day. “There is so much to be done and so many engines to keep running,” he explains. “That’s what gets me excited to come to work every day.”

EHA has been able to grow and become a preferred builder for all the major flagship hotel chains. On regular basis, the business has excelled at addressing franchise changes and continuous updating and prototypes. Few contractors rival EHA in this kind of experience, which makes the company an ideal construction partner for major hotels.

Over the coming years, Vanstrom is looking forward to continued growth. “We are going to continue to raise the bar in what we are able to do and where we are able to go,” he explains. “Our company is one of the biggest in the country that is right on the cutting edge of all the changes that are going on in this industry. We don’t want to grow too quickly, but we are looking at steady, sustained growth over the next few years.”

By maintaining strong relationships with clients and keeping an up-to-date network of reliable, capable subcontractors, the company has a strong future. Eastern Hospitality Advisors will continue to provide leading service, quality construction and accountability to major hotel brands around the U.S. 


2011 Best places to work: Eastern Hospitality Advisors

By Brian Castner, Buffalo Spree Magazine

For a certain class of business travelers—road warriors racking up frequent flier miles and hotel points—brand loyalty trumps all. The major hotel chains have built their empires on offering consistent experiences across the country, familiarity providing comfort to those always in a new city. But who builds such hotels, notes the details, sets the feel, picks the right (not the almost-right) furnishings and finishes?

“The parent companies have stiff design criteria and standards,” says Doug Vanstrom, president of Eastern Hospitality Advisors, as we sit in his spacious office overlooking the corner of Delaware and North in downtown Buffalo. “Everything from the furniture [and] the look of the building [to] the signature items. … We work with all the brands: Holiday Inn, Hilton, Choice, Comfort, Marriott.”

EHA builds and renovates hotels, and that’s all they do. “We like to be hired at the inception, to work with lenders, the design team, the hotel brand, the local industrial development agency,” says Vanstrom. “We want to save our clients money through value engineering. We find the best way to solve each design challenge. Why run extra cable fiber if you don’t need to?”

This singular focus on hotels has paid off, as EHA is one of the biggest firms in the country specializing in such work, constructing Hamptons and Candlewoods from Massachusetts to California. How did a leader of the industry end up in Buffalo? “We love Buffalo,” Vanstrom tells me. “I’m from Jamestown, third generation in construction management. I built my first hotel in 1984. We love being downtown, and we love doing work here.”

That work includes a new Holiday Inn in Hamburg, a Best Western in Lackawanna, and a Hampton Inn in Niagara Falls. John Cleary, director of business development, is proudest of another project, four years in the making: “We just signed our contract with Fouad Bou-Jaude to help him turn a troubled property on Main Street near the Medical Campus into a Sleep Inn, with room to expand or add retail and office space. It will be a great fit for families of patients visiting their loved ones, and it’s a major investment in the area.”

The enthusiasm on display is not simply about hotels. Underneath the branding design criteria and other industry-specific jargon is old-fashioned pride in having done a job well, and this attitude pervades the small office of ten project managers, financial experts, and developers. Cleary raves about the computers and IT infrastructure, top-of-the-line gear normally reserved for exclusive graphic design firms. The company not only pays for full health insurance coverage but everyone’s dry cleaning as well—a small detail, though not overlooked by the employees in an industry where the size, shape, and location of each hotel room trash can is specified by the parent brand.

Such steps help build a tight knit office, but professionals require more. “They give us the freedom to work,” says Cleary. “No one is looking over your shoulder. As long as you do your job, and do it well, everyone is happy. The emphasis is on personal responsibility.”

And why shouldn’t a sense of trust be pervasive? Vanstrom works down the hall from his son, Shane, the executive vice president. Mariah Ireland, the director of finance, is one of Shane’s former classmates. “I met Mariah when she was in kindergarten,” says Doug Vanstrom. “This is a family.”

“I love working here,” Shane Vanstrom tells me in his office decorated with Sabres memorabilia. “Everyone here would want to go out and have a beer with each other at the same time. How many places can you say that about?”  


Source

Brian Castner normally writes about the outdoors for Buffalo Spree, but as a former travelling consultant, he’s pretty sure he has stayed in a couple of hotels built by EHA.