We asked Brittain Resorts and Hotels’ CEO Matthew Brittain about where the company is heading, what advice he would give his younger self, and what he predicts for the hotel business. His answers are illuminating and inspiring!
Question: Matthew, given the evolving nature of the hospitality industry, do you see Brittain expanding into hospitality management in other Southern beach destinations like Panama City and Daytona?
Matthew Brittain: Great question. We’re deeply passionate about this business, and I can attest to the fact that opportunities are emerging for us in established markets. However, the dynamics of the condo market specifically have shifted. The emergence of platforms like VRBO and Airbnb has changed the game. Previously, condo owners found it challenging to match our marketing prowess, but these platforms have bridged the gap. That’s one of the reasons we are expanding into other types of hotel properties.
Question: Has there been a significant shift in the mindset of a vacation rental investor?
Matthew Brittain: Absolutely. On one hand, you have investors purely seeking returns, ready to shift their investment based on those returns. On the other, there are those who view their investments from a more personal lens, as a vacation spot. There is a barrier to entry given current construction costs in established markets, so we need to diversify.
Question: Considering your expertise, what is Brittain’s ideal property type for third-party management?
Matthew Brittain: Given our experience in managing complex resort settings – from gift shops, restaurants, and spas to condos – our sweet spot lies in complicated full-service hotels. Be it in the mountains of Tennessee or the beaches of Florida, we excel in managing and marketing properties, both independent and franchised, that have a lot of moving parts.
Question: What is something you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?
Matthew Brittain: I wish I had learned to listen earlier, to not be so proud of what I knew. I think that’s a healthy thing for all young people to have an urgent desire to express themselves, and there is nothing wrong with that. But I think I learned too late in life that other people have a lot to say, and you can learn more by listening than you can by giving your thoughts.
Question: What is a mistake you are glad to have made?
Matthew Brittain: If I had to reflect, majoring in English literature and moving to France might have seemed like mistakes initially. They didn’t directly align with a corporate path in the hotel business. However, now I value those experiences for the unique perspective they provided.
Question: Any predictions for the future of the hotel business?
Matthew Brittain: The hotel business has a longstanding history and a promising future, especially in the leisure sector. I’m very bullish on the idea that people are going to have more leisure time and ability to travel. While it’s hard to pinpoint specific changes or threats, I believe there will be more disruptors like Airbnb entering the scene, significantly altering the business landscape.
Brittain Resorts & Hotels (BRH) is a full-service hospitality management company providing multi-layered expertise in all disciplines of hotel and resort operations. Since 1943, BRH has been enriching the lives of its team members, guests, partners, and the communities they serve by providing exceptional guest experiences, a supportive work environment, and superior returns. With over 4,000 rooms, suites, and condos in the portfolio, the company currently operates 20 hotels and resorts and 40+ restaurants & bars within the United States.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Phone: (843) 282-7359