Mar 19, 2019

Episode 13

Avi Brosh, CEO, Paligroup


Paligroup‘s Avi Brosh took a lot of chances in real estate, development, and eventually hospitality, where he’s found his niche creating boutique properties that speak to their location with an authentic, purpose-driven approach. As he expands outside of his native Los Angeles to Seattle, San Francisco, and Miami, Brosh is redefining what hotels can be. “I just know what I like,” he says. “I have no idea what the rules are. Therefore, I don’t know if I’m breaking any rules when I’m making these spaces.”

This episode is brought to you by Global Allies. For more information, go to


Stacy Shoemaker Rauen: Hi, I’m Stacy Shoemaker Rauen, editor in chief at Hospitality Design magazine with HD‘s What I’ve Learned podcast. Today, I chatted with Paligroup’s Avi Brosh, who started his own residential development company at the young age of 30. When a client noticed if he added a restaurant and lobby, he’d have the perfect hotel, he decided to try his hand at hospitality, opening his first property in 2008. Since then, he has launched multiple Pali locations throughout LA and is expanding to Miami, Seattle, and San Francisco. His success lies in the fact that he is involved in every aspect of the design, listening to his intuition to create hyperlocal experiences.

SSR: Hi, I’m here with Avi Brosh from the Palisociety. It’s so nice to have you here. Thanks for joining us in New York.

Avi Brosh: Thanks for having me here today.

SSR: Tell us a little bit about you. How did you get your beginnings in your career? Where did you grow up?

AB: I’m originally from Bergen County, New Jersey. I had the opportunity to go to school in Boston. When I graduated school, I didn’t have a lot of direction about what I wanted to do, so when I was in college, I had met a girl from Southern California. I followed her out to the West Coast and that’s how I actually got to Southern California, which was in 1988. That’s how I got out to California. I didn’t have any skills. I didn’t have any real point of view about what I was going to do other than I knew I was interested in fashion, design, people, and places and things. I didn’t know what my outlet would be for that. But just through happenstance, I ended up getting a job working for a real estate developer as just a gofer. That’s how I got into the real estate business. Through the real estate business and being in the development business is how I actually segued into the lodging business.

SSR: Growing up, did you have any memories of going to hotels or any influence that now looking back you’re, like, oh, well this makes sense?

AB: Yeah, definitely. My parents are European, so growing up, we did a lot of traveling. My dad’s business was very international, so we would go and spend big chunks of time traveling all over Europe. I got an opportunity at a young age to see so many different hotels and restaurants, both at the very high end and also at the very low end. I definitely got a sense for what it meant to stay at different kinds of places, and going to eat at different kinds of restaurants, and be around different kinds of people. Although I didn’t know it at the time, but it had a lasting impression on me. Also, the other thing that I think was impressionable on me growing up was that at around age 9 or 10, my parents moved to a house that had a 10-stall horse barn. I got involved in the whole equestrian world right around 10 years old. That is a completely different world in it of itself. It’s a certain culture that goes along with that. I did that for a long time until I went to college. It made a big impression on me primarily because it just gives you a glimpse into how rich horse people live and what that understated wealth is all about. Again, I wasn’t paying attention to it in a way where I was thinking that they were going to translate into anything, but it gives you a look into just the different ways that people are. All those things, all those experiences, have an impact on what I do today and how I do it.

SSR: Do you still ride today?

AB: I don’t ride anymore. I did it up until I went to college. I actually had to make a conscious decision about whether I was going to continue riding or go to school because it’s one of those sports. It’s like any sports at a high level. It requires so much time and so much effort. I was ready to move on and do something else.

SSR: What did you study in school?

AB: I got my degree in business management, but the reality is that what was important about my college career was that I went to school in Boston. Just living in a city and being able to take advantage of everything that a city has to offer suited me. I studied how to use a city and how to get around a city, where to go, how to do it. The other thing about being in college, which was so great, was finding like-minded people. When you come from a small town in New Jersey, it’s a pretty small little group of people, and so you’re not sure what else is out there. By being in a pretty big school and a big city like that, you’re able to find other people that had similar interests, which was great.

SSR: And follow one to Southern California.

AB: And follow one to Southern California. Exactly.

SSR: You’re in Southern California, you’re working for a real estate development company. What are you doing?

AB: I started just doing a little bit of everything, and I just got lucky because it suited me, building buildings, and marketing. This particular developer did residential apartments. Just getting involved in everything. I was involved in the acquisition side and the construction management side and the marketing. Anything I could get my hands in, I was just doing. I was ambitious, and I wasn’t stuck up about doing anything. I just took to it quickly.

SSR: How did you end up transitioning into hotels and starting your own company?

AB: It’s a long story, but I think to make a long story short, I worked for other people for about 10 years, and I cut my teeth in production home building, of all things. I went from there and worked for a home builder. When I was working for the home builder, again, I started at the very bottom, but worked my way up. I was ambitious and I had a lot of desire to succeed. While I was working for this home builder, I was steering a lot of the new stuff that we were doing into the more urban markets, from more suburban markets to more urban markets. Right at around age 30, I started my own company. My own company was developing urban residential projects. What my specialty was, or the things that I was known for was I was doing bespoke, high design, boutique residential buildings in Southern California and San Francisco. I grew the company to be actually a pretty big company.

The way that I got into hotels was that I was in one of my buildings that I had just recently completed, and we would do the model units. After a while, the work that I was doing was getting more and more design forward, meaning we were designing plumbing fixtures, we were designing lighting fixtures. I was just trying to create an all encompassing vision as much as I could that I was delivering to our customers. Then we got into a position where we were actually even doing the model units to help portray the point of view of the project. One day I was in the project. I think we were opening. I was just walking around and there was a young couple in the unit. They were talking amongst themselves about how great it was. One of them says, ‘You know, if this building had a little lobby in it and a little restaurant, it would be the best hotel.’

A light switch went off in my head at that point. I had done a lot in the residential space. I developed a couple million square feet of residential projects by that point, all over Southern California and Northern California. I was just ready for a new challenge. That was the inflection point where I started to think to myself, ‘Well, maybe I could do my version of a hotel.’ I had no idea what that meant, but that was the beginning of the idea. Not too long after that, I acquired a piece of property that eventually became my first hotel, which is the Palihouse in West Hollywood. Within three years after that, I opened my first hotel, and that’s how I got into it.

SSR: It’s amazing. Sorry, so many questions off of that. What did you learn launching your own company at 30?

AB: I was a ambitious person, I worked hard. I was very fortunate because the company that I had worked with gave me a lot of latitude to do lots of different things. I proved myself, but I was much more interested in doing the work than making money. I was not focused on how much salary I was making or what my benefits were or anything else like that. That was an afterthought for me. What I was more interested in is developing my own projects.

When I was working for this other company they in essence allowed me, by the end of my tenure there, I was developing my own projects within the company. When I started my own company, I had enough experience to do that. Even though I was young, I didn’t have fear, I knew that I could do it. My only fear was I was always the youngest guy in the room, and so on some level, I always felt like I had to overcompensate for that. The early days were very exciting, and I tried to do it in a way where I thought was the smartest way that I could. I think that the first five years of that experience was a very steep learning curve.

SSR: When you acquired this property and you turned it into your first hotel, talk about how it came from an idea to an actual [hotel].

AB: My premise was this, I was going to do the exact same building, for the most part that I had been building for the last five years, which are these boutique-style residential buildings that I think had a very high standard of design already. My premise was if I furnished those units, and then I would have a hotel that was a little bit more of a residential-style hotel that that in it of itself I thought was a good idea. I didn’t know what that meant, I didn’t understand the hotel vernacular, I didn’t understand about the food and beverage component, which I decided I was going do myself as well, and I also didn’t know how to design interiors.

But what I did have was a strong conviction, I had a strong point of view, and I wasn’t scared, and I thought that I could figure it out. I brought some people on early days to help me figure it out, people from the hotel space that I hired to work within the company. Keep in mind, we were also doing that one hotel, but our core business was still the residential development business. I was doing both.

I brought some people in to help me figure out some of the basics. We collaborated with a bunch of different people, and I did it with some guidance from some people that had done it before. I think what I learned a lot about that process is how not to do it, I think more than how to do it. But I think I was fortunate because when we opened the property, it was just a success from day one, and that this whole idea of a urban pied-à-terre, upscale, extended stay type model with a proprietor-driven aesthetic and point of view hadn’t been done in Los Angeles. We just hit the market, even though it was a terrible time. We opened January of 2008, which it could not have been worse. But I’m sitting here today because the product was needed. I just poured my heart and soul into making sure it was a success. It took a while to figure it out, but that was hotel number one.

SSR: And the name. Tell us a little about how the name came about?

AB: When I started my own company, I lived in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Just out of haste I called the company Palisades Development Group. Palisades Development Group turned into Paligroup, which turned into Palihouse, which turned into Palihotel, which turned into Palisociety. That was the progression. A lot of people think there was something more mysterious behind it but it was a completely obvious choice.

SSR: Sometimes it’s just that simple.

AB: It’s that simple.

SSR: All right, so you open the worst time ever, 2008. What do you do next? It’s an instant success or do you take some time to figure it out?

AB: I was doing things at the same time. I opened this hotel, and on one hand we were having a lot of success with a very particular customer base, both on the hotel side and on the food and beverage side. At the same time, I was, I don’t know what the right word is, cleaning up a lot of issues from just the fact that we had all these projects all over that we had to clean up, and just right size the company and doing a lot of stuff that everyone else was doing during this down turn. On one hand, it was a challenging, challenging time, and took a lot of time to just work through a lot of issues on a lot of other projects. At the same time, try and ride the success of what was happening over on the hotel.

I took a couple of years to unwind the entire development side of my business, and at the same time, learn the hotel business because I didn’t know it that well. All the people I had hired to help me grow the lodging side of the business were no longer a part of the company. There was just not a lot of anything more to do in 2008, 2009, 2010. It was very quiet. I defacto went in and ran that hotel and learned the business. I learned it from the ground up. It was a lifesaver for me because it allowed me to focus on something positive that was happening, as opposed to all the other negative things that were happening out there in the world, on the financial side.

Right around that time, I had this opportunity to acquire another property about a mile away, which was originally an old senior home that had been converted into a hostel. It was a very tired property and just in terrible shape. But it was incredibly well located, and it was small. I thought that I needed something new to do, and so I had the opportunity to acquire that property. At the end of 2011, beginning of 2012, we opened Palihotel, which was essentially the non-suited version of Palihouse. I did it with no partners and I did it completely on my own. I wasn’t even sure it was going to work because the world was so upside down. Things were coming out of it. I think travel was starting to pick up, and people were feeling a little bit better about things. But still, I was gun-shy about whether it was even going to be a success or not. But I was fortunate. I cobbled together the capital, and we opened our doors. We sold out the first night. It’s just been a runaway success ever since that. That was good for the soul.

I realized through that process that my station in life at this point was not to have a big development vertical, a big development platform, but to maybe focus more on the lodging space because I seemed to have a knack for it. I enjoyed it more. It just seemed like a good next step for me in terms of my career to focus on growing a brand, as opposed to the bricks-and-mortar part of the business. That was 2012. Through the success of that, one thing leads to the next. We acquired the property, which is now Palihouse Santa Monica. I got approached to actually be just the operator of that project. Someone was taking a run at acquiring the property to come up for sale, and contacted me and said, ‘Hey, I think this would be a great Palihouse.’ I was so flattered that someone actually thought I could repeat that property again. It didn’t dawn on me that maybe there was the beginning of a brand there.

We worked out an arrangement that we would come in and be the operator. Through some good fortune, through the process, I got invited to be part of the sponsorship group there, part of the ownership group, as we went through the financing process. He actually, this particular gentleman, we ended up becoming partners actually on the project. We opened that, and we acquired the building at the end of 2012. Six months later, we opened Palihouse Santa Monica. Again, right away, right out the gate, it was just a huge success. After that property opened, I had the opportunity to now have a three-hotel platform. That allowed me to create a little more scale, hire some more capable executives within the company, and I think also allowed us to think about going forward, and what that looked like and to do it within the confines of this bonafide brand at this point.

SSR: Why do you think they resonated so well? What do you think it is about your hotels, or the location, or what do you do that you think sets you apart from others?

AB: Early days, I thought that what we were doing was just that the places were fairly well presented and fairly well run. It was just the need for a hotel product. But what I started to figure out was that, and what was unique about the product is that it was not at all designed by committee at all. This was 100 percent an expression of what I was thinking about at that time. It was very proprietor-driven. I think people, by experiencing the hotel, were getting a piece of me. They were understanding a little bit about my personality and what I was presenting. I think that there’s a real tactile, very independent spirit behind what it is that was being delivered. I think that to me, I’ve learned now over time, is a big part of the ingredients and big part of the value proposition, on top of just the basics of creating a good space and creating a good value and being in a good location. But if you want to make an emotional connection, I think people want to feel understood, or they want to feel like they understand what it is that you’re presenting and bringing to the table.

SSR: For those that haven’t stayed in one of your hotels, if you check out the February issue of HD, you can see it, but they’re eclectic and you use color and they feel residential. How would you describe them?

AB: I think that what I would say is I am not a classically trained designer by any means. I just know what I like and so I have no idea what the rules are. Therefore, I don’t know if I’m breaking any rules when I’m making these spaces. The hallmark of what I do is I like to take things that are from different time periods, or aren’t necessarily meant to go together. Again, just thinking back on being inspired by the things that I experienced in my childhood, to me the spaces that I do are very layered. They tell a story. Each property has a lot of things in them and about them that shouldn’t be together, but when they are put together make sense.

There’s definitely a residential sensibility about them. They do feel like they could be someone’s house or someone’s apartment. I think I’m very inspired the direction that I tend to go with the stories I tell myself when I’m putting these places together. I am thinking much more about the way a place feels as opposed to the way that it looks. I’m not designing in a way where I’m hyper-focused on fabrics matching or the floor matching the walls, and those things. I’m trying very hard to make somewhat counterintuitive choices in terms of what’s going on and trying to tie them together. There’s a tension in all these spaces that is juxtaposed with a real level of comfort and welcoming and warmth because they do have a residential sensibility about them.

SSR: Do you do it all obviously in-house?

AB: I do all the design in-house. I have my own studio, have a couple of architects on staff, and some designers, and some procurement people, because we do all our own procurement in-house as well. They’re able to take this idea that I have and put it on paper, and to execute, and give it a structure by which we can do an actual hotel and buy 100 beds and 100 mattresses and 100 blankets, and all these other things that we’re doing that you have to do in scale. We do all the interior architecture. We actually produce a complete set of interior architectural plans that get submitted and become a part of the built project’s architects plan, and then those plans are incorporated and given to whoever the construction team is.

We are involved in the entire process obviously because of our development background. We’re accretive to the entire process. We understand all of these partners that we have all over the country that are developing these projects are great collaborators because we understand. We can get into a room and understand exactly what’s going on, whether it’s how to deal the fire and life safety issues, and how to make those look the best, how to deal with budgets, timelines, and a lot to times the lender relationships and so on. Because of my background, I just am able to talk that talk.

SSR: I love how you said it, it’s about making a place where people feel good and feel like they want to be there. I think a lot of that has to do with bringing in the community and the locality. I know that’s important to you as well. How do you go about doing that, especially in multiple hotels in one city?

AB: One of the things about Los Angeles, and I’ve been living there a long time now. One of the things, we’re going to have six hotels in Los Angeles. But of the six hotels, I think the largest is 55 rooms. But the thing about Los Angeles, which is interesting, that has changed a lot is that when I first moved to LA in the late ’80s, Los Angeles in a lot of ways was a big blob. Now LA has these very specific and identifiable neighborhoods. Venice is different from Brentwood is different from Westwood is different from Beverly Hills is different from Hollywood is different from Silver Lake is different from Culver City. They all have their own identities now. My goal in Los Angeles and all the other markets that we’re in is to create that neighborhood’s local inn, for lack of a better word. What I want to be is the lodging choice for what the locals champion.

I try and make it a local hub. People who live in the neighborhood, when they have friends or family, or what have you, come into town, we’re their go-to place where they feel prideful of recommending for them to stay. We’ll meet you for brunch at the Palihotel in Culver City. We love that hotel. It’s a great value, cool design, the people are nice, and it’s right down the street from the house, so it’s almost like staying at our guest house. In every market that we’re in, in LA, and/or Miami Beach, or Seattle, or Portland, or San Francisco, we’re just trying to create that experience. To create that, we view every market as hyperlocal. People, a lot of times think about a city like Los Angeles, for example, or even Seattle as being Seattle. Therefore, you have to take all of that into consideration. But my point of view is I think about it hyperlocal, who values that neighborhood and why, what is it about it that is authentic? I just put my spin on what that is.

I try not to do something where it’s too on the nose, where if you’re doing a hotel at the beach that you have surfboards on the wall. That, to me, is not the way to portray what’s going on. The way that I think about it is if we’re doing a hotel, again, since I’m into layering spaces, I think about if that was somebody’s home, or apartment, or their clubhouse, and they were there for a very long time, they collected things over time, some of the things had a lot of sentimental value, they had a club chair that they inherited from their grandfather, they bought a new sofa, but they still had their trophy from second grade baseball. What are these things that they’ve collected over time? Every market that I’m in, I have a story about who that person is, or who that family is, or who that tribe of people are, and what was valuable to them. Every space that you go in, there’s a little bit of a story there about that layering.

SSR: Does that come from you going and just researching? What’s your process like? How do you find that person or that story to craft the hotel around?

AB: I think goes again back to just having had a lot of experience traveling and being in a lot of places. You learn to pick up on what’s happening in a place quickly. When I travel now, even to this day, I like to just not necessarily have too much of a game plan. I like to go, and go out the door, and turn left. I think that a lot of it is just trying to get a feel quickly, and having a short hand about what’s valuable in a neighborhood.

Of course, doing hotels in Los Angeles where I have deep local knowledge, it’s easy for me to understand what separates things. But if you go to San Francisco, we’re in Union Square. We’re going to be opening in Union Square. You can get a good sense for what Union Square is about from a micro perspective, and what San Francisco is about from a macro perspective. I think you can bring that home with you and create a tool kit for how to do a hotel based on that. The same for Miami Beach and all these other places. I think I pick up quickly on how to do that, and I think I do a pretty good job at translating that into the space.

But I think also on some level, the people in the local areas, and also the travelers that are coming to the hotel are relying on me to interpret it in my own way. I think that even if you’re doing a hotel in an area that has a very specific personality, I still want to bring with it the spirit that I bring to all the hotels, and to curate it and bring my taste level to it, because I think people respond well to that, and so I try not to pander too much to a location. I try and be more about being very welcoming to the locals.

SSR: You mentioned Miami, Seattle, San Francisco. You’ve left LA, you’re now growing. How do you pick the right location? Is it cities that you just had your eye on, or locations you’ve had your eye on, or is it more these opportunities have come to you, which happened when you first were starting out?

AB: These projects find me, for the most part. Early days, you have to make your own opportunities. I was fortunate that having had a successful track record in the residential development world, I was able to use that platform of success to open my first hotel or two. I had to make my own opportunities. But subsequent to that, most of the things do come my way. I look at a lot of different things. I say no to a lot more to than I say yes. What I’m looking for are locations, buildings, areas where there’s two criteria. One is a) can I make a difference in the market? For example, in Seattle, I think we have the coolest hotel in Seattle. I think that I was going to be able to create something very special there. Great hotel market and I thought we could do something special. Every market that we’re in, I am looking to do something.

In contrast, like New York City for example, which was a dream hotel location, but there are so many amazing hotels here in New York, amazing hoteliers that I respect immensely. If we came here, as great as I think we might do, it’s just we’re going to be one of many. The things that I look at going forward are to go into locations where I feel like we could do something unique. That’s number one. Number two is I have to like the people I’m collaborating with. When I was younger in my career, sometimes you do projects with people that you’re not sure about, but you do it. You have to try a lot of different people on for size and to see who you meld with. Now it’s clear to me on the people that I like to collaborate with. Every project that I’m on now, every hotel that we’re involved with are people that I genuinely respect, and like collaborating with, and they have a good sense of humor and they appreciate the work that we do and vice versa. Those are the two criteria that I have.

SSR: You said that you’ve broken rules, that you’ve figured it out your own way. What have you figured out now that you have a portfolio of hotels? What works, what doesn’t work, what have been some interesting lessons along the way that has helped you create this brand?

AB: I touched on this earlier. The thing that doesn’t work for me is to not listen to my intuition and my gut. Early days, people were saying, ‘Well, you know, in hotels, this is the way you have to do it because of whatever reason,’ or, ‘This is how you have to furnish a room,’ or, ‘This is how you have to run a restaurant,’  or, ‘This is the way you have to handle certain areas.; On the placemaking side, those I learned doesn’t work, at least not for me. What works for me is to listen to my own personal intuition, my gut, my eye. The story that I have in my head about how to make these places is something I stay very steadfast to now. I have a lot of faith in the story that I’m trying to tell. Those are things that work and don’t work.

The other thing that works is I believe very strongly in backing up all the pretty stuff with a sound team and a sound process systems protocol. That’s something that I work on and have worked on very hard because you can have the best ideas in the world, but if you can’t deliver results, you’re not going to get far. A lot of the work that I do is math oriented too, and you got to get the math right if you want to keep doing projects. I think that what I’ve learned also is that you have to do a good job operating these hotels in order to keep doing it. We’ve have found a great formula for running smaller keyed hotels. We have an interesting way of doing it. I think we’re best in class in that area. That’s our lane. Everything we’re doing going forward fits into that slot.

SSR: Is that just being more efficient or better on the guest service?

AB: I think we focus on systemizing what we’re doing in a way. The platform overall is a limited-service platform. It takes a little bit of the strain off the system in that we don’t necessarily need doormen, or turn down service, or some of these other things that some of the more bespoke hotels do. We lean heavily on the protocols of how we do things. That is something that’s very important. But what we do is focus a lot on personalized guest experiences. I think through technology today and the size of our hotels, we’re able to get to know the guests a lot more. It’s much more of a personal experience. We try and hire personality over necessarily experience on the property side, and try and give people a nice experience if we can and allow, on the corporate oversight basis, for all of our core technical systems to be covered so we can free people up to give people a good experience.

SSR: I always ask this question to most people that come in. There’s all the success and everything that comes with being here, interviewed, and us covering you and everything. Is there been one failure that you’ve learned from that you moved on because we always think you can learn more from a failure than you do success.

AB:  I think that there’s a continuous series of failures. When I say that, I mean when you’re building a company, and you’re building a team, and you have so many humans that you interact with, whether they’re your customers or your staff. Since I don’t come from a classic hotel background, you have to have a very high threshold for pain, and anguish, and mistakes, and trying to make it right. I wouldn’t say there’s one massive failure, but there’s been a lot of setbacks. The guest doesn’t experience them, but just anytime you’re building a team, we make mistakes. I think that what I’ve learned is to not take it so personally. I used to take it very personally, early days. If someone had a bad experience, I would just take that to heart, but now you can’t please everybody. Stuff happens that rally is outside of your control. But we do a good job now on guest recovery. That’s just as important in our business as anything else. I think that a lot of people will remember how well you do guest recovery, perhaps more than when they have a good experience.

Look, it hasn’t always been a bowl of cherries. When you’re a small, local, regional hotel operator running small hotels, all kinds of stuff happens, and you have to be able to bounce back from those, learn from those mistakes and move forward. It is definitely character building for sure. But that’s just part of the process, you have to be willing to go through that. If you’re not, then this is not the business for you.

SSR: What’s next? What’s next for Paligroup, for you? Where do you see your company headed?

AB: I’m fascinated by this idea of continuing to build local neighborhood hotels. I think you can scale it and maintain the integrity of the process. We’re going to probably announce three or four new projects in 2019 that are outside of California, that are continuing this idea of creating highly hyperlocal hotels with our spin on it. The other thing that we’re doing now, which I think is interesting, is primarily our product, our hotels are either a Palihouse brand, which is our suited product, or Palihotel, which is our more traditional transient product. But we’re starting to do some independent part of our platform where the Pali is not the leading brand. They still will live on our platform, they’ll still be part of the group, we’ll still be curating every part of the experience, and they’ll be tied into the entire customer base. But we’re starting to do stuff where it’s not branded, Pali this or that.

For example, we’re opening a hotel in Silver Lake called the Silver Lake Pool and Inn. We’re going to open a hotel in Portland, which will also not be Pali forward in terms of its branding. I think that what’s interesting about that is there’s some markets and some locations where a fully actualized, fully defined brand perhaps doesn’t make sense. Silver Lake, for example, I think even though it’ll still have all the values, and the culture, and the systems that we bring to the table, I think that market will respond well to something that feels even more hyperlocal, and is not about some brand plopping down in their location. Sometimes it’s not appropriate.

I’m excited about that also, as part of our overall platform. Even though I would say 90 percent of the work that we’ll do going forward, it will be Palisociety branded. There will be some instances where we’re going to have more independent branded stuff as part of the platform. I’m excited about that too.

SSR: Has your customer grown or changed since you started 11 years ago?

AB: I think on some level it has changed. I think that when I first opened Palihouse in West Hollywood, the hotel offering itself was a little esoteric. What I mean by that, I was extended stay. It was primarily a entertainment-driven customer base. It turned out, and it still continues to turn out, to be primarily a business hotel. People in the entertainment business use it, not only on the lodging side, but also in the common spaces. But I think what I’ve been able to accomplish over the last 10 years is democratize the product a little bit more and make it much more open. Even though I think we can still deliver a lot of street credibility, in terms of the design, the vibe, the spirit, the music, the uniforms, the graphics, and all the things that we do, I think for me it’s important to open it up to as many customers as possible. In that way, it’s changed, it’s morphed. I think going forward, I want to continue to offer a great value, I want to democratize design, good design, and allow people to not get designed out of spaces, and they feel comfortable being in there, and absorbing whatever it is that’s valuable to them in the space. If some people take a look at a light fixture and be like, ‘Wow, that is so cool,’ so people in the design fields or people that like design can take pleasure in that specific item. Or people that are not at all, they can just go in a space and say, ‘Wow, this feels good. I’m comfortable here.’ That’s my goal going forward.

SSR: Well, we can’t wait to see what you do next. Thank you so much for being here. It was such a pleasure.

AB: Thank you.