New Member Spotlight: Hotel & Leisure Advisors

Featuring President David Sangree, MAI, CPA, ISHC

When and where was Hotel & Leisure Advisors started? Tell us about the history and about the team.
Hotel & Leisure Advisors (H&LA) is a consulting firm specializing in appraisals, feasibility studies, impact analyses, economic impact studies, and litigation support for a wide range of hospitality industries, including hotels, resorts, waterparks, golf courses, ski resorts, sports complexes, spa and wellness facilities, and much more. The company was founded in 2005 and has offices in Cleveland, Ohio, and San Antonio, Texas. We are a boutique firm with 12 employees. Our experienced consultants have analyzed and prepared studies on more than 3,000 properties throughout North America.

What is your history with Hotel & Leisure Advisors and your background?
I am the founder and president of H&LA. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. I am certified as a general real estate appraiser in eight states, I am certified as a public accountant in the state of Ohio, and I have earned the MAI designation as a certified appraiser and member of the Appraisal Institute. H&LA focuses exclusively on the hospitality industry and the needs of clients in the hotel and leisure real estate industry. I have a specialty practice in the waterpark industry and have completed more than 700 studies of various waterpark resorts since 1999. I am a recognized expert in the waterpark industry and was twice named to Aquatics International’s Power 25 list of the most influential aquatic professionals in the industry, most recently in 2019. I have also been recognized by the World Waterpark Association with an award in 2016.

Tell us in your words about the services H&LA provides.
Hotel & Leisure Advisors completes market & financial feasibility studies, appraisals, economic impact studies, and impact analyses for hospitality and leisure properties. We utilize our expertise in financial benchmarking and analysis and market research to produce thorough, reliable reports that empower our clients to make sound decisions with data-driven analysis and insightful recommendations.

What are the target markets for H&LA?
We serve a wide range of client types, including developers and investors, hotel companies, lenders, attorneys, government agencies, Native American tribes, and others.

Do you have any plans for partnerships with H&LA or expanding your offerings into different industries/markets?
H&LA specifically serves the hospitality and leisure market. That is where our expertise lies and where we will continue to make the most impact. This market, however, is continuously evolving and expanding, and H&LA has adapted to meet these changing dynamics. For example, we have completed projects within many new sectors, such as “experiential” entertainment, and growing sectors like mixed-use real estate developments that incorporate man-made beaches (Crystal Lagoons), inland surf parks, or sports complexes as their anchors tenants.

Does H&LA have memorable successes or big wins that you would like to share?
With over 3,000 projects completed, H&LA has many wins to celebrate. We appreciate the opportunities we’ve had to work with some of the biggest names in hospitality, including all major hotel brands, as well major waterpark and amusement parks such as Kalahari Resorts, Great Wolf Lodge, and Six Flags. In addition, it’s been rewarding to also advise and give assistance to smaller developers who make a true impact in their communities. H&LA has also been at the forefront of the waterpark industry over the years, most recently tracking the negative effects of the pandemic and sharing our research across the industry to the benefit of all.

What are some upcoming plans for H&LA?
Upcoming plans include seeing how the industry comes out of the pandemic and making sure we are here to support that effort with our expertise and analysis.

What is one thing people should know about H&LA that they may not know from the website?
H&LA is unique in that we are willing and able to take on the most complex hospitality and leisure-oriented projects out there, which not only speaks to our passion for the hospitality and leisure industry, but also to our ability to adapt and find new ways to bring our knowledge to those who need it most.

How and why did H&LA come to become an SFIA member? Share how you heard about us and your experiences.
Over the years, H&LA has increasingly taken on projects that have sports and fitness components. We have come to rely on SFIA’s research reports for overall “state of the industry” trend figures as well as single-sport participation data. We have come to recognize the benefits that come from being a member, including various reports, industry news via SFIA News, and more.

How do you see H&LA services and expertise benefitting the SFIA community?
H&LA has a great deal of experience conducting studies for current and proposed sports and leisure facilities, including campgrounds, golf courses, aquatic centers, surf parks, and indoor and outdoor sports complexes. We welcome the opportunity to connect with SFIA members looking for expert advice and consulting services within the sports industry real estate sector.

Learn more about Hotel & Leisure Advisors here: https://hladvisors.com/

SFIA is the leading global trade association in the sports & fitness industry. SFIA is the #1 source for sport & fitness research. More info at www.sfia.org.