Hotel Development and Management Group's News & Articles

Powerman Coming to Ocala!

August 30, 2016

On December 11th 2016, Silver Springs State Park will have the privilege of hosting this amazing competition. This event is only one of three that will qualify for Powerman International. What exactly is the Powerman Competition and what does it consist of? As stated on their website, “Powerman North America was created to give runners, cyclists, triathletes and duathletes a first class duathlon racing experience.” It is a highly intensive competition that even pushes the best of athletes! They have hosted races for over 30 years in 19 different countries. What these incredible athletes will endure: 1.      10K Multi-loop Foot Race 2.      70K Bike Ride 3.      10K Multi-loop Foot Race What is the prize for competing in this race? Well, the fastest five women and five men, as well as five from each age of 14 age groups will have the opportunity to compete in Switzerland at the annual Powerman World Championship. How incredible is that? Oh, but that’s not it, there...

Ending the Progression of Poverty

May 11, 2016 Ending the Progression of Poverty

Our very own Azim Saju, Vice President and General Counsel for HDG Hotels was featured in an article for Home Business Magazine. He had the opportunity to share his thoughts on how we can change the cycle of poverty and how the franchise business model changed his family’s life for the good. Azim believes that the franchise business model is a way of living to your fullest potential. As you read in the article, it holds true that because of the Saju's perseverance, risk taking, hard work, and life lessons, Azim and his brother Navroz Saju, President and CEO of HDG Hotels would not be the leaders and business owners they are today. In the article Azim explains that it is the job of both the employers and the government to reduce poverty; however, there needs to be a balance of the two. If the employee has the opportunity to advance, the assistance programs must be willing to encourage the advancement instead of feeding contentment. Azim is always proactive in finding new...

Comfort Suites Soft Opening

January 14, 2016 Comfort Suites Soft Opening

January 12th 2016 was a day of celebration for HDG Hotels. We held our soft opening for our brand new Comfort Suites in Dunnellon, Florida.We were able to give tours of our beautiful location that is coming together perfectly. Our Comfort Suites is a 71 unit eco-friendly, all suites hotel. Why build a hotel in Dunnellon, Florida? Well, we have seen the charm it holds. We believe in helping other small businesses grow and what better way than to add a fantastic place for our travelers to rest their head at night? This hotel will create 91 jobs for those in the area. It will also increase the regional output by $11,400, and increase the earnings by an estimated $3,340,000. At the soft opening we had the privilege to have Mr. Steve Joyce, President and CEO of Choice Hotels not only attend but share his thoughts about our company and where we are going in the future. HDG also had the honor to have Mayor Whitt share his excitement about the opportunity that our Comfort Suites will...

HDG RETREAT

December 15, 2015 HDG RETREAT

​December 12th 2015 marks the first ever HDG retreat. This was a chance for all eleven hotels to join together for some friendly competition. We met midday to see who was going to walk away champion of HDG Hotels. Each hotel had to endure four different relay races. The races consisted of Hoola Hoop Worm Relay, Pipe Line Relay, Frisbee Relay, and Water Balloon Toss Relay. The winner of each race then battled in the finals to see who would triumph over all. Holiday Inn Express in Inverness took home the 1st place ribbon and trophy with enthusiasm and excitement. They walked in confident, and committed, and left a champion. Once we discovered the winner, we decided to have one more challenge before dinner. We played Tug O War. This event was competitive and fun. There were hotels teaming up to battle others out of pure joy, laughter, and the desire to win just one more time. After all the festivities were done, there was an opportunity to join together as a family to end the...

Orlando Sentinel - Joint Employer Standard Could Hurt Small Businesses

December 15, 2015 Orlando Sentinel - Joint Employer Standard Could Hurt Small Businesses

Dec. 5, 2015Guest Column by Azim SajuI recently traveled to Washington to discuss a development that would result in a dramatically negative impact to the small-businesses community throughout Florida. The National Labor Relations Board just ruled in a landmark case that a company is now considered a "joint employer" when it uses specialized services and administers any level of indirect control over contracted employees.In other words, if my company — HDG Hotels in North Central Florida — hires a custodial service to clean our facility, or security guards to safeguard our business after-hours, HDG could now be held liable for the vendor's labor practices. A new piece of legislation, the Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act, would reverse this harmful decision and help small business owners like me keep growing and creating jobs.HDG Hotels is a family owned and locally run business with 12 hotels in North Central Florida and about 300 of its own employees. We work hard to...

Ocala Star Banner - Development Group HDG Undergoing Flurry of Expansion

December 15, 2015 Ocala Star Banner - Development Group HDG Undergoing Flurry of Expansion

​By Richard AnguianoBusiness editorPublished: Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 6:30 a.m.Last Modified: Friday, July 24, 2015 at 4:13 p.m.It’s an especially busy time for Hotel Development & Management Group.The Marion County company has begun construction on Comfort Suites Dunnellon, a 71-suite hotel slated for a Dec. 1 opening.The firm also known as HDG Hotels bought two hotels this month: the Comfort Inn at Stetson University in DeLand on July 1, as well as the Holiday Inn Express in Tavares on Wednesday.If that weren’t enough, the company is renovating the Howard Johnson Inn on Northwest Blitchton Road that marked the Saju family’s entry into the hotel business in 1981.“Between the projects we’re doing, we’re very confident we’re going to create well over 100 jobs within the community,” said Azim Saju, HDG vice president and general counsel.Comfort Suites Dunnellon is being built to cater to “out-of-town ecotourism enthusiasts” drawn to the Dunnellon/Rainbow...

HDG Announces Development of Comfort Suites Dunnellon near Rainbow Springs State Park

November 23, 2015 HDG Announces Development of Comfort Suites Dunnellon near Rainbow Springs State Park

Ocala, FL - November 3, 2014: Hotel Development and Management Group (HDG Hotels) announced this week that it will be developing a 70 unit eco-friendly, all suites hotel in Dunnellon, Florida. In announcing the project, Navroz Saju, President and CEO citing an economic impact study done on the project, stated that, "the project will create 91 total jobs within the region, increase regional output by $11,382.04 and increase regional earnings by $3,342,188." Saju further stated that this type of economic impact cannot occur in smaller communities without the efforts of the City of Dunnellon, Marion County, the Marion County Chamber Economic Partnership and Tourism Development Council all of whom are instrumental partners in Marion County's continued development. The Comfort Suites will be green friendly and the green initiatives it will take will help reduce the hotel's carbon footprint. Saju stated that in an area and an economy that is so dependent on ecotourism and whose natural...

Leadership in the New Normal

November 23, 2015 Leadership in the New Normal

In a world that is increasingly connected (cell phones, email, texting, social media, twitter, etc.), leadership and relationships are the key ingredients to a successful organization. As we go into the new year, I believe that both are more important than ever in keeping your team engaged and motivated. There are a few common traits that successful leaders share which are applicable to our industry.These traits are:1. Strengths Based. If you can identify your team members' strengths and develop them in an area where they are able to showcase their strengths, this will allow you to keep your team happier, more productive and reduce turnover. For example, I have had housekeepers who were very reliable and had great character, but even after significant training, they were not able to timely clean their rooms. I discovered that often times the reason for this was that they were doing much more of a deep clean on their assigned rooms. As such, reassigning these same housekeepers to...

Built to Last

November 23, 2015 Built to Last

At HDG Hotels, our philosophy can be summed up by one word which is "sustainable". The word sustainable has taken on new meaning and importance as it relates to worldwide efforts to sustain our environment. We believe in sustainable as it relates to this concept. This belief has translated to our hotels in terms of an effective preventative maintenance program so that our equipment and machinery is running efficiently. We have also installed exterior LED lighting throughout most of our hotels and are now in the process of doing so in our hotels' interior lighting.This belief has also translated in our view towards our people, product and processes. We view each of these as long term investments in which we need to reasonably invest so that we can expect a return on investment which is sustainable. During our Holiday parties at our hotels, Navroz described these segments as buckets which need to be filled. If we do not fill the buckets of people, product and processes by making...

HDG HOTELS’ Consistent Execution on the Basics Pay Dividends

November 23, 2015 HDG HOTELS’ Consistent Execution on the Basics Pay Dividends

Ocala, September 25, 2013: HDG Hotels' philosophy of brilliance in the basics continues to pay dividends in the third quarter of 2013. Notably, the September 2013 issue of Hotel Management Magazine, which is the leading hospitality news authority since 1875, ranked HDG Hotels as among the 190 Top Hotel Management Companies in the entire Americas. In addition to this distinction, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites OcalaSilver Springs won its second consecutive "Torchbearer Award." The InterContinental Hotels Group bestows its prestigious "Torchbearer Award" to the top 2% percent of its Holiday Inn Express hotels in North America. HDG's other Holiday Inn property, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Inverness-Lecanto also won Inter-Continental Hotels Group's prestigious "Quality Excellence Award." The Award is given to the top 5% of Holiday Inn Express' in North America. Both IHG awards are the result of achieving the highest levels of excellence in all aspects of hotel...

The DNA of a Successful Leader

November 23, 2015 The DNA of a Successful Leader

Over the past many years, I have had the privilege of knowing some great leaders who have been bold and visionary, starting with our own company's President, Navroz Saju. Through these leaders and through watching and reading about organizations that have been successful and sustainable, I have developed what I believe to be the DNA of a successful leader. In no particular order of importance, I believe them to be as set forth below.1. Resilience pays. Every organization that is ambitious will face their fair share of challenges regardless of the character, cash, plan and execution. As the saying goes, life happens and things do not always go as planned. This is when resilience really kicks in. Resilience allows the leader to keep fighting and survive while making adjustments and waiting for the tide to change. Winston Churchill's quote of "Never, never, never give up" epitomizes this.2. The ship can only have one captain, and that captain must be rich in character. Every...

HDG Hotels Partners’ Summit

November 23, 2015 HDG Hotels Partners’ Summit

Hernando, FL – On August 14, 2013, HDG Hotels hosted a Partners' Summit. The event was a tremendous success. The attendee list included representatives from Choice Hotels International, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Wyndham worldwide along with local area state congressional representatives and county commissioners.In his Keynote address, Navroz Saju, HDG President and CEO, discussed the Saju family's history in the U.S. and the history of HDG hotels through a series of several stories. Notably, in his speech Saju discussed HDG core values and the values needed for HDG to continue to thrive in the new normal.These values included:100% customer satisfaction guaranteeCreative and innovative marketingWin-win partnershipsConsistent brilliance in the basicsBeing a student in of the industrySustainability mattersMobile mediaRapid execution on merit based ideasOne degree improvement makes all the differenceHDG continues to be especially appreciative of its many partners and...

HDG Hotels in Southern Travel & Lifestyles Magazine

May 15, 2015 HDG Hotels in Southern Travel & Lifestyles Magazine

Southern Travel & Lifestyle MagazineJuly, 2013A premier leisure travel magazine in the southeast, Southern Travel & Lifestyle Magazine, featured a 2-page spread on HDG Hotels.  Read the article here or a synopsis below.HDG Hotels in Southern Travel & Lifestyle MagazineOcala, FL., July, 2013 — Starting on the 1st of July and running for the next 3 months, HDG Hotels will be featured in Southern Travel & Lifestyle Magazine.  The 2-page spread features a 0ne page write-up on how that Saju family came to enter the hospitality industry, what values and practices led them to create HDG Hotels, and the momentum that has driven them to grow the company from one Howard Johnson Inn a decade ago to nine hotels which now span Florida’s Space Coast all the way to the Gulf Coast.  The second page of the spread shows the individual hotels and what amenities they offer.   To find out more, please visit the article by click here.

Azim Saju in Franchising World Magazine

May 15, 2015 Azim Saju in Franchising World Magazine

Franchising World MagazineApril, 2013Azim Saju of HDG Hotels provides valuable insights on financing your business venture.  Read the Article HereAzim Saju, principle of HDG Hotels and president of the Choice Hotels Owners Council, in Franchising World MagazineOcala, FL., April, 2013  — Azim Saju, one of two brothers who founded Ocala-based HDG Hotels, was recently invited to write an article on franchise financing and lending for the well-known business magazine Franchising World.  His article, “Obtaining Financing so You Can Advance Your Growth Strategy,” outlines eight tips for how to best gain the financing that you need to pursue your business venture.  These tips include:Considering if you should pursue a Franchise Vs. a Non-Franchise business modelGathering your businesses financial history including all statements and appraisalsPutting together a coherent plan outlining the use of the monies to be lentMaintaining character and credibility through honest...

HDG Hotels finishes year with a bang… Here we grow AGAIN!!!!

May 15, 2015 HDG Hotels finishes year with a bang… Here we grow AGAIN!!!!

Ocala, FL – November 20, 2012 – HDG hotels has added yet another hotel to its portfolio which is now at 9 hotels and in excess of 800 hotel rooms.  Just last month, HDG hotels added the 150 room Quality Inn and Conference Center in New Port Richey, Florida.  This time HDG hotels in partnership with the Florida Business Investment Group (FBIG) based out of Orlando purchased the Citrus Hills Lodge in Hernando, Florida.  The Lodge will be reflagged to the Quality Inn Conference Center at Citrus Hills.  The fifty unit hotel also offers over 3,000 square feet worth of meeting/banquet facilities.When asked about this newest addition to the HDG portfolio, HDG President, Navroz Saju spoke of the “tremendous personnel and procedures HDG has developed which has allowed it to expand.” Saju further spoke of the tremendous culture at HDG which allows it to continue to operate hotels that are award winning and significantly outperform their competitive set.  Saju further spoke of his...

Azim Saju elected as Choice Hotels Owners’ Council Chairperson for 2013

May 15, 2015 Azim Saju elected as Choice Hotels Owners’ Council Chairperson for 2013

November 7, 2012 – Albuquerque, New Mexico – Azim Saju was elected as the Chairperson for the Choice Hotels Owners’ Council for 2013. His election platform focused on developing a win-win relationship with all of the organization’s stakeholders; focusing on those issues which can be more readily achieved to provide an immediate return to the organization’s stakeholders; fully leveraging off of the organization’s resources; and continuing to engage with the licensee base while being transparent with the organization’s stakeholders. Saju said he is, “passionate about the hotel business and leadership… and that he is excited about bringing this passion to the owners’ council.” He further said that, “he is looking forward to serve as the owners’ council’s chairperson for 2013.”Saju is vice president and general counsel of HDG hotels which is based out of Ocala, Florida. Saju and his brother, Navroz Saju, are the founding members of HDG hotels, which owns...

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ocala-Silver Springs Wins IHG 2012 Torchbearer Award

May 15, 2015 Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ocala-Silver Springs Wins IHG 2012 Torchbearer Award

ATLANTA (Oct. 24, 2012) – The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ocala-Silver Springs received the IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) 2012 Torchbearer Award, the company’s most prestigious award.The Torchbearer Award was presented during the 2012 IHG Americas Investors & Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 24–26, 2012.The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ocala-Silver Springs is one of only 102 properties within the Americas chosen from the IHG system of more than 4,500 hotels for achieving the highest levels of excellence in all aspects of operation — from quality to customer satisfaction. A 2012 Torchbearer trophy, the company’s symbol of excellence, will be on permanent display at the hotel.“It is my pleasure to name the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Ocala-Silver Springs as one of the top-notch hotels in our industry,” said Kirk Kinsell, President, the Americas, IHG. “This hotel embodies the heart of our brand promise and continues to make IHG...

HDG Hotels Grows Again – Our Newest Hotel

May 15, 2015

OCALA, FL, OCTOBER 8, 2012: Navroz Saju, President and CEO of HDG Hotels, announced the newest acquisition to the HDG family on October 1, 2012. This addition is the 151 room Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center in New Port Richey, Florida. Based out of Ocala, Florida, HDG’s newest addition grows its portfolio to 760 hotel rooms throughout Florida and would be HDG’s first hotel on Florida’s west coast. In making this announcement, Navroz Saju pointed to HDG’s remarkable growth over a ten year period where it has increased its total hotels from one to eight and increased its employees from 15 to nearly 300.The Quality Inn & Suites Conference Center is a full service hotel with a restaurant, bar and 5,000 square feet of meeting space. It also includes three swimming pools and is nearby to Tampa and Tarpon Springs. The hotel is located on U.S. 19 and also nearby to many local area attractions and restaurants.When asked of HDG’s continued growth in spite of the challenging...