National presence. Local knowledge. Exclusively hospitality.

Sunshine State Expertise


With its corporate headquarters in Tampa, The Plasencia Group boasts a comprehensive track record in Florida, spanning nearly three decades as trusted advisor to owners of and investors in hotels and resorts in the Sunshine State’s key lodging markets.

Key Qualifications

  • Our firm has successfully completed over 100 engagements throughout the State.
  • Principals of The Plasencia Group tout more in-market transaction expertise in Florida than any other major commercial real estate firm.
  • The Plasencia Group’s disposition team has set price-per-key transaction records for several major-branded hotels in various markets across Florida.
  • The Plasencia Group has conducted transactions in more than 40 Florida cities, encompassing more than 22,000 rooms and serving over 80 different clients.
  • We’ve worked on virtually every type of lodging engagement in the State, with balanced experience across resorts, full-service and select-service hotels.


Review a report highlighting lodging operational performance and investment trends in Florida.


Updated: February 2020


Our team provides extensive experience in assisting hotel owners and lenders in the evaluation of their assets and the development of comprehensive portfolio and individual property strategies focusing on profitability even under the most challenging market conditions.

Having been through four separate economic cycles, The Plasencia Group is able to offer clients a robust menu of proven consulting and advisory services for both individual properties as well as portfolios. Additionally, the firm’s senior associates each bring decades of hospitality experience as either hotel owners or operators, or lenders to the industry.

Sales & Investments

Since 1993, The Plasencia Group has been a national leader in hospitality investment transactions. The Plasencia Group provides personalized investment services to life insurance companies, banks and pension funds, real estate investment trusts, and other owners of hotels, resorts, and golf courses throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. The Plasencia Group’s principals have completed billions of dollars in hotel transactions in their combined careers and have executed some of the most challenging and complicated trades in the marketplace. Over the years, our professionals have worked with nearly every major brand, property type, operator, and ownership group in the lodging investment arena.

Much of The Plasencia Group’s transaction experience has been in portfolio engagements. The firm excels in targeting the most qualified investors for large-scale deals. We have been engaged to handle the sale of over 25 different hotel portfolios and debt instruments consisting of more than 33,000 hotel rooms located in 21 states.

Services include:

  • Dispositions
  • Acquisitions
  • Principal investments

Learn more about our investment sales services HERE.

Advice & Consulting

Our team provides extensive experience in assisting hotel owners and lenders in the evaluation of their assets and the development of comprehensive portfolio and individual property strategies focusing on profitability even under the most challenging market conditions.

Having been through four separate economic cycles, The Plasencia Group is able to offer clients a robust menu of proven consulting and advisory services for both individual properties as well as portfolios. Additionally, the firm’s senior associates each bring decades of hospitality experience as either hotel owners or operators, or lenders to the industry.

Services include:

  • Asset management
  • Development management
  • Operator contract compliance
  • Partnership guidance

Learn more about our hospitality advisory services HERE.

Debt & Equity

The Plasencia Group’s Capital Markets division leverages long-standing relationships with a multitude of lenders and institutional providers of debt and equity, allowing clients to consummate transactions and growth strategies under the most advantageous terms. Our team specializes in orchestrating the refinancing of maturing debt pieces and the restructuring of existing instruments. The division focuses exclusively on hospitality properties, thus offering clients invaluable insight in a very specialized area that includes the underwriting of operating businesses. The relationships, expertise and proficiency of The Plasencia Group’s professionals are essential to the achievement of client goals.

Services include:

  • Equity sourcing
  • New debt placement
  • Refinancing services
  • Restructuring of existing debt

Learn more about our capital markets services HERE.

Representative Florida Engagements

Faro Blanco Resort

Marathon, Florida | 125 Keys | Private Client

Westin Tampa Bay

Tampa, Florida | 224 Keys | Impact Properties

The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

St. Petersburg, Florida | 362 Keys | SCG Hospitality

Hyatt Place Fort Myers/at the Forum

Fort Myers, Florida | 148 Keys | Summit Hotel Properties

Westin Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, Florida | 298 Keys | Joint Venture

Bonita Springs Portfolio

Bonita Springs, Florida | 198 Keys (2 Hotels) | Wheelock Street Capital

Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel

Tampa, Florida | 293 Keys | Braemar Hotels & Resorts

Hampton Inn & Suites Gainesville Downtown

Gainesville, Florida | 124 Keys | Ashford Hospitality Trust

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina

Tampa, Florida | 719 Keys | Host Hotels & Resorts

InterContinental Tampa Westshore

Tampa, Florida | 325 Keys | Joint Venture

DoubleTree Grand Key Resort

Key West, Florida | 215 Keys | Undisclosed Seller

South Seas Island Resort

Captiva, Florida | 600 Keys | Interstate Hotels & Resorts

JW Marriott Marquis Miami

Miami, Florida | 313 Keys | MetLife Real Estate Investments

Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale, Florida | 261 Keys | Fillmore Capital Partners

Holiday Inn Orlando-Disney Springs Area

Lake Buena Vista, Florida | 323 Keys | Prudential Real Estate Investors

Bilmar Beach Resort

Treasure Island, Florida | 165 Keys | Clearview Capital, LLC

Hilton University of Florida Hotel Conference Center

Gainesville, Florida | 248 Keys | Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Streamsong Resort

Bowling Green, Florida | 216 Keys | The Mosaic Company

PGA National Resort & Spa

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida | 379 Keys | Purchase Advisors

Residence Inn Clearwater Downtown

Clearwater, Florida | 115 Keys | HEI Hotels & Resorts


Our Florida Team

Our experience can make your lodging investments more profitable. Get in touch with one of our Florida lodging investment professionals to discuss your holdings anywhere in North America.

Chief Executive Officer

Lou Plasencia

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 39 Years

Lou Plasencia is The Plasencia Group’s entrepreneurial leader, an affable host, and a gregarious family man with an ironclad commitment to the hospitality industry. As the firm’s Chairman and CEO, Lou is responsible for business development activities and the oversight of all acquisitions, dispositions, and consulting engagements. He began his career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation over thirty years ago. After his departure from Hyatt, Lou spent a number of years in hospitality investment sales with a major national commercial real estate firm.

A natural trailblazer, the father of three eventually grew weary of the corporate environment and decided in 1993 to launch his own firm – The Plasencia Group, a boutique alternative to corporate hotel brokerage. The close-knit firm was born out of passion and sheer gumption. The oldest of three siblings, Lou arrived in Tampa’s Ybor City as a young Cuban immigrant, living with his family in a one-room apartment. He is the son of cigar factory worker who he says instilled in him the importance of “committing yourself to one thing and doing it better than anyone else.”

As an undergrad at Loyola University in New Orleans, he studied psychology and broadcast media before going on to get his Master’s in Education from Indiana University. After a brief stint in as a Student Affairs administrator at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Lou landed a job in Hyatt’s sales and marketing department in New Orleans. He eventually returned to Tampa to oversee the development of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on the shores of Tampa Bay and from there, launched a long and storied career in hotel investment sales and consulting.

During his three-plus decades as the face of The Plasencia Group, Lou has steered a plethora of heavy-hitting hospitality deals, including one-off transactions and major portfolio disposition engagements. Over the years, he has brought together owners and investors for the InterContinental Hotels in Chicago and Miami, the Four Seasons in Atlanta, Amelia Island Plantation in Northeast Florida, and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Recognized for his integrity and deal savvy, he has served as a trusted advisor for MetLife Real Estate Investments, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Brookfield Asset Management, and Walton Street Capital. Other transaction and consulting clients include AEW Capital Partners, Bank of America, Blackstone Group, PGIM, and countless high-net-worth hotel and resort owners.

Lou is an active member of the Hospitality Investment Roundtable of the AHLA. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Florida Council of 100, the Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council, the Advisory Board for Visit Tampa Bay, and chairs the School Advisory Council of St. Lawrence Parish in Tampa. He previously served on the Board of Trustees of Jesuit High School (Tampa).

A longtime resident of Tampa, he is proud to work alongside his three sons (Chris, Nick and John) in the family business. Lou has been married for nearly four decades to his wife Jennifer, with whom he enjoys cooking, traveling and playing “off the grid.” If he doesn’t answer his cell phone, it’s because he’s out fishing or hiking a forest.

“One of my favorite words in my native Spanish is “confianza”. It’s the close trust that builds in a friendship over time. It’s the very real affection we have for our longstanding clients. It’s also something we work hard to earn and, most importantly, it lasts a lifetime.”

Phone:(813) 932-1234


Senior Managing Director – Development Management Consulting

Doug Mills

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 34 Years

Doug Mills grew up in Panama City, Florida, and after a long tenure managing construction projects around the world, many of them in cold-weather climates, he’s finally made it back to the Sunshine State. In February 2020, Doug joined The Plasencia Group as Senior Managing Director of the firm’s Development Management Consulting team.

Doug advises The Plasencia Group’s clients on renovation and new construction projects, including property improvement plans, brand conversions, and property evaluations. He oversees the design construction projects from start to finish, top to bottom. “We orchestrate and manage the process from soup to nuts,” Doug says, “all along making sure it stays within the budget envelope.”

Doug supervises construction managers contracted for each project, which often finds him with boots on the ground at project sites.

Prior to signing on with The Plasencia Group, Doug served as president of Schulte Design + Construction, an esteemed hospitality design, construction and project management firm based in Louisville, Kentucky. During his tenure, he oversaw renovations and upgrades across a variety of top hotel brands, including the Westin in San Francisco, the Moxy New Orleans and the Renaissance Des Moines.

Doug has managed well over a hundred major projects across all asset classes during his 34-year career. He spent more than a decade in Asia, steering projects in Macau (building its international airport), the Philippines (a $5 billion, 300-acre redevelopment of a former U.S. military base) and South Korea (Hansol corporate headquarters), among others.

As a youngster in Panama City, Doug loved building things. He repaired and refinished antique furniture during his teen years. Doug matriculated at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, intending to go into the medical field. He changed course and transferred to Tulane University in New Orleans, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and then a Master of Business Administration.

While at Tulane, he met his wife, Marda, who grew up in Michigan. During their courtship, the couple agreed they would settle down in a warm-weather city. But Doug’s first construction management job out of school landed them in Chicago. After the time in Asia, the Mills’ returned to Chicago for six years, then relocated to Louisville.

“It took a while, but I finally made good on my promise of a warm-weather climate,” Doug says of joining The Plasencia Group in its Tampa headquarters and moving to the area.

The Mills’ have three children: one a recent college grad, one a current student at University of Alabama, and one a senior in high school in Louisville.

Doug, who lives in St. Petersburg with Marda, has turned his long-time way with wood into a passionate avocation — building acoustic guitars and ukuleles. He plays both instruments at level he calls “passable.”

Not long ago, Doug took up another hobby — a form of calligraphy called English Round Hand, the style used for the Declaration of Independence. “My form is getting pretty good,” he says. “I want to start sending people little handwritten notes.”

“I was drawn to The Plasencia Group for a lot of reasons, but foremost it was their outstanding long-term client relationships, passion and integrity. Combining my contacts and project experience around the world with the team’s will mean we can take our development management consulting business to the next level.”

Phone:(813) 445-8324


Senior Asset Manager

Tony Haddad

Miami, Florida | Industry Tenure: 28 Years

Tony Haddad has been active in the hospitality finance arena for the past three decades. Tony brings to the table years spent in hotel operations working as Director of Finance and as a regional executive responsible for a portfolio of hotels for Marriott International. Tony has extensive experience in domestic and international hotels in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America.

After leaving Marriott, Tony formed his own asset management and consulting firm, Thames Associates, LLC.

In 2013, he became part of The Plasencia Group’s team. He holds a B.B.A. degree from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. A dedicated cyclist, he kicks off each workday with a group bike ride through suburban Broward County and also enjoys riding his motorcycle on the weekends.

“You’re dealing with an industry that caters to happy people on vacation. It’s multifaceted and always changing. There’s creativity and design. You walk into something new, you learn about it, you opine about it and then move onto the next one.”

Phone:(954) 217-9112


Managing Director

Chris Plasencia

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 8 Years

As Managing Director at The Plasencia Group, Chris Plasencia, who majored in history at Duke University and earned a Master’s degree in real estate from the University of Florida in addition to his law degree, focuses on the acquisition, disposition, financing, and development of full-service hotels and resorts.
The resident attorney on the team, with a background in drafting, negotiating, and executing a wide variety of real estate deals, Chris is well equipped to handle complex hospitality transactions, while fielding the more-than-occasional attorney joke with grace.

When he’s not in the office you can find him spending time with his kids, Claire and Thomas, his wife, Katie, whom he’s known since kindergarten, and his golden retriever, Molly. He is the firm’s resident wine connoisseur and makes the second-best barbecue pulled pork in the office.

“I’m going to be with this company for the next 20, 30 years. I’m not looking for quick victories. I’m interested in building long-term relationships.”

Phone:(813) 445-8259


Managing Director

Nick Plasencia

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 10 Years

Nick Plasencia is a Managing Director with The Plasencia Group and specializes in the disposition of full-service, premium select-service, boutique and resort properties, both in single-asset and portfolio transactions. He has personally transacted several hundred million dollars of lodging assets across all regions of the United States. Mr. Plasencia has had the opportunity to advise a wide breadth of clientele, ranging from privately held owner-operators and high-net-worth individuals, to management companies, private equity funds, and REITs.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Plasencia worked for Raymond James & Associates, a publicly traded financial services firm, in their Real Estate Investment Banking group, specializing in mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and private placements. While at Raymond James, Mr. Plasencia was integrally involved in capital raising assignments in the lodging sector, including preferred and common stock offerings.

Nick is a graduate of Harvard University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. During summer breaks, he worked in operations positions at properties with Marriott International and Quorum Hotels and Resorts, experiences he says helped give him a valuable glimpse into the human element of hotel operations.

Always keen to explore nature or a new city, Nick is a novice runner who credits his outdoorsy wife for whipping him into shape. He enjoys hiking and backpacking during his travels and taking his children for runs in the jogger. Nick is a proud advocate for the Tampa Theater, a historic U.S. theater and city landmark, and has been involved in the Theater’s real estate pursuits and charitable events.

“Our strength is in our team and the unique backgrounds that our team members bring to the table, with experiences in all aspects of the industry, ranging from ownership, to lending, operations, and brands.”

Phone:(813) 445-8276


Find out more about what sets us apart in Florida.