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Local knowledge. National presence. 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.


In this market update, we review highlights related to the lodging investment environment in the Tampa Bay Area.
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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 five 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

Aloft Tampa Downtown

Tampa, FL | 130 Keys

Westin Tampa Bay

Tampa, FL | 252 Keys

DoubleTree Beach Resort Tampa Bay

Redington Beach, FL | 125 Keys

Courtyard by Marriott Naples

Naples, FL | 102 Keys

Dolphin Beach Resort

St. Pete Beach, FL | 173 Keys

Aloft / Element Tampa Midtown

Tampa, FL | 226 Keys

Hyatt Place Jacksonville / St. Johns Town Center

Jacksonville, FL | 160 Keys

Saddlebrook Resort Tampa

Wesley Chapel, FL | 519 Keys

AC Hotel Fort Lauderdale Beach

Fort Lauderdale, FL | 171 Keys

Parmer’s Resort

Little Torch Key, FL | 35 Keys | Private Client

SpringHill Suites & Residence Inn Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach, FL | 255 Keys | Key International

Westin Tampa Waterside

Tampa, FL | 309 Keys | Walton Street Capital

Hampton Inn / Home2 Suites Tampa Downtown Channel District

Tampa, FL | 213 Keys | Liberty Group

Thunderbird Beach Resort

Treasure Island, FL | 106 Keys | Private Client

Islander Resort

Islamorada, FL | 139 Keys | Hobbs & Curry

Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park

Hilton St. Petersburg Carillon Park

St. Petersburg, FL | 227 Keys | Hobbs & Curry

Faro Blanco Resort

Marathon, FL | 125 Keys | Private Client

Westin Tampa Bay

Tampa, FL | 224 Keys | Impact Properties

The Vinoy® Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club

St. Petersburg, FL | 362 Keys | SCG Hospitality

Hyatt Place Fort Myers/at the Forum

Fort Myers, FL | 148 Keys | Summit Hotel Properties


Our Florida Team

Our experience can make your lodging investment strategy more successful. 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: 42 Years

As the firm’s Chairman and CEO, Lou Plasencia is responsible for The Plasencia Group’s business development activities and the oversight of all acquisitions, dispositions, and advisory engagements. He began his career with Hyatt Hotels Corporation over thirty years ago. After his departure from Hyatt, Lou spent a number of years growing the hospitality investment sales division of a major national commercial real estate firm.

A natural trailblazer, the father of three eventually left the corporate environment 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 cigar-making district as a young Cuban immigrant, living with his family in a one-room apartment. He is the son of a cigar factory worker who he says instilled in him the importance of “committing yourself to one thing and doing it ethically and 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 serving as a Student Affairs administrator at Indiana and then at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Lou landed a job in sales and marketing department at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. He eventually returned to Tampa to oversee the development of the Grand Hyatt on the shores of Tampa Bay. From there, he launched a long and storied career in hotel investment sales and consulting and is recognized today as one of the most experienced hotel real estate advisors in the country.

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 Resort in Northeast Florida, PGA National in Palm Beach, the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, and the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Recognized for his integrity and deal savvy, he has served as a trusted advisor for Apollo Global, Brookfield Asset Management, Hilton Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, MetLife Real Estate Investments, Starwood Capital, and Walton Street Capital. Other transaction and consulting clients include Bank of America, Blackstone Group, Host Hotels & Resorts, PGIM, RLJ Lodging Trust and countless family offices and 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 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.”

Senior Managing Director – Development Management Consulting

Doug Mills

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 38 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 brand-mandated PIP renovations (property improvement plans), ground-up construction, brand conversions, and property evaluations. He oversees the design and construction of projects from start to finish, all along making sure they stay within schedule and budget targets. Doug’s personal involvement in solving problems and issues for each project typically puts him down in the trenches with his project managers working out solutions.

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 more than 100 top hotel brand renovations, including the Westin and Aloft Hotels in San Francisco, and the Renaissance Des Moines Savery Hotel.

Doug has managed 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.

When not making construction dust, Doug can usually be found making sawdust building custom acoustic guitars and ukuleles in his spare time.

“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.”

Senior Vice President – Owner Representation

Tony Haddad

Miami, Florida | Industry Tenure: 32 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.”

Managing Director

Chris Plasencia

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 12 Years

As a Managing Director at The Plasencia Group, Chris Plasencia has closed nearly $2 billion in hospitality transactions over the course of his career, primarily portfolio and single asset dispositions of resorts and full- and premium select-service hotels. 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. In addition to personal involvement with his parish and other local organizations, Chris also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Visit Tampa Bay and the Jesuit High School (Tampa) Board of Trustees. Chris 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.

When he’s not in the office you can find him spending time with his kids, Claire, Thomas, and Mary, 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.

Managing Director

Nick Plasencia

Tampa, Florida | Industry Tenure: 14 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 nearly $2 billion 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 in the Real Estate Investment Banking group of Raymond James & Associates, a publicly traded financial services firm, 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.”

Find out more about what sets us apart in Florida.