‘People-First’ Values Raise Midas Hospitality to New Heights
Today, Midas Hospitality is a vertically-integrated, hospitality-driven organization that develops, builds, renovates, manages and invests in hotels in the United States. Chief Executive Officer and Cofounder David Robert recalls the early days when he and fellow Cofounder and Managing Partner, J.T. Norville, started the St. Louis, Missouri-based company in 2006, with operations initially run from J.T.’s basement.
The pair started with only one hotel under Midas management, but with initial success and by pooling resources, they purchased their first hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. The company renovated the hotel, managed it effectively, and sold it at a significant profit, which enabled the development of new hotel properties in other states. The company continued to build on its success as it earned a reputation with industry brands, banks and investors for “saying what they’ll do and doing what they said,” according to Robert.
Currently, the company operates thirty-five hotels and is on pace to exceed forty hotels by mid-2020. With half a billion dollars’ worth of hotel transactions handled in the past thirteen years and a lifetime return rate on investments coming in at over nineteen percent, the company has built value for investors, banks and the industry at large.
About six years ago, the team saw an opportunity to add more value by leveraging their hotel expertise – and started Midas Construction. The hotel construction service line has built a solid base of business and with its focus, is poised for continued growth. Chief Experience Officer Marc Connor believes the vertical-integration strategy differentiates the company and delivers more value. Whether investing, developing, building, renovating, or managing hotels, the Midas team brings a service mentality to every project and hotel they touch.
Midas has been recognized by Marriott, Hilton and IHG with numerous awards and is generally acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing companies in the Midwest. Robert asserts that the company has reached its level of success through hard work, commitment, and by “having fun and taking care of our associates.”
Vice President of Development and Construction Chris Shinkle finds there are many hospitality companies that focus primarily on either keeping business metrics or customer service at the front of operations. He defines Midas as people-first and purpose-driven and says it exists to “make room for people’s dreams.” The company works to provide time, space, and resources to help associates, guests, partners, and investors achieve their dreams. He cites the company’s admirable return rate as something accomplished by investing in and supporting people in the company as they put in their best work.
J.T. Norville feels the reason that the company continues to excel at customer service is because the company is honest in its client relations and makes a point to communicate in a very straightforward manner. “We trust people are going to do the right thing, and we treat them as such,” he adds, and the company stresses the use of compassion and empathy with all clients. This approach sets the tone for the team’s “Midas Moments” standard as they aim to go above and beyond expectations and be creative as they interact with each other, their guests, and partners.
Robert refers to the company’s outstanding relationships with brands, lenders and investors as an indicator of its continued success. Midas’ relationships have prospered because of its commitment to producing the expected results, and have helped the company move forward. The track record and relationships often lead to recommendations for Midas, including most recently being connected with a developer to build a hotel in the Southern California market and to assume management of a hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Midas is also known for a work atmosphere that cultivates positivity in its workforce. David Robert feels that, since the beginning, the company has tried to make Midas a place where people love to work. As an employee himself, Marc Connor feels that both Robert and J.T. Norville set a great example for this family-like culture, which is full of thoughtful people who are eager to serve. The two are still very actively involved with the company, and Connor believes that starting the company in the manner they did and keeping it strong some fourteen years later demonstrates their strength as doers and dreamers.
“We find small and big ways to serve each other as co-workers, guests, partners,” says Connor. “We’re pretty humble [and] let the work do the talking. We care very deeply about the work and about each other.”
Finding the right people for the organization can be challenging, and the company addresses this by offering benefits to its employees to create a workplace that is positive and will ease their personal lives. Midas believes that in taking care of its people first, it can tackle any challenge and achieve excellence on a consistent basis.
The attitude has netted it several notable accolades to date. At Marriott Connect 2018 – an annual owner’s conference – Midas was awarded ‘Hotel Opening of the Year’ for a dual-brand hotel opened in the Westport area of St. Louis, Missouri at the end of 2018. The company has earned awards such as the ‘Marriott Diamond Circle Award’ and the Hampton Inn ‘Lighthouse Award’ as a result of its achievements in guest satisfaction. And it was named a ‘Best Place to Work’ and a ‘Fast Fifty’ company in 2019 by the St. Louis Business Journal. J.T. Norville admits the team is pleased with and humbled by the recognition it has gained and adds the awards are not a motivating factor, but rather a reflection of their people.
David Robert is of the firm opinion that Midas will continue its emphasis on growth and putting its people first in every regard. The company will increase its hospitality portfolio and will be looking into potential secondary opportunities that can be spun off from hospitality to provide more opportunities for key people within the organization. Robert touts the company’s success at building hotels as a prime example of that growth mindset. The company has a strong stable of subcontractors and project managers who are doing a great job, and he feels that the company’s expertise in the hospitality business makes Midas the best outfit in the St. Louis region to build hotels. This expertise and commitment to achieving excellence is expected to translate to more sectors and markets in need of Midas Hospitality standards. “If we provide opportunities for our people, they will take care of our business and [our] guests and allow us to keep growing,” Robert concludes.