Home Hotel industry WHS alumnus wins national hotel pitch competition

WHS alumnus wins national hotel pitch competition


Emma Claire Spring has always considered herself an entrepreneur – from lemonade stands at age 5 to running a few small businesses in middle and high school in Whitefish and dreaming of a career in hospitality. .

Recently, Spring had the opportunity to participate in a nationwide program called She Has a Deal, an education and investment platform for aspiring female hotel developers, and won the competition with their hotel pitch. She received $ 50,000 in equity for the acquisition of a hotel.

“I have wanted to own my own hotel since I was a little girl,” she recently told the Pilot. “Obviously when I was little I didn’t really understand what that meant… but everyone knew about me, it was always my dream. “

She discovered She Has a Deal a few years ago while attending a conference in New York City with her college class. SHaD was created by real estate investor and developer Tracy Prigmore to create a path to hotel ownership and development for early career women.

“It was so specific and specific to my dreams and goals,” Spring said of She Has a Deal.

According to Spring, much of the program focused on education during which she participated in several master classes taught by industry experts. Throughout this experience, the participants also look for real hotel acquisitions and form an investment case to present for the competition part of the program.

Although Spring was unsure of her talent at first, after winning the pitch competition, she says her determination to succeed has reached a new level.

“I think the most important thing is that I gained confidence because I’m very hard on myself…” she said. “I ended up literally winning to my utter, utter shock, so I gained a lot of confidence that I am better than I think I am.”

His particular pitch was to acquire a Holiday Inn in Virginia. She says she originally wanted to launch a trendy boutique hotel, but actually went with a smarter, more reliable investment option. During her presentation, she told the judges about her intention to renovate the hotel, rename it Delta Hotel instead of Holiday Inn, and start using a management company that would reduce expenses and increase revenue.

“I even opened my case by saying, hey, this won’t be the sexiest hotel project you see today, but it’s a smart, solid investment that’s been underwritten in a conservative and structured way. to mitigate risk, ”Spring recalled.

The jury of industry experts saw the potential of his thoughtful ideas and awarded him first place. Now the investment firm that works with She Has a Deal is trying to acquire this hotel in real life, and if it does, Spring’s $ 50,000 would be invested in this project.

“We are in the process of potentially trying to acquire the hotel that I featured, which is really exciting – I could actually see that vision come to life,” she said.

At Whitefish High School, Spring participated in CAED and Pro Start, among other career building programs, which prepared her to attend Washington State University in one of the most popular home programs. top ranked in the United States. Spring has just completed a four-year degree in Hospitality Business Management and while she has long aspired to become a hotel owner, the knowledge and connections she has gained through She Has a Deal have something to do with it. little changed the vision of his career path.

She says that thanks to She Has a Deal, she feels empowered to start a career investing and developing hotels now when she is young and doesn’t have to wait to do so mid-career. Granted, Spring says this type of career is somewhat intimidating, which is why she feels grateful for this program.

“A lot of (hotel investment and development) is just getting my name out there… and of course knowing how to do it now, because before She Has a Deal, I would never even have known where to start; now I feel like I could replicate that process, ”Spring said.

“I really want to stay in this world – I don’t want to fall out of it just because of what I’m doing now for work, I really want to stay connected,” she added.

Spring now works for Inspirato – a Denver, Colorado-based company that manages exclusive luxury vacation homes – as a manager of real estate acquisitions. She says that a year ago she would have imagined working in a hotel right out of college, but now she wants to stay connected in the hotel real estate business.

Spring also loves to travel, she studied abroad in France while studying, skiing and the outdoors. She has always wanted to live in New York and learn about the bustling city’s hospitality industry, which could still be part of the plans for her future. She would also like to pursue higher education, but would like to have a few years of work experience before returning to school.

“I think my goal over the next two or three years is just to learn as much as I can, to really build on all the relationships that I have made through She Has a Deal…” Spring said. “And of course through my job too, learning as much as I can and developing myself so that I can really achieve and achieve my goals.”

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