Walter Isenberg is Co-Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of Sage Hospitality, one of the top hotel investment, management and development companies in the United States for more than 30 years. Based in Denver, Sage Hospitality owns and operates over 75 hotels and 10 restaurants in 23 states, from urban full-service hotels to smaller select-service suburban properties. Isenberg directs all company operations, including property management, development and finance.
Isenberg co-founded Sage Hospitality in 1984 with partner Zachary Neumeyer. The company’s history in hospitality includes ground-up development, historic-adaptive re-use, acquisitions and third-party management. Sage hotels include well known brands such as JW Marriott, Renaissance, Westin and Hilton, as well as several independent hotels. In 2006, Sage formed the Sage Restaurant Group, which operates unique high-volume restaurants inside its urban hotels.
Sage Hospitality has been consistently recognized for its significant commitment to corporate citizenship. The company was the first recipient of Marriott International’s “Spirit to Serve Award,” which is given annually to a franchise partner that lives the vision to be an outstanding corporate citizen. Sage Hospitality has also been an industry leader in implementing green operating practices, committed to developing Gold and Silver LEED certified hotels as well as making it a company-wide mission to make each of its hotels as environmentally friendly as possible. Sage Hospitality has also been recognized for its superior customer service, receiving Excellence in Service awards at many of its hotels. Sage’s development group has won numerous awards for excellence in the development of hotels and has been nationally recognized as a leader in historic preservation.
A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Isenberg is a member of the American Hotel Lodging Association Government Affairs committee as well as Marriott International and Starwood Owner Advisory Boards. Isenberg was recently inducted into Denver & Colorado’s Tourism Hall of Fame, which is the highest award given by Denver’s travel industry. Active in the community, he currently serves on the boards of Visit Denver, The Downtown Denver Partnership, The Children’s Hospital Foundation, Colorado Concern and the Metropolitan State University of Denver Board of Trustees.
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Hotel owners and operators who believed they could go it alone before the coronavirus pandemic devastated the hotel industry are having another think and turning to third-party managers to work their way back to profitability in the post-pandemic recovery. Another trend contributing to the growth in third-party managers’ business is more commercial real estate investors armed with cash entering the hotel sector and in need of an experienced operations team. Episode 321 of Lodging Leaders podcast explores the growth of third-party management companies over the past 12 months. This report is part of Lodging Leaders’ coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
The Ever Given container ship running aground on March 23 in the Suez Canal got worldwide attention, but it is just one of many reasons for the breaks in the global supply chain that are impacting the U.S. hotel industry’s post-pandemic revival plans. Shipping companies in Asia and Europe are contending with a boatload of challenges, including a lack of containers, traffic jams at West Coast ports and increased costs. Long Live Lodging explores what the problems mean to hotel owners and developers eager to refresh their properties and welcome guests back.