DoubleTree San Pedro follows Le Merigot’s lead and parts ways with Aimbridge
Los Angeles: On the first day of the American Lodging and Investment Summit, UNITE HERE Local 11 members announced a boycott of Aimbridge Hospitality, the largest third-party hotel operator in the world, until the company agrees to sign a fair contract at its union properties in Southern California.
During the same week, on January 25, the Union received notification from the ownership of the DoubleTree property in San Pedro that effective February 19, Remington Hospitality would become the operator at the hotel. This follows Aimbridge’s loss of an operator role at another major hotel in the area–the Le Merigot Santa Monica–last August.
Dubbed “Shamebridge” by its employees, Aimbridge has been embroiled in controversy since the beginning of the Southern California hotel strike. Among other developments, last October, housekeepers at the San Pedro DoubleTree – the same hotel that has just terminated its agreement with Aimbridge – filed a class-action lawsuit against a subsidiary of the operator alleging violations of panic buttons and other worker safety provisions of the Los Angeles Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance.
Aimbridge’s business model and practices have also drawn critical attention. Following private equity firm Advent International’s 2019 acquisition of Aimbridge, industry analysts and credit ratings agencies have expressed concerns about C-suite turnover, overly-aggressive growth and credit. In November 2023, Baron Ah Moo, U.S. managing director for PKF Hospitality Group suggested, “There is pressure on the third-party management fee model from all sides (brands, competition in the space, and the market economy) and Aimbridge, with an eye on a liquidity event (public sale/IPO), may have overextended itself to spur that aggressive growth.” Hotel Investment Today further reported that “[t]here have also been rumblings about weaker performance at Aimbridge as it focused on growth, as well as owners looking for smaller, third-party firms to get more individual attention from their operator. With rumors like that swirling, change is not an unexpected outcome.”