CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council this week approved a professional services agreement with CHM Warnick Incorporated to be the hotel asset manager for the new Oaks Hotel proposed for the Surf District redevelopment project.

The city’s finance director Creighton Schmidt says the experience of the company plays a key role in being the in-between person between the owner and the manager of the hotel.    “They help guide investment decisions, they help guide operational decisions, and they are an expert in this space and have been doing it for quite some time in most cases.”

Schmidt says the company will look at things like how many rooms the hotel should have and what other things should be included on the property.  “They’ll look at what amenities should we offer in this hotel, should there be some sort of food and beverage. They go down the list, and then they are also experts as far as we talked about needing to have a hotel operator/hotel manager, so they are very well connected with hotel managers. We have a specific, we’re looking for a boutique style, so they’ll know which operators do these boutique style and which have been successful at operating these types of hotels.”

Schmidt says getting a hotel asset manager on board at the start of the project is vital to the success of the hotel.    “In a couple of cases, unfortunately the owners did not have an asset manager in the beginning, and then they are brought in maybe a year into after the hotel was operating, and at that point you are trying to fix something that’s already broken. So they had picked the wrong strategy, and have the wrong manager and all this, and now they come in. Of course that’s a lot harder to do than getting it right the first time. That’s what we’re going for, getting it right the first time.”

The council unanimously approved the professional services agreement.