A formidable group of hotel and casino industry executives led by company Founder and Principal Robert M. La Forgia today announced the formal launch of Apertor Hospitality, LLC, an asset management and advisory firm serving the hospitality and gaming industries with an unparalleled team of industry professionals based throughout the United States.
Highly relevant to today's rapidly evolving economy, Apertor offers a full complement of advisory services tailored to existing owners, investors and lenders with exposure to financially struggling hotels and casinos, as well as to new entrants looking to take advantage of current market conditions. Comprised of proven industry veterans and leaders, the dedicated team offers customized strategies designed to enhance and optimize asset value and investment returns for their clients.
'Uniting such a knowledgeable and battle-proven team of industry professionals from hotel and gaming operations, revenue management and distribution systems, marketing, finance, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, construction, legal and government affairs is very timely and represents a unique marriage of experts suited to help clients maximize the potential of their investments,' said La Forgia. 'Among many other specialists on our team, industry leaders such Carlos Garcia, principal, and Bill Sherlock, John Mazzoni, Greg Cross, K. Allen Anderson and Tony Santo, senior advisors, enable Apertor to provide a multi-disciplinary and all-encompassing approach to short- and long-term value enhancement.'
'With the current magnitude of economic challenge, a hotel or casino asset stands a much stronger chance of success if it engages a highly specialized asset management or advisory team with the depth of experience to uncover opportunities to maximize cash flow and deliver actionable solutions promptly,' continued La Forgia.
Emphasizing hands-on executive, managerial, operating and transactional experience in the hotel and casino industries, the diverse and highly engaged team at Apertor offers the complete spectrum of services, including:
Rapid Assessment - Conduct intensive review of operations within a one- to two-week period to support expeditious decision-making and value creation;
Asset Management - Provide oversight of daily operations with the goal of increasing return on investment and asset value through effective revenue maximization and cost reduction strategies;
Creditor Advisory - Perform rapid assessment of a troubled asset including analysis and achievability of business plans and cash-flow projections and provide advice on restructuring alternatives;
Transaction Due Diligence - Perform a top-down review of an asset including validation of assets and liabilities, historical operations and projections, capital expenditure programs, market positioning and penetration, and opportunities for value enhancement;
Turnaround and Restructuring - Function as chief restructuring officer or asset manager and identify opportunities to maximize cash flow, minimize holding costs and restructure the balance sheet;
Litigation Support and Expert Witness Testimony - Assist in each stage of a litigation process, including document discovery and analysis and quantification of risk exposure;
Operational Auditing - Review and challenge all aspects of operations, including business plan and projections, analysis of all revenue and cost centers, assessment of physical plant, and identification of performance improvement opportunities;
Design, Architecture and Construction - Provide a full complement of services from physical plant reviews to management of both renovation and new construction projects;
Opinion of Value - Provide valuation based on a realistic projection of cash flows and what an asset may be worth to potential investors.
Apertor can expertly advise on the entire continuum in the life cycle of a hotel or casino asset, whether a new development, under construction or a mature operation. Its proactive services are essential to strengthening asset performance in any economic climate.
About the Apertor Senior Team
Robert M. La Forgia, principal and founder , created Apertor Hospitality in 2009 and is currently affiliated with The Atalon Group, a national turnaround and restructuring firm. Prior to this affiliation, La Forgia held a number of leadership positions throughout his 26-year tenure with Hilton, most recently as executive vice president and chief financial officer. In addition to leading Hilton's global financial operations, he directed or played a key role in more than $40 billion of corporate M&A transactions, $50 billion of public and private financings and $5 billion of single and multi-asset transactions. La Forgia was instrumental in the $27 billion sale of Hilton to Blackstone in 2007, the largest single transaction in the hospitality industry to date.
Carlos Garcia, principal , is the former senior vice president - hotel financial operations of Hilton. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in the areas of hotel operations and finance, both at the property and corporate level. At Hilton, Garcia was responsible for field financial operations for all of the company's full-service and limited-service brands under management in the Americas. He was an integral part and senior member of the hotel operations team, managing day-to-day operations, and is accomplished in creating operating efficiencies and extracting value from varied operations.
William J. Sherlock, senior advisor , is a 37-year veteran of the hospitality and gaming industries. From 1997 to 2006, he was the chief operating officer and chief executive officer of Foxwoods Resort & Casino, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Currently, Sherlock serves on the board of the Foxwoods Development Company, as well as Nevada Gold Casinos (NYSE:UWN), and works as a gaming consultant. For 15 years prior to joining Foxwoods, Sherlock was a CEO at various high-profile hotel-casino properties, including New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Flamingo Laughlin, Flamingo Reno and the former Reno Hilton Casino.
John P. Mazzoni, senior advisor , is currently providing asset management consulting services for Sunstone Hotel Investors, where he is overseeing a portfolio of eight full-service properties. In this role, Mazzoni has developed short-term, intermediate and long-term strategies focused on maximizing portfolio value. Prior to Sunstone Hotel Investors, Mazzoni served as senior vice president - west operations and Hawaiian Islands for Hilton, a position he held since 2007. In his position, he was responsible for 33 full-service hotels. With more than 28 years of industry experience, Mazzoni has a proven track record in revenue generation, revenue management, operational effectiveness, owner relations, short- and long-term capital expenditure planning, and cash flow maximization.
Gregory Cross, senior advisor , most recently served as senior vice president of revenue management for Hilton, a position he held since 2001. Significantly, he founded, developed and implemented Hilton's revenue management discipline. As senior vice president, Cross was responsible for all revenue management operations within Hilton's full-service and focused-service brands under management in the Americas. Cross led a database development team that could function outside of an IT organization, creating self-sufficiencies and quick turn-around results for hotel users dependent upon technology. He spearheaded the development of the industry's first catering revenue management database system and reporting process. Cross brings nearly 30 years of hospitality experience to his senior advisory role for Apertor.
K. Allen Anderson, senior advisor , is the former vice president and senior counsel at Hilton, a position he held for more than 11 years. At Hilton, Anderson was responsible for all real estate, finance and ownership related legal matters, including: acquisition, disposition and new development of hotel properties; formation and structuring of partnerships and joint ventures; project financing, mezzanine financing and construction loans; entitlements; lease agreements; architecture and construction contracts; and golf course and parking agreements. Anderson also negotiated and drafted more than 50 hotel management agreements and several large ground leases for Hilton. Prior to joining Hilton, Anderson was an attorney with O'Melveny & Myers LLP, where his practice included significant work for hospitality industry clients.
Anthony F. Santo, senior advisor , is a 28-year veteran of the gaming industry and currently works as a gaming consultant. From 2005 to 2007, Santo was senior vice president of operations, products and services for Harrah's Entertainment. In this capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the company's domestic and international operations, including its food and beverage, lodging and retail businesses. During this time he also led the sales process and negotiations on the disposition of the Flamingo Laughlin and Reno Hilton Casino. From 2003 to 2005, Santo was senior vice president of western and mid-south regions for Caesars Entertainment (which was acquired by Harrah's in 2005). During the seven-year period prior to his senior management role at Caesars, he served as president of Paris Las Vegas, Bally's Las Vegas, Flamingo Las Vegas, Las Vegas Hilton, Reno Hilton Casino (now the Grand Sierra Resort) and Flamingo Reno.
About Apertor Hospitality, LLC
Apertor Hospitality is an asset management and advisory services firm specializing in the hospitality and gaming industries, whose highly seasoned professionals are based throughout the United States, including the New York Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and the San Francisco Bay area. For more information, please visit ApertorHospitality.com.
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