Peter Beukema saw an opportunity during the pandemic to start a new role in the hospitality industry, stepping down as CEO of Suburban Inns late last year. He is still one of the owners of the family-owned business, but he has formed his own third-party hotel management company called 6PM Hospitality Partners LLC.
“There is a huge opportunity for third-party management done well, and that’s really what we’re looking to do is provide that with a level of care that just isn’t really seen or experienced in that space,” Beukema said.
Beukema’s parents are retired and are not looking to grow the family business, offering Beukema an opportunity to step outside of the company to do some development deals, he said.
The new company takes an owner’s representative role in new hotel developments by seeing a project through opening and then coming in as the managing company for the property, Beukema said. Beukema has ownership in hotel developments, but that is outside of 6PM Hospitality, he added.
6PM is overseeing the demolition of the Lakeshore Motel in Manistee to make way for a 102-room Hampton Inn and Suites. Demolition started this month, and the new hotel is expected to open in May 2023.
“We saw an opportunity with an extremely unique piece of property to create something unique and attract Hilton Honors members to Manistee,” Beukema said.
Through 6PM Hospitality, Beukema also is working with Little River Holdings LLC, a wholly owned enterprise of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, to put a hotel in downtown Manistee. As well, 6PM Hospitality is working with Battle Creek Unlimited on redeveloping the McCamly Plaza Hotel in downtown Battle Creek. The company is part of four other projects that are not ready to be announced, Beukema said.
“We’ve had conversations in Illinois and even all the way to groups in the Caribbean,” Beukema said. “Our nets are wide and we’re willing to work with anybody that’s like-minded with our mission.”
Beukema is also noticing the trend of rising room rates, which is reflected in national data. To offset high construction costs, hotels are increasing room rates as long as guests will allow it, he said.
“The margins in our industry are already pretty thin, and with the hit we took during COVID, we can’t afford to stomach those costs,” Beukema said. “I still have my glass half-full and we’re moving in the right direction. We’re a very strong industry.”