Hotel Developers Nationwide Rely On Florida Contractor

June 21, 2016—What began as a small job to restore an outdoor terrace for a luxury hotel has blossomed into a growing construction niche for Naples, Florida-based general contractor Connor & Gaskins Unlimited (CGU). CGU President and CEO Barry Connor said their initial exterior work for the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota expanded to construction of a 236 seat indoor-outdoor restaurant and lounge. Now underway are projects for DoubleTree Suites by Hilton in Gainesville, The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, 30 new hotels built for InTown Suites Extended Stay Living as well as the construction and renovations of hotels, both planned and already completed, for ABA Development of San Francisco.

“CGU finished the construction of the Hyatt Place Roseville in January on time and within budget and the completed project is incredible,” said Paul Drummond, Managing Partner Design and Development for ABA Hospitality. “Now they are providing pre-construction work for a Fairfield Inn and Suites in Oceanside, California and an independently flagged hotel in Carmel, California. We are also actively looking at several sites for a variety of brands, including Marriott’s Autograph collection, Hyatt Centric as well as a large resort property in Aruba.”

After a 20-year relationship and more than a billion dollars worth of properties, Drummond says he relies exclusively on Barry Connor and CGU to handle everything from pre-construction budgets, schedule and design interaction to property improvement plans, interior renovations and rebranding in addition to new construction for ABA. Connor and CGU co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Craig Gaskins have an equity position in ABA.

“Most developers will have their own construction division or typically, a contractor will price a job, come in low, and then look for every opportunity to upgrade,” said Drummond. “This is not the case with CGU, because they have a vested interest in the profitability of the project they complete for ABA. Handling numerous hotel renovations and new-builds, they clearly understand the hospitality space. They have a real grasp of the cost to complete these hotels as well as the timing. So, by bringing CGU on board, we’ve alleviated the two major obstacles for hotel developers, which are cost and scheduling.”

Jon Pertchik, CEO of Intown Suites says his strategy to reposition and revitalize the company has two components – to build new structures and to reposition and recondition the existing assets. CGU is working as the general contractor to renovate 189 locations with 25,000 all-suite hotel rooms in 26 states over the next three years. The scope of work includes replacing wall and floor coverings, updating kitchens and baths, installing new furnishings, and structural treatments, while the hotels are operating and welcoming guests. Each four-story extended stay hotel will now offer a fitness room and mini-market.

“Instead of hiring a construction staff we would have to let go at the end of three years, we invited CGU to put their own people in place for these and other future projects,” said Pertchik. “CGU is an integral part of it, walking each unit and even making recommendations. A function of our ownership is design.”

Pertchik says Intown Suites chose CGU to work with them on the new build side of the business, too. “We chose CGU because CEO Barry Connor has a unique combination of skills as a contractor. His background is architecture and he has extensive experience as a building contractor, which is a pretty unique. A hard core construction guy can have a superficial understanding of the architecture and engineering, but not really an eye for the esthetics or design elements. CGU also works as value engineers to keep the costs down. For example, if the architect comes up with some expensive light fixture, Connor and his team will identify an alternative that is true to the design and intent of the original plans.”

“Their experience and background sets CGU apart in the construction arena,” says Pertchik. “I have a level of trust in CGU that I don’t have in any other contractors. They are going to tell me something right up front, even if it’s bad news. You just don’t see that in construction.”

CGU is a full service general contractor that manages a broad spectrum of construction and consulting assignments, including residential and commercial structures. From to luxury condominiums, CGU has the talent, resources and staff to handle any construction project from the developer’s original vision through concept and construction. For more information on Connor & Gaskins Unlimited, visit or call 239-293-2608.

Media Contact:
Cindy Dobyns
AboveWater PR and Marketing, LLC
for Connor & Gaskins Unlimited (CGU)

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