John McKibbon is chairman of McKibbon Hospitality, which has offices in Gainesville, Georgia, and Tampa, Florida. A third-generation entrepreneur, John believes we “each have a mission to leave the world better than we found it.” John and his wife actively support various local nonprofits, particularly those in the communities where he and his staff live and work. He empowers every McKibbon associate to do the same.
John maintains that “constant evolution” is essential to McKibbon’s continued success.
John McKibbon is chairman of McKibbon Hospitality.
Tell me about McKibbon Hospitality.
We build, renovate and manage properties across the country for Marriott, Hilton, Starwood, and other leading hospitality brands. Our portfolio consists of 87 hotels with five new hotels in development. We continue to focus on select-service and extended-stay properties and have recently ventured into lifestyle and boutique hotels. We’re also working on our first condominium project in Asheville.
What’s in the pipeline for McKibbon Hospitality?
We have a number of exciting projects in the works. This summer, we’ll open an AC Hotel in downtown Asheville, complete with an outstanding rooftop bar overlooking the mountains. We continue to work on the Arras project in Asheville, an 18-story development that will open in 2018 and include an independent hotel with 128 rooms, 54 upscale condominiums, two restaurants, parking, and retail space. In Charlotte, we’re building a 22-story dual-branded hotel tower set to open in early 2018. This project will include an AC Hotel and Residence Inn, as well as a super suite for rent and a rooftop bar overlooking the city. We are also developing the Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Buckhead set to open in 2018.
Do you keep any particular criteria in mind when considering a project?
Along with my team, I continue to travel to the best cities across the country to look at new sites. For us, it’s all about location. If we can find the very best location in town, we’ve already set the foundation for a great hotel. Most of our new projects are at the urban core—we want our hotel guests to be able to walk to the best shops, restaurants, and attractions in the area and soak everything in as a local would.
Tell me about your downtown Asheville project with Tower Associates: Hotel Arras. What will be unique about the hotel? What will you be adding to the city?
The Arras project is a truly exciting development for the city of Asheville. We’re completely renovating a more than 50-year-old bank building, which supports the continued revitalization of downtown Asheville and the city’s booming tourism industry. In addition to visiting guests, locals will enjoy the revitalized building’s open spaces for collaborating, restaurants, and meeting spaces. The 54 condominiums (also part of the project) are going to be unlike anything else offered in the city, with open floor plans and stunning mountain views.
You are collaborating with local restaurateur Peter Pollay on the food and beverage concepts. Tell me a little about this partnership. What will the onsite restaurants be like?
Peter and his wife Martha run one of the most admired restaurants in Asheville, Posana. We’re excited to collaborate with them on the Arras food and beverage concepts, which will include two independent restaurants as well as menus for special events and in-room dining. The first restaurant will be a Mediterranean-focused, fine dining concept offering house made pastas and large shareable plates such as whole fish preparations. Details for the second restaurant, which will be a more casual concept, are still in the works. At the AC Hotel in Asheville, we’re also partnering with the Pollays on an exciting new concept, Capella on 9, a rooftop bar offering daily breakfast and evening cocktails and small plates.