Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Kirkwood.
Alex, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My career started at 20th Century Fox creating trailers and posters for the Domestic Theatrical Motion Picture division. At 26, I was promoted to Director of Creative Advertising, the youngest in the department at that time.
The next year I co-acquired and developed The Palm Springs Hotel with industry relationships I had cultivated at Fox. It is now a TripAdvisor top-10 boutique hotel in Palm Springs.
At 30, I left Fox to pursue hotel development full-time and three years later, I am proud to have grown Kirkwood Collection to a portfolio of 5 properties and over 40 employees in iconic California destinations such as Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, San Luis Obispo Wine Country, and our headquarters in Culver City.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not! I spent two years after leaving Fox watching my finances deplete chasing deals that I couldn’t make work. It became a game of attrition, saving every penny I could to pursue hotel opportunities while going backward every month. Towards the end of 2018, I only had enough capital to pursue one more deal. Failure was not an option as I drove up to Santa Barbara to tour what could have been my final sitewalk. Fortunately, that project became Hideaway Santa Barbara, and within a year I added two more hotels to the portfolio totaling $20,000,000 in assets under management and 44 employees. Perseverance is the key to success and is the strongest personality characteristic I look for when interviewing candidates.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Kirkwood Collection – what should we know?
Kirkwood Collection, a new family-owned and operated luxury hotel brand. We focus on design-driven boutique properties, each blending “old world” charm with “new world” accoutrements. Our portfolio is located across iconic California destinations, which currently include Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, and San Louis Obispo.
We are proud to bring a luxury residential aesthetic and sense of place to an industry that is historically very commercialized and sterile. You can see the difference between a flagged property where the design and materials were phoned in from a set of brand standards vs a boutique hotel that is inspired and remains loyal to its locale.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My immediate family were my founding investors. Back in 2011, I sat my mom, dad, sister, and brother at the dinner table of the house we all grew up in and proposed we raise $10,000 ($2,000 per member + monthly contributions) with the intent to acquire real estate. I said, “we’re stronger together than we are apart, and together we can afford property we could never afford individually.”
It has taken far more than $10,000 to arrive at the $20,000,000 in assets under management, but that dinner table meeting was the vision, spark, and engine that landed us here today.
- Address: 10000 Washington Blvd
Suite 600 Culver City, CA. 90232
- Website: http://www.kirkwoodcollection.com
- Phone: (424) 532-1160
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: kirkwoodcollection
- Facebook: @kirkwoodcollection
- Twitter: @KirkwoodHotels