Over the next two years, Espire Group expects to invest over 50 crores in its mid-market brand Country Inn Hotels & Resorts. Six Senses Fort Barwara, a high-end resort near Ranthambore, Rajasthan, is also owned and operated by the firm.
The intended investments will go into leasing resorts, hiring people, renovating and modernizing existing owned resorts, launching a new five-star elite boutique brand, and marketing.
According to Akhil Arora, the company’s chief operating officer, internal accruals would be used to support the growth,
“We’ve decided to revamp all our existing hotels as well as expand the brand which earlier was predominantly restricted to the Uttarakhand region. We will take the brand to more parts of India where the leisure markets are very strong,” said Arora.
Wherever possible, the company is still considering other expansion options, such as acquiring hotels or buying them. They will also consider leasing and then operating hotel buildings. While expanding through hotel management contracts, there are aspirations to have an asset-light approach.
In 2022, the company will expand to 12 new locations, including Goa, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Varanasi, and Vrindavan, among others. Country Inn now owns four facilities in Uttarakhand’s Jim Corbett, Bhimtal, Haridwar, and Kosi, all located on the Agra route.
According to Arora, ₹50 crores will be spent on new hotel properties as they are taken over, with an average of ₹3 crore to ₹4 crore expenditure on each property to refurbish or build. By August of this year, eight of their forthcoming 12 hotels are expected to open. By the end of FY23, it hopes to have a total of 20 hotels in its portfolio. One hotel in Jim Corbett, its second resort in the area, was the most recent addition to its portfolio.
Espire is owned by Amit Rai, who also owns Espire Infrastructure and Radcliffe, a private school group. Country Inn, a resort brand, was founded in the early 1990s.