Strategic Hotel Capital Calls on Sir Winston Churchill to Rally Hotel Industry

CHICAGO, Ill., January 4, 2002—Strategic Hotel Capital (SHC), a private hotel investment company with assets valued at approximately $3 billion, today announced that it has launched a new advertising campaign to help rally the hotel industry to more quickly rebound from the tragic events of September 11. The first ad in the series already has been cited in a special edition of Finest Hour, a quarterly publication dedicated to preserving the history of Winston Churchill. Designated an “Immortal Advert,” the ad is the first ever to be cited by the publication, which is produced by The Churchill Center, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.
The dramatic, black and white ad features a photo of the well-known British statesman, accompanied by the following Churchill quote: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” The short copy that followed said: “Sure, business looks lousy this year, but we choose to look on the bright side. Here’s to the inevitable success of our industry.” A second in the series has been created for the ALIS Conference program book.

“We originally created the ad to provide encouragement to the hotel industry, which was in the midst of feeling the effects of an economic slowdown,” said Laurence Geller, chief executive officer of SHC. “Like much of what Sir Winston voiced, however, the enduring quote lent itself equally well to the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.” Geller noted that following the recent horrific events, Churchill’s words were quoted more frequently and served as the greatest source of inspiration for a wide array of political figures, including President George W. Bush and New York Mayor Rudolph Guliani.
Geller said that response to the ad from the hotel industry had been overwhelmingly positive, which has led Strategic Hotel Capital to expand the series. “We intend to periodically invoke the sage words of Sir Winston in future advertising to provide additional encouragement and inspiration for the hotel industry.” Geller is an avid reader of history and a student of the life and works of Winston S. Churchill, as well as a Trustee of the Churchill Center.
Daly Gray, a Herndon, Va.-based communications firm, produced the black and white ad. In addition to business-to-business advertising, the company provides marketing, consumer and business-to-business public relations, investor relations, strategic planning and consulting services to the hospitality industry.
Headquartered in Chicago, Ill., Strategic Hotel Capital currently owns 27 luxury and upscale hotels and resorts in the U.S., North America and Europe. The company acquires and aggressively asset manages larger hotels, properties with 200-plus rooms, in markets with unique, hard-to-duplicate locations with high barriers to additional competition.

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Selected hotels in SHC’s portfolio include the Essex House, a Westin Hotel, New York City; The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, Calif; the Four Seasons Mexico City and Four Seasons Punta Mita, both in Mexico; the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and the Park Hyatt, both in San Francisco; the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans and on Capital Hill, Washington D.C.; the Marriott Hamburg, Germany; the Hotel Inter-Continental Praha, Prague, Czech Republic; and the Marriott Champs Elysees in Paris.
SHC ( is a privately held, limited liability company whose major stakeholders include the Whitehall funds and Prudential Insurance Co. of America.