Some hotel moguls became famous because of the success of their businesses. For example, William Barron Hilton, the successor of hotelier Conrad Hilton, was honored by the Smithsonian and inducted into the International Hall of Fame.
For some moguls, it’s the other way around. And this article will cover three celebrities who became famous in their own right and then entered the hospitality sector as investors.
1. Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is a co-owner of Nobu Hospitality and Nobu Restaurants. The business sees 150,000 customers a year in each restaurant. Nobu has become the go-to place for some of the most famous people in show business.
Together with celebrity chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, De Niro has invested in 50 restaurants and 13 luxury hotels around the world.
Aside from the shared investments, De Niro owns a small boutique hotel in Manhattan’s Tribeca District called The Greenwich. One of his latest personal investments was a luxury resort on the Caribbean Island of Barbuda (worth $250 million).
2. Francis Ford Coppola
After falling in love with the landscape of Belize in the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola purchased a remote, run-down lodge on the island. It eventually became his first hotel—Blancaneaux Lodge. The investment was followed by other luxury resorts” Turtle Inn in Belize, Palazzo Margherita in Italy, Jardín Escondido in Buenos Aires, and La Lancha in Guatemala.
Coppola’s wine bar/bistro in the Sentinel Building in San Fransisco sells wines from his Napa Valley winery and pasta as part of his prepackaged food business.
3. Jon Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi Foundation’s Soul Kitchen restaurant has two locations in his home state of New Jersey. But these restaurants are not like the ones discussed earlier. These restaurants are more of an investment in the community. Here, first preference is given to guests with financial needs.
JBJ also launched Hampton Water wine with his son Jessee. The company sold 500,000 bottles in the first year.
Is investing in hospitality worth it?
Here are a few reasons why hospitality may be a good choice for investors:
- Soaring holiday demand: Although 2020-2021 were terrible years for hospitality, the industry has fully recovered and is geared for growth going forward.
- Asset diversification: Allocating investments among various instruments and industries is a good practice. So, if you’ve been investing elsewhere, hospitality can reduce asset-specific risk.
- Tax efficiency: The possibility to deduct depreciation is a major plus.
- Community footprint: You can benefit the community by generating new jobs and making a far-reaching social impact (social events, co-working spaces, bringing in business).
- Prestige and family heirloom: Being in the hospitality industry shows you are high profile and have an advanced status, which is an important factor for some individuals. And finally, hotels and resorts often remain in the family.
But hospitality is not for everyone—the industry is particularly susceptible to economic turbulence, there might be a lot of costs and upkeep, and the business is seasonal and volatile. Evidently, these celebrities have not regretted their choice, so it works for those who are ready for such a demanding investment.