Orient-Express celebrates ten years on the New York Stock Exchange
10th August 2010 - Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (NYSE: OEH, www.orient-express.com), today celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Company’s Initial Public Offering by ringing the Closing Bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
At the time of the IPO, Orient-Express owned or managed 31 hotels and had 4,400 employees. In the subsequent ten years, the Company has gained over 3,000 employees, 22 more hotels, two tourist trains, one marina based Caribbean real estate development and a river cruise company, as well as international recognition and a raft of awards.
With the acquisition a third property in Peru in January 2001, the Company predicted at the time that Peru would soon become the new hot spot for luxury cultural and adventure travellers. Today, Orient-Express has five hotels in the region, with a sixth in development, and operates the luxury Hiram Bingham train to Machu Picchu.
2001 saw the expansion of the Company into four new countries, with the acquisition of four iconic and irreplaceable properties, including the start of a long and successful partnership with renowned chef, Raymond Blanc, at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in England. The following year, gourmet cuisine was still on the menu when the new Upstairs restaurant at ‘21’ in New York was voted Esquire magazine’s “Best New Restaurant in New York” and Hôtel de la Cité in Carcassonne, France, won its first Michelin star at its La Barbacane restaurant.
The Company has always believed in investing in its assets, thereby stimulating growth. This was clearly demonstrated in 2002 when The Inn at Perry Cabin in Maryland was doubled in size from 40 to 81 keys. A major investment in 2006 was the replacement of the 80 year old wheel sets, or bogies, on the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, thus ensuring a smooth journey for the train’s 15,000 passengers a year.
Acknowledging the trend towards a higher demand for suite and junior suite accommodation, particularly in Italy, investment began in adding larger and more exclusive accommodation in Florence and Portofino, a trend which continues today with the three year refurbishment of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice.
The past ten years has seen the Orient-Express collection refined by the addition of some of the world’s most iconic hotels - the Hotel Ritz Madrid; St. Petersburg’s Grand Hotel Europe; and in January 2010, the Grand Hotel Timeo in Sicily.
Orient-Express has also lent its diverse knowledge and expertise to preserving and renovating properties of architectural and cultural importance, such as the Hotel Caruso in Ravello, a five year restoration project of a 17th century property, and the current project to convert an 18th century former convent in Cuzco, Peru into a 56 key luxury hotel by the Spring of 2012.
It has always been part of the Orient-Express philosophy to support local communities in the company’s many worldwide locations, and we continue to strengthen our focus on responsible tourism. Initiatives in the last ten years include a custom built worm farm at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town which currently houses over one million worms which feed on the waste produced by the hotel. This waste is then turned into compost and used as fertiliser and soil conditioner for the grounds of the hotel.
Charleston Place Hotel created the Charleston Chefs’ ‘Feed the Need’ program, pulling together local restaurants, caterers and hoteliers to serve weekly meals for up to 500 people in need and in Peru, Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge introduced an on-site agricultural school which runs four-week programmes for local people, who are given the seeds and taught to grow their own organic tomatoes, salads, and herbs which the hotel then buys from them for its kitchens. This type of activity underpins the Company’s operating philosophy today.
Looking ahead to the next ten years, Paul White, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orient-Express Hotels said, “Orient-Express has grown and matured as a business in the ten years since our initial public offering. Our worldwide team has much to be proud of and we go forward into the future on a sound financial basis, with plans to further develop our business, maximize our famous brand, extend the possibilities that it affords us and create value for our shareholders.”
For further information:
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 7775 703725