WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MHI Hospitality Corporation (Nasdaq: MDH) is deeply saddened to announce that the company's founder, Edgar Sims, Jr., died on January 19, 2010. He was 81 years old. Mr. Sims founded the predecessor company in 1957 with the purchase of a twelve-unit motel in College Park, Maryland. For over 40 years, Mr. Sims grew the company and became a well recognized and respected hotelier in the Mid-Atlantic region. In 2004, MHI Hospitality became a publicly traded company and continues to execute on the original vision and mission of Mr. Sims. He has not been active in the company for many years.
As an hotelier, Edgar Sims, Jr., had a deep-seated commitment to the industry. Among his business accomplishments, Mr. Sims served on the board of directors of the American Motor Hotel Association from 1963-1966 and was its president in 1965. Mr. Sims received the Motel Hall of Fame award from Hospitality Magazine in 1964. He also served as the president of the Metro Washington Motel Association (1969), Maryland Travel Council (1973) and the Prince Georges Travel Promotion Council (1979-1981). In the following decades Mr. Sims was an officer of the Maryland Economic Development Commission, the Prince Georges County Chamber of Commerce and the College Park Board of Trade. He received the Maryland Travel Person of the Year award in 1983.
"My father's vision 50 years ago was to build a company of hotel assets principally focused on hospitality, value and opportunity," said Andrew Sims, President and Chief Executive Officer of MHI Hospitality Corporation. "These principles are the cornerstones of our company. It is our continued commitment to that vision that remains as the foundation of our success and our future."
Andrew Sims added, "In his career my father played a leadership role in a number of business and civic organizations in order to promote the growth of the hospitality industry. With these contributions and his signature role in our company's growth, he has left a significant footprint within the industry. On behalf of the entire MHI team and the Sims family we are profoundly grateful."
Said Chief Financial Officer William Zaiser, "Ed Sims was the gold standard in the hospitality industry. He treated employees as extended family and guests at his establishments as visiting friends. He infused the business culture of our company with the highest standards of honesty, ethics and hospitality. We have all lost a friend, a family member and a beloved colleague. He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him."
About MHI Hospitality Corporation
MHI Hospitality Corporation is a self-advised lodging REIT focused on the acquisition, redevelopment and management of mid-scale, upscale and upper-upscale full-service hotels in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southeastern United States. Currently, the Company's portfolio consists of eleven properties, nine of which are wholly-owned, comprising 2,110 rooms. All of the Company's assets operate under the Hilton, InterContinental Hotels Group and Starwood Hotels and Resorts brands. In addition, the Company has a 25 percent interest in the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort and a leasehold interest in the common area of Shell Island Resort, a resort condominium property. MHI Hospitality Corporation was organized in 2004 and is headquartered in Williamsburg, Virginia. For more information please visit www.mhihospitality.com.
SOURCE MHI Hospitality Corporation