Time for 8Hotels to grow: open to outside investment

Paul Fischmann, the founder and owner of boutique accommodation operator 8Hotels,  says is he open to outside investment in the company he started 10 years ago.

“We need to corporatise  – it’s time to grow up,” he says. “I think we’re sitting on a very exciting opportunity and it’s time to take this business to the next level,” he says.

Mr Fischmann, 37, acknowledges that while he has done a great job getting 8Hotels to 20 properties under management, “it’s very difficult to grow a large hotel company without having serious money behind you”.

Which means he is open to suggestions – “we’re speaking with lots of people, lots of people approach us” – though the trick will be finding the right partner, and that could take some time.

Then again… Meanwhile, Mr Fischmann’s immediate focus is on 1888, the company’s latest property which is due to open in mid-April. It’s a restored woolstore on the Pyrmont side of Sydney’s Darling Habour.

Mr Fischmann says it will be his most complete venture with a committed development partner that has pumped $30 milllion into the project.

“We have been able to create something without compromise,” he says.

It will have 90 rooms, a 60-seat bar restaurant and conferencing facilities. Design features include exposed brick, high ceilings, lots of recycled Iron Bark timber, big windows and a seven-storey atrium. Room rates will range from $160 to $300 with a target average daily rate of $200.

Looking ahead, Mr Fischmann says there are massive opportunities. “I’d like to capitalise on what we have built.”

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