Company founder and President Harry G. Spirides is a former owner and operator of a 205 room full service beachfront resort hotel for 20 years. He rose up through the ranks of his family's hotel company from restaurant dishwasher to General Manager to Chief Executive Officer. He is a third generation hotelier and has over 30 years of experience working in full service hotels. In fact, members of the Spirides family have owned, operated, developed, and advised hotels and restaurants for over 90 years--since the 1920s. During his 20 year tenure holding the position of hotel owner and Chief Executive Officer Harry Spirides employed hundreds of people and led his company through all phases of a hotel company’s lifecycle and successfully navigated through many financial, legal, economic, public relations, and operations significant events. Mr. Spirides has served for decades as a member of boards of directors of organizations focused on tourism destination marketing, convention centers, and economic development. He has also served on state and local government authorities and committees. He is a published author of hotel history.
On many occasions during his 20 years as a hotel owner and operator Harry Spirides successfully obtained additional capital as needed to refinance his company’s mortgage debt as well as fund new construction, acquisitions, renovations, and operations. He intimately knows how finance is the lifeblood of any hotel or restaurant, and he can certainly relate to any financial situation in which a owner may find himself or herself.
Harry Spirides sold his hotel in 2014 in a vibrant hotel real estate market. Today, Mr. Spirides owns and operates Spirides Hospitality Finance Company where he finds it very rewarding to assist hotel and restaurant owners with their financing needs, having “walked a thousand miles in their shoes.” He obtains funding at the best possible terms for hotel and restaurant owners located throughout the United States by using his established connections in the capital markets and hospitality industry in general.
Mr. Spirides is also a Licensed Real Estate Broker and is affiliated with the hotel brokerage firm of Greene, Canfield, De George, LLC. By seeking out and introducing prospective buyers he assists hotel owners with the sale of their hotels which is the ultimate hotel financial liquidity event. Even if a hotel is not located in Florida he can refer the owner to a reputable hotel broker in most states.
Mr. Spirides holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Mercer University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Administration from Florida State University. He has also been awarded the Advanced Certification in Real Estate and Hotel Investment from Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. Harry Spirides is a military veteran and former commissioned officer. He served 3 years active duty and 8 years reserve duty as a federal law enforcement officer in the U.S. Coast Guard. He received a honorable discharge from military service in 2008. Spirides Hospitality Finance Company has been verified as a Veteran-Owned Small Business by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Spirides Family History
In 1910 George Leonidas Spirides immigrated to the United States from Sparta, Greece. He spent the next 5 years working in New York City as a dishwasher, a cook, and a flower delivery boy.
In 1915 George L. Spirides moved to Endicott, New York, to work for his first cousin James Strates, owner of Strates Shows, which became the nation’s largest traveling carnival show. At that time the show traveled in 50 double length railroad cars and employed 900 people. George Spirides managed the Strates dining facility known as the “Cookhouse.” In between shows George Spirides traveled to other carnivals and special events where he operated his own ice cream and frozen custard concession outlets.
In 1940 George L. Spirides moved to the Savannah, Georgia area where he owned and operated food service establishments and lodging facilities for 40 years.
In the mid 1960s George L. Spirides' nephew George H. Spirides bought the remains of a legendary old beach resort hotel near Savannah, Georgia and transformed it into a modern 205 room full service beach resort hotel which hosted 100,000 guests each year. He subsequently operated that hotel for the next 30 years.
In 1966 George H. Spirides married his wife Frances who is originally from Knoxville, Tennessee and a member of the prominent Regas family of restaurant owners and operators. Frances' cousin Bill Regas was President of the National Restaurant Association in 1980-81. Working closely most of the time with her husband, Frances ultimately worked for 43 years overseeing front desk, housekeeping, and accounting operations in the Spirides family hotel business. She retired in 2009.
In 1969 George H. Spirides assisted his good friend Cecil B. Day to design, build, and establish the world's first Day's Inn near Savannah, GA, and he subsequently became the first manager of the world's first Day's Inn.
In the late 1970s George H. Spirides' son and the owner of this company Harry G. Spirides began working in the full service hotel industry at a very early age. He learned all aspects of the full service hotel business while working for his father, and over the next 30 years he rose up through the ranks from restaurant dishwasher to Chief Executive Officer of his family's hotel company.
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