Image of the exterior entrance to the Ace hotel in Brooklyn. Source: Ace.

Image of the exterior entrance to the Ace hotel in Brooklyn. Source: Ace.

Ace Group International, the operator of a buzzy brand of 11 open Ace lifestyle hotels, will be acquired by Sortis Holdings, a Portland, Oregon-based hospitality firm, the companies said on Tuesday.

Sortis paid $85 million in cash for Ace Group, owner of the Ace brand, the luxury Maison de la Luz brand (with one property open), the minimalist lodging brand Sister City (which was temporarily open and could be brought back), and the management company, Atelier Ace.

Sortis’ Kelly Sawdon led the acquisition. Before she joined Sortis in 2021, Sawdon was a partner at the Ace Hotel Group and had been a key player in the brand since shortly after its creation by three friends (Doug Herrick, Alex Calderwood, and Wade Weigel) in 1999 in Seattle.

Sortis got to know the Ace founders during the pandemic crunch. In 2021, it became a co-owner of the downtown Portland Ace Hotel in Washington state. As a joint owner along with Ace executives, it helped to fund the company’s refurbishment during the aftermath of the coronavirus hit to travel.

The combined entity Ace and Sortis organizations will have 15 hotels under management. Sortis manages, and is half-owner of, the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle.

Sortis plans to roughly double the number of Ace hotels worldwide over several years, it told the Wall Street Journal, which broke the story.

Is Sortis a Good Home for Ace?

Sortis has been scaling up a set of lifestyle businesses. It has stakes in a handful of restaurants, coffee shops, the Rudy’s Barbershop chain (co-founded by a co-founder of Ace), and the Bamboo Sushi restaurant chain. It takes hospitality brands and provides capital access, real estate growth strategies, co-location

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