Since 2006, CapStar Hotel Company is a hotel ownership/investment firm that acquires and develops premium-branded, select-service and independent hotels in major U.S. urban markets, primarily along the East and West Coast and in major Midwest cities. CapStar's executive team is comprised of a group of hotel real estate professionals who have acquired, developed, financed and renovated more than $5 billion in hotel assets. The company's experienced team has the expertise and flexibility to conduct due diligence and close on transactions creatively and quickly. CapStar enjoys strong relationships with numerous hotel management companies, and welcomes any opportunities to expand its network.
CapStar is led by Mr. Paul W. Whetsell, our President and Chief Executive Officer. Over the past two decades, Paul Whetsell has built some of the nation's largest hotel ownership and third-party management companies, overseeing the acquisition, development, financing, operations and disposition of more than 300 hotels valued at more than $5 billion. He founded and led the original CapStar Hotel Company in 1987 until its August 1998 merger with American General Hospitality Corporation, which resulted in the creation of MeriStar Hospitality, the nation's third largest real estate investment trust, and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, the nation's largest independent management company. He oversaw the sale of MeriStar Hospitality (NYSE: MHX) to an affiliate of the Blackstone Group for $2.6 billion in 2006. Previously, he served in development and operating capacities for Lincoln Hotels in Dallas, Texas, and held various positions with Quality Inns (now Choice Hotels International), rising to vice president of franchise.
He served as the chairman of the board of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: IHR) until March 2009, is a member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association's board of directors and the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory Council, and is a past member of NAREIT's board of governors. He serves on the CEO Council of the United States Travel Association (USTA). He serves on the board of directors of NVR, Inc. (NYSE: NVR) and is the Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the National Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Whetsell holds a BA degree in history from Davidson College.