Boston-based real estate private equity firm Blue Flag Capital, part of Blue Flag Partners, has acquired The Kelley House, partnering with award-winning Life House through its Life Hospitality independent management platform on the operation of the historic, 57-room boutique hotel.
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Kelley House comprises 6 historic buildings in the heart of Edgartown, MA. (Photo: Business Wire)
This transaction represents the fourth collaboration between NYC-based Life House and Boston-based Blue Flag. Their partnership continues to prosper, with multiple additional assets under contract in key target markets, and active discussions underway to acquire hotels in Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Long Island.
The Kelley House opened its doors in 1742 when Martha’s Vineyard was world-renowned as a colonial settlement for whalers. During those thriving days of whaling glory, the Port of Edgartown was one of the most important ports nearby the New England coast. Whalers maintained their own custom houses – including the likes of the Kelley House – and racked up thousands of dollars’ worth of business annually (millions in today’s dollars) from ships that arrived from every corner of the world to the picturesque harbor. Fast forward more than 275 years and the Kelley House hotel remains renowned as one of the 5 oldest hotels in the United States, with nearly three centuries of history unfolding within its walls. It stands amongst the most historically and culturally significant properties on the island, commanding an unmatched presence across 6 buildings in the heart of Edgartown, MA.
“As New England locals with deep personal ties to Martha’s Vineyard, we are honored for the opportunity to steward such a prominent and historic property as the Kelley House, located in the heart of downtown Edgartown,” says Jason Brown, a Partner at Blue Flag. “We’re actively seeking to further our relationship with Life House, who with their advanced tech-enabled approach has enabled us to thrive in our existing portfolio by delivering a great high-end guest experience while materially minimizing operational leverage in these uncertain times.”
The hotel joins a growing family of locally-inspired independent boutique hotels owned by Blue Flag and operated by Life House, which include the 58-key Roberts House Collection and 17-key Life House, Nantucket in Nantucket, MA, just a short boat ride away from Martha’s Vineyard.
The Kelley House sits steps away from the island’s best activities, exquisite beaches, dining, shopping, ferry service, the Edgartown lighthouse and harbor, Chappy ferry, galleries, and much more. The hotel encompasses a pool, the “Wave Bar”, and an award-winning restaurant, “The Newes from America”, a world-famous Colonial pub that serves traditional food and spirits, Named by Travel + Leisure as one of the best places to eat on Martha’s Vineyard, and voted Best of the Vineyard 2019.
“We look forward to respecting the heritage of the hotel, with a business plan that entails preserving the historic branding of Kelley House and Newes from America, which we know firsthand to be a favorite of both year-round locals and visitors to Edgartown alike,” said Brad Guidi, Co-Founder and Partner at Blue Flag.
Life House will leverage its independent management platform, Life Hospitality, to enhance guest safety in a post-Covid-19 environment leveraging tech-enabled means, such as implementing check-in kiosks and mobile app check in – prior to Blue Flag reinvesting into further elevating the physical asset, overall design and guest experience during the 2021 offseason.
“We’re thrilled to continue working with Blue Flag and The Kelley House is another opportunity for us to bring another historic hotel to its full potential through our vertically integrated platform,” explained Life House Founder & CEO Rami Zeidan. “There are many beautiful hotels with so much potential throughout the Northeast without operational sophistication and branding to match their financial and experiential potential and we’re excited to continue working our way throughout the region alongside Blue Flag.”
About Life House Hotels
Life House is a New York-based, venture-backed and vertically-integrated hotel brand, management, and software company. Life House has built a proprietary technology stack to power a platform that makes hotels more seamless and more profitable for hotel owners and travel more meaningful and more accessible for travelers. Life House operates and brands 4-star hotels, and operates independent hotels under its Life Hospitality management platform. www.lifehousehotels.com.
About Blue Flag Partners & Blue Flag Capital
Blue Flag Partners, LLC, is a Boston, MA, based real estate firm comprised of vertically integrated Capital, Development and Construction divisions. Blue Flag pairs it’s in-house expertise with discretionary capital and strategic partnerships to deliver outsized growth to its portfolio and strong risk adjusted returns to its investors. Along it’s hospitality vertical, Blue Flag Capital currently invests through a fully discretionary real estate private equity fund, Signal H Investment Partnership I, LP. Additionally, Blue Flag makes strategic investments in related operating companies and brands. To learn more about Blue Flag, visit www.blueflagpartners.com.
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