Chattanooga hotel company 3H Group says alliance creates big management operation

Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Hiren Desai, 3H Group's president and chief executive, says strategic alliance with LBA Hospitality will grow the business.
Staff photo by Troy Stolt / Hiren Desai, 3H Group's president and chief executive, says strategic alliance with LBA Hospitality will grow the business.

Chattanooga lodging company 3H Group is forming a strategic alliance with an Alabama-based business to create one of the biggest hotel management operations in the Southeast.

Hiren Desai, 3H Group's president and chief executive, said his company is aligning its hotel management operations with LBA Hospitality of Dothan, Alabama.

The companies will have a depth of experience in hotel management with over 90 properties in 11 states in their portfolios and Desai said he expects to grow that number to close to 100 by year's end.

Desai said 3H Group is not selling its business and the hotel developer will continue to be headquartered in Chattanooga where he'll still serve as its CEO.

But 3H Group and LBA Hospitality plan to share a regional office in Chattanooga on the hotel management side of the business. LBA will keep its existing corporate headquarters in Dothan.

Desai said no one in Chattanooga will lose their jobs due to the alliance, and the 20 or so posts 3H Group has in the city could grow slightly.

"We're continuing what we're good at," he said. "We're plugging into a more robust engine."

Desai termed the alliance "a strategic move in our overall growth." He said the action will position the companies for the future and will allow its teams to share best practices to achieve top performance within the industry.

Also, Desai said the move will give the companies more purchasing power and economies of scale.

Beau Benton, LBA Hospitality's president, said partnering with 3H Group will help the companies achieve their business goals.

"LBA proudly empowers employees, and we find common ground with Hiren, the 3H Group team and their culture of respect and service," he said.

The 3H Group was founded in 2000, and it not only builds hotels and does lodging management but is involved in other ventures involving residential and storage construction.

Desai also is a partner in the redevelopment of the former Alstom property, a 121-acre tract that sits just down Riverfront Parkway from 3H Group's offices. Earlier this month, developers revealed a nearly 1,000-space parking garage planned at the former Alstom site, now called The Bend. It will help spur a proposed nearby 10-story office building.

The planned site of the garage and office buildings aren't too far from where battery materials maker Novonix plans to retrofit a 400,000-square-foot former nuclear turbine manufacturing plant at The Bend.

At 3H Group, the portfolio has expanded to include more than 21 properties, including four hotels in Chattanooga. During the pandemic, 3H Group opened five new hotels and picked up five from sellers who just couldn't weather the storm, Desai said.

LBA Hospitality was set up in 1973 and has an extensive portfolio of hotels located in the Southeast and Southwest.

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.

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