Donald J. Urgo
Donald J. Urgo, Sr., brings more than a half century of experience to bear on his leadership of Urgo Hotels & Resorts. He has cultivated strong relationships with executive management throughout the hotel industry, including a close history with Marriott Corporation that dates back to 1972, when he was first retained to spearhead a global expansion of the company’s operations.
An industry visionary, Don pioneered the conversion and ground-up builds of new brands for established hospitality companies. He introduced the concept to Marriott Corporation in 1990 with the conversion of the Plainview Residence Inn by Marriott, achieving the highest RevPAR in the entire Residence Inn system within the first year. Under his leadership, Urgo Hotels & Resorts was the sole management company to occupy the hotel conversion space for a full decade. It has since grown to become the most successful niche in the industry, and one that Urgo continues to dominate.
Early in his relationship with Marriott, Don was directly responsible for key acquisitions and joint ventures including, among many others, the acquisition of the Sun Line Cruise Line, the acquisition of the Howard Johnson Company, and the divestment of the Howard Johnson franchise group to Prime Motor Inns. He played a key role in the conversion to condominium hotels of the Essex House Tower in New York and the Camelback Inn in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Throughout his career, Don has provided a comprehensive range of advisory and investment services to institutional, development and operating clients including Howard Johnson, the Trammel Crow Organization, Ted Lerner Enterprises, Americana Hotels and Realty Corporation, the Bank of New York, Riggs National Bank of Washington, D.C., the Travelers Insurance Company and Merrill Lynch. His airline clients have included TWA, Northwest, Pan American, Aer Lingus and BWIA.
Don began his law practice in 1962 with the New York law firm of Hughes, Hubbard and Reed, where he developed a specialty in international business transactions with emphasis on the hotel and airlines industries. He holds a law degree from New York’s Fordham University which, in 2011, honored him with the Richard J. Bennett Award. The award recognizes corporate leaders who exhibit the highest moral standards and ethical conduct.