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The Power of the Peloton | LinkedIn

Quote Guardian Home Insurance

August 16, 2013

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Recently, I had the opportunity to bike across northwest Spain with the team from AC Hotels, a new brand of stylish European hotels that Marriott International acquired in 2011.

AC Hotels founder Antonio Catalan has been taking this ride into Santiago de Compostela for more than 20 years. This is the first time I have been able to join him since we entered into our partnership in 2011. The ride this year included almost 50, almost all Spaniards, almost all well-known members of the AC Hotels team or longtime friends of Antonio and all, but me, regular bikers.

I was stunned by the beauty of the region and also the difficulty of the ride. As a regular runner, I thought I would be fine on a bicycle for 75-mile days. I made it, but the presence of the peloton (fancy biker word for team) made all the difference in the world as they coaxed and cajoled to get me to the top of the mountain climbs. Without them, I would not have made it.

In some respects, the ride we had in Spain is a great lesson for our business. For example, our deal with Antonio Catalan has proven much more difficult than we anticipated. Spain has been in the grips of a stubborn recession that seems to get worse every year. That has made our performance there less exciting than we anticipated.

And yet, by continuing to work with Antonio and his team, we have not only consolidated the strength of the AC Hotels by Marriott brand in Spain, but we have now launched that brand in the U.S. in an effort to appeal to the next generation traveler who is looking for style at a moderate price. The European design sensibility of the brand – honed by Antonio over decades in the hotel business in Spain – is perfect for these millennials that are looking for something a bit different. This expansion of the brand will make our 2011 transaction more exciting than we anticipated.

Just as the launch of AC Hotels in the U.S. will bring strength to a deal that suffered from the impact of a tough Spanish economy, hopefully that same sense of teamwork can help Spain itself throw off the burden of the recession and begin to grow again. The recession has been a grinding burden for so many in Spain. But Spain is a place of great culture, great food and great beauty. We are thrilled to have the hotels we have there with Antonio Catalan and we invite you all back to Spain. Stay with us or stay somewhere else, but visit Spain. Help them grow. Let’s be their peloton.

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Featured on:Business Travel

Posted by:Arne Sorenson

via The Power of the Peloton | LinkedIn.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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