Hervey Feldman, 67,
co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of FelCor Lodging Trust , passed Tuesday,
September 7 at his home in Dallas, Texas. A pioneer in the lodging industry, Mr. Feldman was best known as the
“father of Embassy Suites.” He was the founding President and Chief
Executive Officer of Embassy Suites, Inc., serving in that capacity from
1983 to 1990, and as its Chairman of the Board from 1990 to 1992. Under
his leadership, the Embassy Suites brand grew from one hotel to more than
130 hotels nationwide.
In 1991, Mr. Feldman co-founded FelCor, Inc., with longtime partner and
friend Thomas J. Corcoran, Jr., FelCor’s President and CEO. They purchased
their first hotel—the Holiday Inn(R) at Dallas/Fort Worth International
Airport. Over the next decade, the two entrepreneurs took FelCor public in
1994, purchased more than 200 hotels and established one of the nation’s
premiere hotel real estate investment trusts.
“Hervey has been my partner and friend for more than 30 years. His vision
and leadership set the standard for the lodging industry,” said Tom
Corcoran, FelCor’s President and CEO. “He was one of the most respected
leaders in the hotel industry. Hervey’s contributions to the industry and
community will long be remembered.”
During his 42-year career in hotels, Mr. Feldman became known as a lodging
innovator and a candid and colorful spokesperson for industry events and
Feldman’s industry honors and board appointments included: Vice President
and Member of the Hotel Committee of Holiday Corporation’s Board of
Directors, Member of the Board of Trustees of New York University’s (NYU)
Center for Food and Hotel Management, Speaker and Fellow of the NYU
Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, and Member of the Board of
Directors of First City Bank, Dallas.
Feldman began his career in the lodging and hospitality industry in 1960
with Brock Hotel Corporation, the first Holiday Inn franchisee and the
largest single owner of Holiday Inn(R) hotels at the time. In 1974,
Feldman joined Holiday Inns of America and was the first chairman of the
Holiday Gaming Committee. He oversaw Holiday enter the casino gaming
business by purchasing 40 percent of the Holiday Inn Center Strip Casino,
followed closely by Holiday’s purchase of Harrah’s.
Feldman’s career also included founding Sunbelt Hospitality Corporation,
which owned, developed and built the first Crowne Plaza hotel in Fort
Wayne, Indiana; and re-joining Brock Hotel Corporation to buy and co-found
Residence Inns (now Marriott Residence Inns). In 1983, Feldman left Brock
to found and lead Embassy Suites.
Mr. Feldman is survived by his three children: Debra, Josh and Jordana,
grandson Eric Schwarz, and his brother Larry Feldman of Seattle, Wash.,
and his sister Lynn Wittman of Newton, Mass.
Memorial services will be held at 3:00 p.m., on Thursday, September 9,
2004 at Temple Emanu-El, Lefkowitz Chapel, 8500 Hillcrest Road, Dallas,
Texas, 75225. Phone (214) 706-0000.
Donations may be made in the memory of Hervey Feldman to either of the
following charities: the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Greater
Dallas Chapter, Attn: Melissa Knight, 9400 N. Central Expressway, Suite
1201, Dallas, Texas, 75231, or the American Red Cross, Disaster Relief
Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C., 20013.