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Okabe North America owns five hotels in western Canada. Coast Hotels & Resorts, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has properties throughout British Columbia, Alberta, Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Coast Hotels has 36 properties in North America, including the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver and ski-in/ski-out Coast Blackcomb Suites in Whistler, British Columbia; the Benson historic landmark in Portland, Oregon; Coast International Inn in Anchorage, Alaska; and Waimea Plantation Cottages in Hawaii. The APA Group was founded by Toshio Motoya in 1971. APA, which stands for Always Pleasant Amenity, operates a chain of 347 hotels and resorts in Japan. In 2015, APA Group reportedly had revenues of more than $750 million and profits of more than $230 million, a 30 percent profit margin unheard of in the industry, according to Motoya. Through a concept called “New Urban Style,” APA Hotel is said to have become the number one hotel brand in Japan. Designed to reduce carbon emissions by one-third of typical urban hotels, APA Hotel continues to expand rapidly in Japan, with projects in the pipeline such as a 2,400 guest room hotel in Yokohama. Motoya’s wife Fumiko Motoya, president of the hotel chain, “is one of the best-known faces of corporate Japan, according to Japan Times, with her image appearing on billboards displayed prominently near major train stations around the country. “It is her face that has made the (previously) relatively unknown hotel chain a household name, known even to schoolgirls,” JP added. Her debut over two decades ago in a full-page newspaper ad, featuring her picture with the underline, “I am a president,” shocked the public. “If I were as beautiful as Cleopatra, people would not have paid that much attention,” Fumiko Motoya said. [caption id="attachment_433208" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]APA_Hotel_Fumiko Motoya Fumiko Motoya, President of APA Hotel.[/caption] Okabe is a leading manufacturer of building hardware such as scaffolding frames, construction structural materials and civil engineering products, which comprise its core business. The company was founded in 1917 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Okabe is working on “the development of new markets and fields, taking into account the forecast for stagnation in demand in construction after the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, which are slated to be held in 2020,” the company aid. Okabe “has decided to sell off the hotel business, which it has been operating since acquiring the business in 1988, to APA Hotel International Inc., with the aim of further promoting the selection and concentration of management resources,” including long term value improvement measures “such as stepping up efforts for corporate acquisition and domestic and overseas capital investment,” it added. Launch of APA Hotel Franchise in US, Opening of APA Hotel Woodbridge The move comes a less than two months after APA Hotel Franchise LLC, based in Delaware, opened its first US-based property, the 200-room APA Hotel Woodbridge at Metropark, in Iselin, N.J. (formerly the Hilton Woodbridge Hotel), after completing the first phase of the property’s renovation plans. The June 22, 2016 grand opening celebration was attended by Toshio Motoya, founder and CEO of APA Hotel & Resorts, Jason Cheng, CEO of APA Group’s joint venture partner, Friendwell Group, and Woodbridge Township mayor John McCormac. APA Group plans to grow its presence in the United States rapidly “to 100 properties by 2020,” Motoya said. “APA set the trend in Asia and Japan for the creation of new urban-style hotels with core values steeped in high quality, high functionality and environment-friendly amenities.” In November 2015, APA Hotel formed a joint venture partnership with New Jersey-based Friendwell Group, to introduce and develop the APA Hotel franchise in the US, starting with the APA Hotel Woodbridge (formerly the Hilton Woodbridge Hotel), which is owned by Friendwell Group of Companies. Friendwell Group, founded and owned by the Cheng family originating from Taiwan, owns and manages a diversified real estate portfolio of shopping centers, office buildings and hotels with over 4,000 rooms in the US, primarily in central New Jersey. Its hotel brands include Hilton, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “APA Hotel will diversify into multiple tiers in the US, focusing on the upper midscale and upscale markets,” said Jason Cheng. “APA Hotel’s plan is to focus on providing superior management support to the franchisees and making use of the renowned Japanese service culture.” Photo: APA Hotel Woodbridge Opening.]]>