The paths of Philip Maritz and Lew Wolff, both real estate investors/developers and St. Louis natives, crossed in 1992 and led to a breakfast meeting at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in St. Louis, where they discussed collaborating on potential investment projects. Two years later they formed the hotel investment group, Maritz, Wolff & Co., and acquired The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Following the investment, through an innovative approach to ownership, Maritz, Wolff worked with The Ritz-Carlton’s management team to increase the property’s revenues by 14 percent and operating profits by 127 percent. During this period, the partners observed factors in the hotel industry indicating strong investment opportunities for top-tier urban and resort lodging properties.

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