Host Marriott Corp. announced yesterday that veteran real estate executive Terence C. Golden will become president and chief executive of the Bethesda-based hotel owner, ending a five-month search.
In his new role replacing Stephen F. Bollenbach, who left to become chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Co., Mr. Golden is expected to deviate little from Host Marriott's stated strategy of acquiring and focusing on full-service hotels while selling its moderately- to economy-priced properties.
The company cemented that strategy earlier this week when it announced plans to divide its concession business from its hotel ownership through the creation of a separate services firm.
"I think the real advantage we have is the Marriott name," Mr. Golden said yesterday. "And our dominance in the industry gives us advantages with competition."
Host Marriott, created in October 1993 through a split of the former Marriott Corp., is one of the largest owners of hotels in North America with a portfolio of 100 properties valued at close to $4 billion.
Mr. Golden's background includes a long history of real estate management, including ties to Baltimore.
Before the Host Marriott selection, he was chairman of Bailey Realty Co., a Washington investment firm that in December 1993 was part of a group that acquired the debt on the 26-story 250 W. Pratt St. office tower for a 60 percent discount off the original loan. Bailey and its partners sold the mortgage a year later to a pension fund adviser for $32 million, a 44 percent return.
He had also previously worked as the chief financial officer for the Oliver Carr Co., a prominent Washington developer, and as a partner with Trammell Crow Residential of Dallas.
Mr. Golden is also a board member of Prime Retail Inc., a Baltimore-based outlet mall owner.
"He knows real estate and real estate financing," said Abraham Rosenthal, Prime Retail's chief executive.
"He's been involved in a variety of types of real estate, and he's been through the cycles of the real estate business," Mr. Rosenthal said. "He brings tremendous experience to Host Marriott. We've been fortunate to have him on our board."
Mr. Golden, who will remain a member of Prime Retail's board, will also become a Host Marriott director.
But Mr. Golden, 55, will face a number of challenges when he assumes the Host Marriott helm on Sept. 1, including heightened competition from investors and real estate investment trusts, which are scrambling to buy hotel assets at attractive prices in the wake of the upscale lodging industry's rebound from its nadir four years ago.
Although he has little formal hotel experience, Mr. Golden brushed against the lodging industry while at Trammell Crow and Oliver Carr, both of which owned a limited number of hotels, and he owned a Marriott hotel in Puerto Rico in the mid-1970s as part of a bank restructuring.
Host Marriott's stock was unchanged yesterday at $11.62 on news of the appointment.