About Us

The History of Peabody Hotel Group

The Peabody Memphis’ story as one of the grandest, most historic hotels in the country dates back to 1869 when the original Peabody Hotel opened on the corner of Main and Monroe Streets, immediately becoming the social and business hub of Memphis.  In 1925 a newer, grander Peabody was built at its present location at the corner of Union and 2nd Streets.  The Hotel has long been hailed as “the South’s Grand Hotel.”

In 1975, Belz Enterprises, purchased the closed hotel.  Downtown Memphis was in severe decline, and the decision to restore and open the grand hotel was a giant leap of faith.            

The reopening and success of the restored Hotel helped to ignite a renaissance in downtown Memphis.  Belz expanded the development to include the renewal and reconstruction of several city blocks through the Peabody Place development.  Today, Peabody Place includes a large office complex, residential housing, retail spaces, and commercial and public use spaces, including a large museum.

PHG uses the operating standards established at The Peabody Memphis to assure the success of other properties it develops and manages.

Belz Enterprises began hotel development as a franchisee of Holiday Inn properties in the Northeast United States.  After the renovation and reopening of The Peabody Memphis, hotel operations were consolidated under the PHG banner.

PHG developed, built or renovated three properties in the Boston area:  The Crowne Plaza Boston/Natick, the Holiday Inn Boston/Somerville, and The Hampton Inn Boston/Natick.  Additionally, the Group developed The Hilton Greenville in Greenville, South Carolina.

Belz entered the Florida market in 1980 with the development of a factory outlet mall in Orlando.  This development opened the door for PHG to develop and build an 891 room luxury hotel with 58,000 square feet of meeting space that was opened as The Peabody Orlando in 1986.  The Hotel quickly became the headquarters hotel for the Orange County Convention Center and the premier hospitality experience in the Orlando market.

In 2010, PHG completed a major $437,000,000 plus expansion/renovation of The Peabody Orlando.  The expanded facility included the addition of a multi-story rooms tower, including 750 new guest rooms, new public areas and restaurants, and approximately 145,000 square feet of new meeting space.  After completion and initial operation, PHG sold the hotel to Hyatt Hotels.

In the late 90s, PHG developed and constructed a new hotel in the downtown Memphis market—The Hampton Inn and Suites at Beale Street.  The property quickly became the prototype for Hampton properties.  PHG operated and managed the Hotel for several years prior to its sale to another ownership company.

In 2000, PHG purchased the Arkansas’ Excelsior Hotel.  Initially opened in 1981, the hotel had been allowed to deteriorate to sub-par condition.  PHG stripped the existing hotel to bare walls, added additional public spaces and reflagged it as The Peabody Little Rock in 2002.  The renovation was valued at approximately $33 million.  After completion of the renovation, the state’s governor described the new hotel as “Arkansas’ Living Room.”  PHG managed the property for several years, and then sold it to another operator who reflagged it as The Marriott Little Rock.

The Hilton Little Rock was a once-proud property that had been allowed to slip into disrepair.  Peabody Hotel Group purchased the property at foreclosure in 2000.  Because of the extent of required renovations, the Hotel was closed and, following a $19 million renovation,  reopened in 2002 as The Hilton Little Rock at Metro Center.  At the conclusion of its franchise contract with Hilton, PHG sold the property to another operator.

5118 Park Avenue, Suite 249 • Memphis, Tennessee 38117
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