IRVINE, CA-Robert Olson, who is founder, CEO and president of R.D. Olson Development here, has been ranked by Real Estate Forum magazine as one of the top real estate icons in the hotel industry. Olson has helped build and renovate numerous hotel and spa properties across the country since starting his firm in 1979.
Olson has been active in all phases of construction and development for the firm and, in addition to hotels, has played an instrumental role in the construction of country clubs, retail, multifamily and midrise office and recreational facilities across the nation.
As GlobeSt.com previously reported, for Olson lack of supply made a return to hotel development necessary. After the 2008 economic meltdown, many investors in the hotel sector—including R.D. Olson—were waiting on the sidelines for a rerun of the mid-’90s, with opportunities to buy hotels for 20 to 40 cents on the dollar. This never happened.
Olson began to develop hotels again in mid-2009 when the firm began to see prices holding steady and has been on a successful building streak ever since. As GlobeSt.com previously reported, in late August 2012 the firm opened its fourth hotel since November 2011, a 108-room Courtyard by Marriott in Goleta, CA., and has several hotel projects in the planning stages include a $38-million, 144-room Residence Inn in Pasadena, CA, on land Olson owns; and a $24-million, 140-room Residence Inn in Goleta.
For Real Estate Forum‘s complete list of top hotel-industry icons, click here.