Founder, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, LLC
Bill Kimpton (1935-2001) began his now-legendary hotel business career
in the sandbox. As a young boy playing Monopoly with his friends, it was
not so much the acquisition of Property and collecting Rents that intrigued
him about this popular American game. His passion was Hotels - purchasing
the necessary Four Houses so that he could trade them to the Bank for
a Hotel. He did this again and again. "I can remember holding Hotels in
my hand," he said. So began the dream.
But before he made the leap to "real" hotels in 1981, Bill put in years
of travel as an investment banker. He built his banking reputation by
working with a number of emerging companies. Prior to 1980, Kimpton was
a director and vice president of Lepercq de Neuflize, an international
investment banking firm. Preceding Lepercq de Neuflize, Kimpton was a
partner in Shuman, Agnew & Co., Inc., in Belvedere, California, where
he was responsible for project finance. From 1969 to 1973, he was the
manager in San Francisco, California of Lehman Brothers (now Shearson
- Lehman Brothers American Express, Inc.). From 1966 to 1969, Kimpton
was an associate with Lehman Brothers, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. During
his career in finance he helped Kentucky Fried Chicken expand from a $2
million company to one that eventually sold for $275 million. Bill also
handled the financing for the exclusive Kapalua Bay Resort Hotel in Maui
and in the 1970s helped raise $23 million for hotel impresario Harry Helmsley
to renovate the Palace Hotel in New York.
Bill Kimpton's personal foray into the hospitality business began in San
Francisco with the Clarion Bedford Hotel. He started with the philosophy
that as travelers, "We are all insecure. It's just a matter of degree.
A hotel should relieve travelers of their insecurity and loneliness. It
should make them feel warm and cozy." So, with the success of the Bedford
and its now trademark fireplace in the lobby, he laid the foundation for
his unique style in which he transforms older, historic downtown buildings
into charming, European-style accommodations where hospitality and service
From the beginning, Kimpton paired his vintage hotels with high-profile
destination restaurants, usually located adjacent to the hotel, rather
than inside it, to retain a distinct identity. In each location, the restaurant's
energized atmosphere complements the gracious ambiance of Kimpton's hotels.
Today, the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, LLC, comprises 34 hotels
and 28 restaurants in 11 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Bill earned a Bachelors of Science
in Economics from Northwestern University and was a graduate of the University
of Chicago Lab School. His first job after college was selling IBM typewriters
at the Chicago Board of Trade.
- Thank You -
Contact: Kathleen Bertolani, (415) 397-5572