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12 People You Need to Know in 2012: Tim O'Reilly

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Attorney Tim O’Reilly insists that branching out into hospitality management a few years ago wasn’t quite the stretch it might have seemed to be at first glance.

After years of representing clients in the hospitality industry, O’Reilly was ready to try it himself. In 2006, he purchased the Hawthorn Park Hotel via O’Reilly Hospitality LLC and reopened it as Doubletree Hotel in 2008 after a multimillion-dollar renovation.

“It really just is a natural transition,” says O’Reilly, the grandson of O’Reilly Automotive founder Chub O’Reilly. “On the outside, it appears I have two different careers going on, but that’s not the case.”

Some people questioned his timing, in light of economic conditions, but O’Reilly says it worked out fine, with “a lot of highly qualified people looking for new opportunities, and pay scales were not as high as they had been.”

O’Reilly Hospitality Management has since grown to encompass the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield, Houlihan’s restaurants in Springfield and Columbia, Baymont Inns and Suites in Branson, and the Holiday Inn Tulsa City Center in Tulsa, Okla.

In July 2011, O’Reilly Hospitality Management was honored with a Springfield Business Journal Economic Impact Award. In December 2011, the company’s $1.7 million, 7,000-square-foot Houlihan’s Restaurant on East Republic Road was certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Gold certified structure, underscoring the company’s commitment to sustainability.

Now, O’Reilly Hospitality is expanding its footprint to the Lone Star State.

As the result of O’Reilly’s June 2011 hiring of former John Q. Hammons Hotels and Resorts executive Scott Tarwater, O’Reilly is launching a new project in Denton, Texas.

“His connections and his knowledge in the development area has really catapulted our company dramatically in terms of opportunities,” O’Reilly says of Tarwater, OHM’s chief development officer. “He’s taken our company light-years ahead of where it would have been.”

OHM is preparing for construction of a 250-room Embassy Suites hotel adjacent to a convention center that the city of Denton has agreed to build. The hotel, which could be finished by late 2013, will be on land leased from the University of North Texas via a long-term lease agreement, O’Reilly says, noting that the company may add a second hotel in the development.

“We’re looking at putting a 100- to 120-room additional hotel on the other side of the convention center,” O’Reilly says.

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