From Five to 50: Five Years of Franchising with My Place Hotels

As we celebrate the forthcoming opening of our 50th hotel in our fifth year of franchising, we’re taking a look back on the pivotal milestones that have shaped our identity since launching our franchise system in 2014.

2014

Our journey in franchising began in early 2014 with the announcement of a new addition to the My Place HQ Executive Team: Terry Kline. Terry would become My Place Hotels EVP of Franchise Sales.

A long-time friend of My Place founder Ron Rivett, Terry’s extensive history in the hospitality industry offered our brand an added opportunity to stand out amongst our competitors. With a highlighted reputation in the industry and having played in integral role in over 600 franchise developments in his career, Terry’s arrival to My Place made quite the splash.

“I recall walking into the My Place offices in 2014 with the challenge set forth by Ron and Ryan to begin our franchising efforts. I entered my office at the time with a desk, phone, computer and a list of hospitality contacts accumulated over the years with whom to share our story. What a story it was; a uniquely fresh product born from hospitality legacy. The industry listened and property by property, we’ve grown over these past five years to reach this significant 50 property milestone. Yet, as you know, My Place Hotels is so much more than just a collection of 50 locations; we’ve grown into a highly regarded hotel brand comprised of a family made up of both dedicated owners and a support staff committed to excellence. Congratulations My Place family… I look forward to our reaching many more future milestone events together!”

Terry Kline

My Place’s launch as a national franchising brand would be covered across trusted-industry publications such as Hotel Business and Asian Hospitality in Spring 2014.

With five locations open across North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming by the end of spring, My Place was poised to more than double in size by the end of the year with five more hotels already under construction in Sioux Falls, SD, Grand Forks, ND, Fargo, ND, Spokane, WA, Pasco, WA, and Billings, MT.

All five locations would open by year’s end, bringing My Place’s location count to 11 open hotels. We’d even break ground on the brand’s flagship location in Aberdeen, SD and several other locations before the year came to a close. With our franchise system in full swing, we prepared for an even more memorable 2015!

2015

While we knew 2015 was going to be even bigger than 2014, our journey took us to places we had never even imagined and we had just the tricks up our sleeves to take us even further!

Early Q1 of 2015 saw the opening of two new My Place Hotels, located thousands of miles apart from one another in Beaver Valley/Monaca, Pennsylvania (#12) and Rock Springs, Wyoming (#13)!

As we neared the first anniversary of our franchising system, our engines were full-speed ahead as we opened our Flagship location in our hometown of Aberdeen (#14) AND hosted our first annual owner’s conference in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in the month of March!

Our official Flagship location in Aberdeen, SD opened its doors on March 5, 2015

The opening of our Flagship location in Aberdeen was met with an incredible amount of warm feelings and excitement as we brought our product closer to home than ever before. My Place Aberdeen, SD is located less than 1.5 miles away from My Place Hotels HQ.

My Place Aberdeen’s Grand Opening took place on May 1st, 2015. It was even covered in Hotel Business!

Held March 8-12, 2015, the first annual My Place Hotels owner’s conference was a great success, bringing franchisees together for the very first time in the beautiful state of Hawaii.

Six more hotels would open over the course of three months, bringing our total number of locations to 20 before Summer 2015.

We closed out 2015, both humbled and dazzled by the amount of progress that the year had seen and prepared ourselves to do it all over again in 2016. Before closing the book on 2015, we welcomed the 21st My Place Hotel to the family in Bend, Oregon.

At the end of 2015, America’s 21 open My Place Hotels spanned eight states.

2016

The first half of 2016 saw the opening of three new hotels across three new states which included Alaska, Utah, and Texas!

After months of planning, we officially launched My Place University (MPU) at our Flagship location in Aberdeen in April 2016. A training facility for GM’s, RM’s, and other My Place personnel, the opening of MPU would also bring forth the addition of Shirley Sharpe to our team, an energetic powerhouse who would soon earn the distinction of My Place Hotels VP of MPU.

The 3500 square foot training facility officially accepted its first class for general manager training on April 28, 2016. The general manager training curriculum supports an experiential learning environment for students to apply learned skills between sessions over a 120 hour training period.

“As I reflect on my journey here at My Place; I still get excited everyday about the fact that this is the place where I get to work and interact with wonderful minds and learn new things everyday!”

Shirley Sharpe

Our brand gained considerable buzz across the industry, following our second annual Owner’s Conference which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada, May 9-11, 2016. The theme of the conference was “We’re On a Roll!”

In addition to doubling in conference attendance over the previous year, we celebrated doubling in size over the course of 12 months!

The second half of 2016 saw the opening of four more My Place Hotels, including the 25th open location in Loveland, Colorado. The openings included two new state entries: Colorado and Missouri!

In September 2016, My Place would again create buzz as KAMP Hotels announced their plans to develop 30 My Place Hotels in Texas over the next 10 years, the first major multi-property territorial agreement to be made in My Place’s history.

In our brand’s second year of franchising, our growth was more visible than ever before as seen in this franchise ad that was shared in the October issue of Hotel Management’s magazine!

In November 2016, My Place Hotels President/COO, now President/CEO, Ryan Rivett was named one of LODGING Magazine’s 2016 Up-and-Coming Innovators.

We would close out 2016 with the release of our very first Year in Review, highlighting all of the most exciting moments of the year. 2016 saw My Place grow from 21 locations in eight states to 28 locations in 14 states.

2017

From the jump, 2017 would be full of milestones.

By the end of February, My Place would welcome two new hotels to the family and cross the milestone of 30 open hotels across 14 states. Opened within days of each other, our 29th hotel opened in Ketchikan, Alaska, while our 30th hotel opened in West Jordan, Utah.

With 30 open hotels and more momentum than ever before, My Place would open two more hotels, make two new state debuts, and make two huge announcements over a three month period.

We celebrated our third anniversary in franchising with the opening of our 31st hotel in My Place Marquette, Michigan (our 15th state debut)! We would make our 16th state debut a month later with the opening of our 32nd hotel in Meridian, Idaho.

Fresh off the excitement of first quarter, we prepared to make two our biggest announcements yet following a monumental groundbreaking tour across the United States.

On May 21st, 2017, we announced that Ryan Rivett, previous President/COO of My Place Hotels was to become President/CEO of our brand, succeeding his grandfather/company founder Ron Rivett.

Ryan’s big announcement was shared in the May 21st issue of Hotel Business!

Following Ryan’s big announcement, we made waves, yet again, one week later, announcing the addition of Eric Myers as My Place VP of Franchise Sales & Development!

With decades of experience in sales and as a My Place franchisee himself, the addition of Eric as the right-hand man to Terry Kline in our Franchising Department added a great wealth of value to our franchise development efforts.

“When I accepted my position as VP of Franchise Sales and Development we had just opened the 30th My Place Hotel. Fast-forward 2 short years and here we are getting ready to open number 50. While having 50 open hotels is extremely exciting, I see it as a milestone in our overall growth objectives. The Corporate culture that exists with My Place Hotels is evident each time we present the product to new Franchisees. While our family of existing Franchisees continue to strengthen the brand. We remain focused on building new relationships with potential Franchisees interested in being a part of this tremendous growth.”

Eric Myers

By the end of the Summer, we would make our 17th state debut with the opening of our 33rd hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa!

Check out the official hype video for MyPlaceCon 2017!

Bringing together owners and operators for the very first time, we hosted our very first convention in San Antonio, Texas, September 11-13, 2017. Our gathering in Texas was big, but intimate, setting a precedent for our future gatherings.

Here are some of our favorite photos from San Antonio!

In the Fall, our brand was featured in the renowned franchising magazine “Franchising Today.”

Our brand would also see front-page coverage of My Place Convention 2017 in Hotel Business, written by CJ Arlotta. We would also see convention coverage from LODGING Magazine, among others.

Before 2017 came to a close, we celebrated our Aberdeen roots in the Christmas Eve edition of the Aberdeen America News with an advertorial, titled “A South Dakota Legacy.”

We would end 2017 with the opening of four new hotels across three states including a new state debut in Tennessee, marking 37 hotels across 18 states.

2018

Our brand saw coverage across hospitality trade publications throughout the first quarter of 2018, with notable features in View On Magazine and Today’s Hotelier.

Take a look at View On Magazine’s coverage of My Place!

With high hopes for 2018, we prepared ourselves for our biggest year yet!

By the beginning of Summer, four new My Place locations would open with two new state entries in South Carolina and Nevada, which included the opening of our 40th location in St. George, Utah.

St. George’s Grand Opening, Colorado Springs’ Grand Opening

Our brand stayed in the spotlight for the first half of 2018 as Ryan (Rivett) had the opportunity to talk at AAHOA Convention 2018 and was interviewed by the widely-read travel experts at Skift.

We also squeezed in a big announcement before second quarter ended: The 2019 My Place Convention! Set to be held April 23-26, 2019 in San Diego, California, we were ecstatic to announce another amazing opportunity for us to reunite with our friends from across the country.

As we crossed the halfway point in the year, our excitement continued to grow as we welcomed our next two hotels to the family, one of which marked our 21st state entry with the opening of My Place North Aurora, Illinois!

On June 27th, 2018, we announced the addition of new member of the My Place Executive: our new Chief Hospitality Office, Pineapple Pete!

The end of Summer 2018 would see our brand achieve another notable milestone: nabbing a spot on the Inc. 5000! My Place ranked No. 1483 on the prestigious list and was honored as a top growing company in the Travel & Hospitality Industry as well as in South Dakota.

In September, the My Place HQ made waves across the country as they embarked on the 2018 Cross-country tour that took the brand across five cities in four states over the course of week, celebrating Grand Openings and Groundbreakings.

On October 3rd, 2019 My Place SVP of Brand Management, Sarah Dinger, would be named one of Hotel Management’s Most Influential Women in Hospitality. A My Place employee since day one, Sarah was extremely deserving of the distinction she received and we were beyond proud to celebrate with her.

“Reflecting on the significance of the upcoming opening of our 50th hotel, it’s really exciting for me, personally, to think about the momentum we have created and our trajectory as a company over the last five years! What I am most proud of from our team are the bonds and relationships that have been forged with our amazing franchisees over this time – none of this would have been possible without them – and it is because of our franchisees and the dedicated My Place team who support them that I am confident the next five years will be even more special!”

Sarah Dinger

Soon after, My Place made waves, yet again, announcing our biggest sponsorship yet. On October 26th, 2018, we announced that we would become the Official Hotel Sponsor of the Big Sky Conference and the title sponsor of the Men’s and Women’s Big Sky Conference basketball championships in March 2019.

2018 would see one more hotel open, with the opening of our 44th hotel in Yakima, Washington.

We would go on to end the year with a Hotel Business “Behind The Brand” feature under our belt, a newly redesigned and reconfigured Year in Review, and an incredible amount of brand pride for all of our accomplishments to-date. Our fourth year of franchising would come to a close with 44 locations operating across 21 states.

2019

With a national presence greater than ever before, a dynamic team of committed team members from coast to coast, and with ambition greater than ever before, we welcomed 2019 with open arms and a desire to achieve greatness – and we’d like to think we’ve done just that, so far.

We kicked-off 2019 doing some pretty amazing things. First off, Sarah Dinger joined several esteemed women from across the hospitality industry as a part of Hotel Business’s Roundtable Series sponsored by the Wall Street Journal in New York City, this past January.

At the round-table, the group discussed the importance of women in the hospitality industry and the influence they have in leading and making a difference.

Our HQ Team would also enjoy attending the South Dakota State Tourism Conference in Piere, SD in early January!

By March, our year was off to a fantastic start as we began hyping up My Place Convention 2019 and the Big Sky Conference Basketball Championships Sponsored by My Place Hotels. Before we got too carried away, we had the opportunity to welcome our 45th hotel to the family in Hastings, Nebraska.

Amidst celebrating the milestone of 45 open locations, we made our way to beautiful Boise, Idaho, to cheer on the many member teams of the Big Sky Conference at the 2019 Big Sky Conference Basketball Championships Sponsored by My Place Hotels in Mid-March.

Our experiences shared with friends of the Conference and member teams proved invaluable to our brand and offered us a unique perspective on connecting with new audiences of people!

Before we knew it, April was upon us and it was time to get to work! On April 1st, Today’s Hotelier, the official publication of AAHOA published Ryan’s C-Suite Article which articulated the importance of finding balance.

I believe that small, incremental failures aren’t platforms only for improvement but are great indications of sustained imbalances. We should resolve to pay as much attention to the sustainability of our products as we do to their curb appeal. We should balance the importance of the top and bottom lines of the financial statement. We should measure the success of our people on their impact as much as on their productivity.

Ryan Rivett, President/CEO, “Finding Balance,” Today’s Hotelier

April also saw the announcement of My Place Altoona, Ankeny, and Davenport sponsoring the 2019 My Place Hotels Knoxville 360 Nationals, which we would support and attend later on in the summer.

By the end of April, we were prepared for the biggest event of the year: The 2019 My Place Convention!

The My Place HQ team made their way to San Diego, California for a week of unforgettable fun, opportunities to learn, and to reunite and connect with one another in the biggest way yet.

Our time in San Diego was monumental and saw some of the most exciting announcements we have ever made, such as the reveal of our loyalty program Stay Rewarded® and the Gen. 2 Guest Room.

Fresh off of the excitement of My Place Convention 2019, we welcomed our 46th and 47th locations to the family within a couple weeks with the opening of My Place Wixom, Michigan and My Place Kalispell, Montana.

May would also see in-depth coverage of #MyPlaceCon. We would also embark on a cross-country tour for the third time taking us to four milestone celebrations across four states in 36 hours.

With 47 locations open across 21 states by the beginning of June, it became quite clear that we were going to hit 50 open locations by the end of Summer and we had the most exciting ahead of us.

On June 3rd, we officially launched our loyalty program Stay Rewarded® alongside the One Million Reasons to Stay Rewarded® sweepstakes, which offered enrolled members the opportunity to receive their fair share of 1 MILLION Stay Rewarded® points. After years of planning for rewards, it was an incredible moment for all.

Days later, we made another brand-defining announcement. On June 12th, 2019, we announced that we would be partnering with the American Hotel & Lodging Association for the very first time, extending membership across our entire brand.

With AHLA as an added resource for our team members and owners, we were incredibly proud to join the organization who is the singular voice representing every segment of the hospitality industry.

On June 21st, our brand saw the opening of our 48th locations and 22nd state entry with the opening of My Place Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin.

As if one major launch and one major announcement wasn’t enough, we rolled-out a partnership with Businesses Ending Tracking and Slavery (BEST) on June 24th, which would provide all My Place team members with the most comprehensive human trafficking training in the industry and an opportunity for the brand to take a unified stand against the threat of human trafficking.

Before June could come to a close, our brand would see coverage from CoStar News surrounding the month’s most recent groundbreaking in Avondale, Arizona! Additionally, we welcomed our 49th hotel to the family with the opening of My Place Hurricane, Utah and celebrated Pineapple Pete’s one year workiversary on June 27th.

With Summer in full swing, we celebrated an exciting July as we continued to inch closer to 50 open hotels

After much anticipation, on July 12th, we announced our return as the Official Hotel Sponsor of the Big Sky Conference. Already preparing for another momentous year with the Big Sky Conference, we can hardly wait for the many opportunities that we will have to cheer on the conference’s member teams alongside so many devoted fans.

July would also see us take a greater stand against human trafficking in our industry as we stood in support of AHLA’s No Room For Trafficking campaign.

Our first BEST group training session was highlighted across AHLA’s network at the end of the month.

Now, in the month of August 2019, there’s a growing spotlight on My Place’s culture and growth and it’s a result of our people and the time we have shared with one another. We hope that, you too, smiled as much as we did in taking a look back on all of the memories we could include, and hope it stirs a few others that we couldn’t. Most importantly, we’re counting on you to stick with us for the ride as we make our way to 100, 500, and 1000 open locations in the coming years.

P.S. While we can’t spoil too much information about where our 50th hotel will be just yet, we can say it’ll be here even sooner than you expect ;-)!