Leigh Hitz, President & CEO, Stout Street Hospitality
As president of the company, she most recently led the company through a corporate identity change from Magnolia Hotels to Stout Street Hospitality. The hotel management company changed the name of its corporate entity to reflect its revamped goals of strategically expanding the company to include branded hotels and resorts, franchise opportunities, construction, extended stay and its core product – historic, independent boutique hotels.
In 2009, Hitz oversaw the development of a management agreement to expand the company’s portfolio to include LaSalle Hotel by Magnolia in Bryan, Texas. The company also added Houston Magnolia Hotel in 2003 under Hitz’s leadership.
Before ascending to her role as president, Hitz served in capacities of vice president of development and general manager for both the Dallas and Denver properties. In her tenure as general manager, Hitz renovated and opened both historic urban hotels.
Prior to joining Stout Street, she held various sales and operations positions at independent and branded properties throughout Colorado.
A native of Aspen, Colo., Hitz grew up in the midst of the tourism industry. She received her bachelor’s degree in hotel/restaurant management from the University of Denver, and also completed the General Managers Program at Cornell University’s renowned Hotel School.
She is active with several hotel associations and convention bureaus and sits on the Daniels College of Business Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management Executive Advisory Board. In 2008, Hitz and her husband, James, established a scholarship fund for female students pursuing a hospitality degree at the University of Denver’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. The recipients are called “Hitz Scholars.” Hitz has previously been named a finalist for the Denver Business Journal’s “Business Woman of the Year” award.
Stout Street Hospitality is a privately held hotel management and development company, which operates upscale boutique hotels catering to the sophisticated traveler. The company focuses on development, management, acquisition, re-branding, new construction and conversion of existing independent hotel properties. The core product line consists of award-winning, independent boutique hotels under the Magnolia brand that offer a style unlike that of trendy or branded hotels. The company currently operates hotels in Denver, Colo.; Dallas, Houston, and Bryan, Texas; and Omaha, Neb., and is exploring other markets for additional growth opportunities.