Hotel Property Investments CEO Don Smith passes away

Hotel Property Investments CEO Don Smith passes away

Don Smith (supplied).

Following a successful career of almost two decades with Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) and more than five years leading pub property management company Hotel Property Investments (ASX: HPI), seasoned executive Don Smith has passed away today.

"It is with deep sadness and sincere condolences that the HPI board advises of the passing this morning of our CEO and managing director, Don Smith, following a period of illness," the board of HPI said.

"Don joined HPI in 2018 and has been a driving force behind our success, fostering exceptional relationships, contributing to significant growth, and showing unparalleled commitment to HPI."

The board said that beyond his professional contributions, Don "embodied qualities of humour, warmth, and mentorship that endeared him to all".

"We extend our deepest sympathies to Don’s wife Traecey, children and family at this difficult time," they said.

Smith first took medical leave starting in late October following surgery, and returned to work on 15 January. As recently as last week, the company noted he would require periods of additional leave to achieve a full recovery over the next few months.

When he joined the company in October 2018 the group had 44 properties worth $700.2 million, and since then that number has grown to 61 properties worth almost $1.3 billion.

These properties are spread across the country but are concentrated heavily in Queensland and South Australia.

These include iconic locations like the Regatta Hotel, Fitzys Loganholme, the Beenleigh Tavern, Cleveland Sands Hotel, Ferry Road Tavern in Southeast Queensland; Kings Beach Tavern, Palm Cove Tavern, Trinity Beach Tavern and Magnums Hotel in northern Queensland; and Brighton Metro Hotel and Waterloo Station Hotel in South Australia.

HPI made numerous acquisitions and divestments over the course of Smith's tenure, bringing new assets into the portfolio such as Edwardes Lake Hotel in Reservoir (VIC), The Duck Inn in South Australia's Coromandel Valley, Avenue's Bar & Café in the Adelaide suburb of Stepney, the Cornerstone Ale House on the northern outskirts of Perth, Mango Hill Tavern to the north of Brisbane, Surfair Beach Marcoola on the Sunshine Coast, and the Commonwealth Hotel in the Queensland outback town of Roma.

Chief financial officer and company secretary Blair Strik is currently the group's acting chief executive officer.

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