The Sandpiper group of companies grew from our apartment business and an appreciation for the fact that there was a large, untapped market composed of people who needed a place to stay for a week to six months or more. While the nightly stay hotel market works well for travelers with short term stay needs and the apartment market is very efficient for stays of six months to a year or longer, there really had not been affordable lodging for those that fall in the middle. The WoodSpring Suites extended stay concept appealed to us because of this large unmet demand and due to the superior value it offers to those customers.
Our business has evolved from that first WoodSpring Suites that we built in 2009 in Chesapeake, VA. After several years of dissatisfaction with third-party property management and a thorough survey of their competitors, we concluded that we would have to build our own management company to derive the best financial performance and to ensure that the assets were properly maintained.
Beginning in the fall of 2012, we created Sandpiper Hospitality with the express goal of being the absolute best Manager of midscale and economy extended stay hotels. Starting with four properties, we have methodically built the management capabilities we envisioned. Standing now at eighteen properties, we are confident we have created the best management company in the segment and that we are poised for continued growth and expansion of our own brand in the broader hospitality segments. Our property performance thus far has been exceptional, and we believe that an even brighter future is on the horizon.
The key to our success and to our future growth is in the exceptional management team we have created. We searched for an experienced hotel management leader for over two years before we found Jim Darter. Jim joined us in early 2016 and has assembled a remarkable team of capable, proven, driven leaders who have diverse backgrounds in virtually all the hospitality segments, from extended stay to select-service to full-service. We are now actively looking to acquire traditional and extended stay hotels operating under a variety of different brands with the premier franchise groups.
In addition to owning and managing our own properties, third party hotel management is critical to achieving our goal to be a world class hotel operator. From our humble beginnings, we understand how difficult it is to find a third-party property management company with the level of discipline and accountability an owner expects. Sandpiper Hospitality was created specifically to address these issues.
I invite you to explore more about us here and in person. And welcome to Sandpiper Hospitality!