Bruce Haase named Value Place CEO

bruceWICHITA — There’s a new CEO at Value Place, and founder Jack DeBoer calls him “a superstar.”

Bruce Haase spent a dozen years with Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s largest franchise organizations with brands such as Comfort Inn, Sleep Inn and Clarion.

“I think Value Place quite honestly is the best opportunity in hospitality right now,” Haase says.

He says it’s “a very uniquely positioned brand” with “tremendous growth opportunities.”

Haase started with Choice Hotels as treasurer and six months later was given the international division.

“It was actually quite troubled at that point.”

He says he spent a lot of time overseas making the division stronger.

“That’s really where I learned franchising,” Haase says.

He says during that time, he became more of a generalist instead of focusing strictly on numbers.

“It was quite a fascinating journey.”

He had “a number of titles along the way,” but his last one was executive vice president of global brands, marketing and operations.

Haase left the company in 2012.

“I’d pretty much done everything there was to do, to be quite honest,” he says. “I had been traveling the world for 12 years, and I wanted to take a little time off and see what other opportunities were out there.”

Haase, who says he had a noncompete agreement for a period after leaving Choice Hotels, says he’s known about Value Place since its inception a decade ago.

“The company has a lot of history through its association with Jack,” Haase says.

“It’s off to a great start,” he says. “There’s not many hospitality brands that have grown as fast as Value Place.”

He says his hiring isn’t to turn anything around.

“There is nothing wrong or broken with the company in any shape or form,” Haase says.

“We’re really going to focus on building the brand and building the franchise,” he says.

Currently, the chain has 185 properties.

In the economy segment, Haase says Value Place doesn’t have a lot of competition.

“There’s really nothing like Value Place where there’s a consistent, safe, clean, reliable product in that space.”

Haase says Value Place’s business “could easily double over the next few years, and there’s not too many brands out there that has those types of opportunities.”

He says initially he’ll take a month or two or more to listen and learn about the company.

“I have a lot of ideas,” Haase says.

Value Place is concentrated in the Midwest and the South, but Haase says that will change.

“It’s a very unique opportunity to really build a strong brand and a strong national brand.”

He says Canada is likely for development, too.

“All the infrastructure’s in place. All the hard work’s been done.”

Haase says Value Place has “a finely tuned operating system” that is setting the stage for future growth.

“Wichita is going to be on the map as a hospitality hot spot for sure.”