Driving Demand.

Maximizing Profits.


An Industry Leader.

A History of Success.


Graves Hospitality

Passion Forward.

Development Skills.
Management Savvy.
Lifestyle Experts.

Consistently recognized as an industry leader, Graves Hospitality has developed and managed more than 100 hotels and restaurants, and numerous residential and commercial properties. Our development skills and management services are honed from over 35 years of industry experience while our success stems from being on the pulse of demographic market drivers and lifestyle trends.

We are committed to working on projects that fuel our creative passions, in vibrant markets that excite and inspire, with people who we sincerely enjoy.

Brand Development

Luxury Hotel & Resort Management

Site/Property Development

Rooms Management

Investor Relations

Food & Beverage Management

Revenue Pipelines

Property Marketing

HR Management


Global & Regional Sales Force

Financial Services Management

Sales Management Technology

Information Technology

Guest Luxuries Loyalty Program

Procurement Relationship Management


Decades of Hotel Experience

Graves Hospitality hotels achieve the highest ratings and are awarded the highest levels of recognition within their respective brands and markets. GH has decades of experience working with major branded hotel groups as well as independent hotel groups and direct GDS providers. Our hotels showcase our skill at understanding the intricacies of specific locations and submarkets, identifying the right concept and developing relevant, lifestyle-focused, high-quality projects to drive demand and profitability.

Past and Present Hotel Brand Partners:

  • Marriott International
  • Hilton Worldwide
  • Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
  • InterContinental Hotels
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
  • Wyndham Worldwide
  • Best Western
  • World Hotels
  • ihotelier


An Award-Winning History

Unlike most hotel development and management companies who outsource their food and beverage outlets, GH is an unparalleled resource for creating, building and managing signature, award-winning restaurant and event spaces—both free standing and within hotels. Our development expertise includes site identification, concept creation, design and build, team member employment, marketing initiatives and ongoing management. We understand city and state ordinances and adeptly hire, negotiate and oversee contractors to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget.


Targeted, Successful Projects

Graves Hospitality successfully develops housing projects that consistently garner above-market sales and commercial projects that reward investors through efficient management and adept leasing. Keenly aware of the specific nuances inherent to unique neighborhoods and urban areas, Graves Hospitality delivers targeted projects that capture niche markets and maximize investor profits. The Graves' “Residences at McCarren Park” led the New York, Williamsburg area in sales per square foot while selling out prior to the project's construction completion.

Meet the Corporate Team

Our commitment to being the best means hiring the best. Our corporate team oversees brand and project development, marketing initiatives, operational outcomes, and management of over 1000 team members at more than 25 different hotel, restaurant, and development projects.

Benjamin Graves


“Each hotel, restaurant, bar, commercial or housing project is strategically tailored to service and delight the neighborhood, residents, and guests. It's an adept understanding of demographic drivers and lifestyle trends that separate us from others.”

As Chief Operating Officer, Benjamin guides concept innovation, design direction and management execution for Graves Hospitality. With over 20 years of industry experience, he is renowned for launching a plethora of successful hotel, restaurant and commercial projects and expertly overseeing their management and growth.

Always setting new benchmarks for modern travelers as well as bar and restaurant patrons, Benjamin's projects have ranged from New York to Disney World and include a noteworthy portfolio of local Twin Cities properties. He is credited with spearheading Minneapolis' upscale hotel renaissance, which began with the opening of the Graves 601 Hotel in 2003. In 2011, Benjamin opened Hotel Williamsburg, a stylish boutique hotel that became a model for the future of Brooklyn's hospitality industry. Recently, he opened the first-ever Minnesota InterContinental hotel in St. Paul.

Due to Benjamin's ability to execute upscale concepts that reflect the local community, Graves Hospitality was awarded the MSP airport project, a 300-room luxury hotel located on the main terminal, opening in 2018. Additionally, construction has begun on a 300-room hotel and luxury apartment development Downtown Minneapolis, and plans are in motion to open the first hotel in the Uptown area, validating and expanding Grave's neighborhood-centric, lifestyle-focused hospitality movement.

Recently, Benjamin's restaurant team opened Rival House in St. Paul, Arthur's in northern Minnesota, Bradstreet Craftshouse in Minneapolis, Bucks in Chicago, and the Piedmont in Marquette, MI. All are hallmark examples of Graves' savvy ability to create relevant concepts that combine a chef-driven menu and a multitude of beer and cocktail experiences within perfectly designed, expertly managed spaces.

As a testament to his skills and success, Benjamin was recently awarded the Minneapolis Business Journals' 40 under 40 distinction.

James Graves


“Development is an art form for me. Graves Hospitality strives to be the best in class. That means it's all about creating projects that engage with our guests in creative and authentic ways.”

Over the past thirty-six years, Jim Graves has established himself as a tenacious leader in the hotel and restaurant industry. As CEO, Jim spearheads project development by adeptly combining the financial acumen and interpersonal skills necessary to bring deals to fruition. Creative and innovative in his approach, Jim's entrepreneurial career has proven to be as distinctive as it is successful.

While teaching school in his hometown of St. Cloud, he became attracted to the hotel industry. He worked for two years in hotel development before venturing out on his own in 1979. He launched the AmericInn brand of limited-service hotels, developing 65 of them in small and midsize cities. Despite success in this market, Jim craved more in the way of creative satisfaction and decided to pursue higher-end projects.

Jim is probably best known for redefining Minneapolis luxury hotels with his illustrious graves|601 Hotel. The hotel earned prestigious inclusion in Condé Nast Traveler's Top 100 Hotels issue, and its in-house restaurant, Bradstreet Craftshouse, was named in USA Today's 10 Best Hotel Bars in America. With the success of this Downtown Minneapolis icon, Graves Hospitality launched itself into a new age of hospitality. Currently, in addition to hotel and housing projects in both Uptown and Downtown Minneapolis, Graves' most prominent upcoming local venture is a 300-room luxury hotel that will be located on the main terminal at MSP international airport.

Since its inception, Graves Hospitality has developed and managed more than 100 residential and commercial projects, and the family-owned company now operates a notable portfolio of hotels and restaurants, making Graves one of the last remaining independent hoteliers in Minnesota.

Under Jim's adept guidance, Graves Hospitality has become the standard for industry excellence and, as a testament to his success, in 2015, Jim was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame.

Matt Mering

Director of Development

As part of Graves Hospitality, Matt analyzes new hotel development opportunities, assists in capital raises and sources new developments for the Graves team. Additionally, he oversees all of the company's food and beverage operations.

Lisa Zollars

Director of Finance and Administration

Lisa Zollars joined Graves Hospitality in January 2006. Lisa oversees the accounting and administrative functions for all Graves Hospitality locations. Prior to that, she has held many roles in the hospitality industry, most recently with CSM Lodging. With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Lisa provides a wealth of knowledge and value in her position. Lisa also serves on the board of trustees for both the Greater Metropolitan Hotel Employers-Employees Health & Welfare Fund and the Bar & Restaurant and On Sale Pension Fund.

John Occhiato

Corporate Chef

John Occhiato joined the Graves Hospitality team as the Executive Chef of the graves|601 Hotel. In his current role as the Corporate Chef for Graves Hospitality, he opens new restaurants all around the country, while leading the kitchen at the St. Paul InterContinental Hotel. For the past 16 years Occhiato has been a local leader in fine dining cuisine, doing outreach by teaching classes and donating his services to many Twin Cities charities.

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