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Hospitality and Tourism

OTO Development mourns loss of CEO

Hospitality and Tourism
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OTO Development is mourning the unexpected death of Corry W. Oakes III, co-founder and CEO of the Spartanburg company.

OakesOTO Development is a hotel development and management group with a portfolio that includes hotels across the country, most of them on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, including the AC Hotel in Spartanburg. The company is part of The Johnson Group, also of Spartanburg.

Oakes, along with Todd Turner and Jim Ovenden, provided their initials to name the company they founded with George Dean Johnson Jr. and the late H. Wayne Huizenga in May 2004, according to the company website, which also carries Oakes’ obituary.

Oakes and Turner were the first employees when Johnson created Extended Stay America in 1995, the website says.

Oakes and Turner, along with Jim Ovenden, provided their initials to name the hotel development and hospitality management company they founded alongside George Dean Johnson Jr. and the late H. Wayne Huizenga in May 2004.

He died Aug. 7, leaving a wife and three daughters. A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday in the Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium at Wofford College, his alma mater.

“Corry was a beloved leader and a dear friend to so many in our community and our industry,” Turner, vice president of real estate at OTO Development, said in the obituary. “His impact on our lives is as immeasurable as the grief we feel and the love for him and his family.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business economics, he held roles of increasing responsibility with Johnson’s WJB Blockbuster Video and then Extended Stay America, where he served as president and COO. The chain under his leadership became the fastest-growing owner-operated hotel chain in lodging history prior to its sale to Blackstone, the obituary said. OTO Development was founded on the very day the Extended Stay America sale closed.

Reach Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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