Owner | OLS Hotels and Resorts
Benjamin Rafter is founder of Jororo, and an owner of OLS Hotels & Resorts. Jororo invests in, renovates and repositions Hawaii hotels using Rafter’s philosophy that hotels of the future must offer highly curated, localized experiences. Jororo owns five Hawaii lodging facilities and is currently renovating two hotels that will be inspired by Waikiki’s glory years of the 50s and 60s.
At OLS, Ben is responsible for growing the platform, which currently consists of nineteen properties primarily in Western gateway cities such as West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Denver and San Francisco. Previously, Rafter was President & CEO of Aqua Hospitality and President of Aston Hotels & Resorts. Combined, Aqua and Aston managed 56 properties and nearly 11,000 rooms across Hawaii and five other states. As the largest hotel operator in the Waikiki market, Rafter welcomed approximately 15,000 visitors per night to Waikiki across all segments. Rafter grew Aqua Hospitality from a small Waikiki operator to the only hotel company on all six Hawaii tourism islands, completing more than twenty renovations. Rafter’s confidence in the Aqua team led him to take the unique step of placing his personal cell phone number in all of Aqua’s hotel rooms. Upon Aqua’s sale to Interval Leisure Group (IILG, Aston’s parent), Rafter estimates his phone was accessible to more than 2,000,000 Hawaii visitors per year.
Previously, Rafter spent more than fifteen years guiding successful technology companies. In 1996, he co-founded Innerlinx (LiveBid), which was acquired by Amazon.com. Rafter began his career in the distribution department of Westin Hotels & Resorts.