Michael's AC Hotel Score a Last-Minute Success


Michael's AC Hotel Score a Last-Minute Success
Elizabeth Michael beat the clock to head public relations for Little Rock's recently-opened AC Hotel.

Elizabeth Michael, a partner in the Bark Bar and a PR veteran in Little Rock, was showing off the newly opened AC Hotel in downtown Little Rock on Wednesday, describing how it came to be her client.

That had little to do with her husband, Dan Roda, being an investor in the $25 million, 114-room project, she told Whispers.

“They had put out an RFP, and Dan mentioned to me the day before bids were due,” said Michael, a daughter of the Paul Michael home decor company founders in Lake Village. “I said, ‘What?’ Why hadn’t I heard about it?”

She decided to scramble and go for it, with a little help from a friend.

“I reached out to Martin Thoma,” the Thoma Thoma principal who has partnered with Michael in the Bud Agency, offering services to the cannabis industry, another business of Roda’s. (He’s co-founder and CEO of Abaca, a banking, lending and payments service for cannabis and hemp companies based in Little Rock.)

“I didn’t have the resources to turn around a proposal overnight,” Michael said. “I think we worked until daybreak, but we got the job.”

The hotel, at Capitol Avenue and Louisiana Street, carries the initials of Antonio Catalan, who established the AC Hotel luxury chain in Madrid in 1999.