Celebrating 40 Years in Hospitality

Daybreak Motel 1960's WHERE IT ALL STARTED

In the 1960’s Dave Lenz’s parents (Ken & Betty Lenz) started in the motel business. They owned and operated the Daybreak Motel in Tomah, WI. Dave and his siblings lived in the house connected to the motel and grew up working in the motel; cleaning rooms, changing light bulbs, and doing other jobs around the motel.

While attending UW Madison, Dave worked the front desk at a local hotel. After graduating from UW Madison and majoring in Real Estate, Finance, and Investment Banking, Dave worked as a commercial loan officer for a real estate company in Madison.

Exterior of Knights InnDave worked with many hotel owners, helping them finance their own properties, and realized he could do this for himself. Dave and a partner decided to develop their own hotel – the Knights Inn in Tomah, WI.


In the 1980s, with 3 young kids and while still flying in the National Guard, Dave decided to start his own business out of his home.

40 years ago, in August of 1981, North Central Management was established. Over the years, North Central Management, Inc evolved into North Central Group or NCG as we are known today.

In the mid-’80s, Dave and another partner opened several Super 8 and Hampton Inn hotels together. NCG’s first Hampton Inn opened in 1985 in LaCrosse, WI. From there, more hotels were developed and added to our portfolio, as well as additional brands such as Comfort Inn, Clarion, and Fairfield Inn.

By the 2000’s we had 20+ hotels in our portfolio nationwide. NCG was also gaining traction as an award-winning franchisee of Hilton and Marriott family of brands. With the success of managing our own award-winning properties, we were able to embark on managing properties for other owners.

Today, as we celebrate 40 years, NCG has evolved into a family-owned real estate and hospitality leader. We own, develop and operate over 25 hospitality properties, across 4 states, within 14 brands. Our properties now include hotels, restaurants, and a conference center.

Exterior of The Trade Milwaukee

This year we will build our largest project yet, The Trade Milwaukee, An Autograph Collection Hotel. This new project is in partnership with the Championship Milwaukee Bucks and Deer District!

We look forward to many more years to come and thank you all for your part in making NCG a success. Cheers to 40 Years in Hospitality!