Briefs: Hilton renews HQ lease; Ascott to launch lyf in Tokyo

Hilton renews HQ lease: Hilton has reportedly extended its lease for another 15 years at its McLean, Virginia, headquarters where it is has been since 2009. It also plans to make significant upgrades to the building to house an additional 350 employees expected to be hired over the next five year. The extension was booked through a partnership between the FCEDA and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, according to the press release. It was also assisted by the approval of a US$5 million incentive and another US$1 million grant from the Development Opportunity Fund. Hilton will be eligible to receive a YS$1,000 tax credit for each full-time job it creates with the expansion.

Azora expands into Greece: Azora, based in Madrid, Spain, has completed the €43.8 million (US$44.53 million) acquisition of the Sheraton Rhodes Resort on the island of Rhodes, Greece, on behalf of the Azora European Hotel & Lodging F.C.R., from Marousi, Greece-based Lampsa Hellenic Hotels S.A. The 401-key hotel will continue to be operated by Marriott. The acquisition is Azora’s first hotel purchase in Greece and adds to its existing portfolio of 34 properties with 9,300 keys located across Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium. Xenios Investments Partners partners with Azora to identify opportunities in the Greek market and has also supported Azora in this acquisition.

lyf Ginza Tokyo is expected to open in June 2023

Ascott to launch first lyf in Tokyo: The Ascott Ltd., Singapore-based CapitaLand Investment Ltd.’s fully-owned lodging business unit, is acquiring a freehold asset in Tokyo, Japan, through the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund. The fund is Ascott’s private equity fund with the Qatar Investment Authority. The asset will be refurbished to debut Ascott’s lyf-branded co-living property in Tokyo when it opens in June 2023. The 140-unit lyf Ginza Tokyo will be the fund’s fourth acquisition this year deploying almost S$400 million (US$289.55 million) in four countries in less than five months. The acquisition follows Ascott signing more than 7,500 units in H1 2022, a 32% rise compared to the same period last year. The company has also opened 20 properties with over 4,500 units in H1 2022, a 56% YOY surge in units. In July, Ascott completed the acquisition of Oakwood Worldwide, growing its portfolio to more than 15,300 units across 900 properties. The newly signed and opened properties will boost Ascott’s recurring fee income.

Union Investment acquires in Denmark: Union Investment, Frankfurt, Germany, has acquired the 25hours Hotel Copenhagen Paper Island in Copenhagen, Denmark, on behalf of its open-ended UniInstitutional European Real Estate fund from Christiansholms Ø P/S consortium. This marks Union Investment’s first acquisition in the Scandinavian hotel market. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The 128-key, which is slated to open in March 2024, comprises a restaurant, a café and a bar on the top floor. The hotel is part of the mixed-use man-made island, Paper Island project, which will also feature 253 apartments, gastronomy, retail, event spaces and the new Water Culture House.

Sydney Hilton sells for AU$530M: Private Equity Asia, Hong Kong, has announced that its affiliated real estate funds have completed the acquisition of the Sydney Hilton hotel from Singapore-based Bright Ruby Resources for AU$530 million (US$367.36 million), marking the largest-ever single asset deal in the Australian hospitality segment. The landmark 587-key property was built in 1974. Baring Private Equity is planning major investments into the hotel, including expansion and upgrades of the guestrooms and dining outlets, enhancements to the front and back of house operations and implementing ESG-related initiatives. JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group negotiated the deal.

Vail Resorts closes acquisition of Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG: Vail Resorts, Broomfield, Colorado, has closed on its acquisition of a majority stake in Andermatt-Sedrun Sport AG, the destination ski resort on Switzerland that controls and operates the resort’s mountain and ski-related assets (including all lifts, a ski school operation and most of the restaurants). The purchase represents Vail Resort’s first strategic investment in and the opportunity to operate a European ski resort. The company has acquired a 55% stake ownership of the resort operations from Altdorf, Switzerland-based Andermatt Swiss Alps AG, which retains a 40% ownership stake with a group of shareholders consisting the remaining 5% ownership. Vail Resorts’ final purchase price of CHF149 million (US$155.26 million) will be fully reinvested into the resort, with CHF110 million (US$114.62 million) to be used in capital investments to enhance the guest experience on the mountain and CHF39 million (US$40.63 million) to be paid to Andermatt Swiss Alps and reinvested into the real estate developments in the base area.

US performance dips: Hotel performance in the U.S. saw a marginal decline from the last week, which was the annual travel peak, according to STR’s latest data through July 30.

  • Occupancy: 71.9% (-3.8%)
  • ADR: US$158.32 (+18.3%)
  • RevPAR: US$113.90 (+13.9%)

While absolute levels were lower than the previous week, comparisons against 2019 levels strengthened. Among the top 25 markets, Nashville posted the highest occupancy increase over 2019 (+4.2% to 77.8%). San Diego (87.4%), Boston (85.5%) and Oahu Island (85.3%) led the major markets in absolute occupancy for the week. San Diego reported the largest ADR gain over 2019 (+33.5% to US$259.01). St. Louis registered the steepest RevPAR deficit (-22.2% to US$74.33).

The Coaching Inn Group acquires Jamaica Inn: The 36-room Jamaica Inn in Cornwall, U.K., has been sold to The Coaching Inn Group, Lincolnshire, England by Allen Jackson off a guide price of £8 million (US$9.72 million). Jackson owned the iconic property for eight years, during which the inn received substantial investment and grew into a private leisure business with multiple income streams and generated £4 million (US$4.86 million) revenue in its most recent financial year. The inn also grew to 36 keys from 17. Constructed in 1750 and immortalized in Daphne du Maurier’s novel ‘Jamaica Inn,’ the property comprises a restaurant, bar, farm shop, gift shop and two museums dedicated to the history of smuggling and Daphne du Maurier.

São Paulo leads profitability in Latin America: São Paulo led recovery of GOPPAR among the key markets in Latin America, as per STR’s June 2022 P&L data release. São Paulo’s June GOPPAR touched US$42.78, which was 145.4% of the pre-pandemic comparable. The level, however, was down from May when market saw GOPPAR at US$50.01, which was 160% of the comparable 2019 level. Rio also posted a major month-over-month improvement in the region, with a June GOPPAR of US$31.50. The level was 145% of the pre-pandemic comparable. Meanwhile, Lima’s GOPPAR was only 31% of the 2019 figure, up from negative territory in May.

Extended Stay America adds over 100: Extended Stay America has announced that subsidiaries of ESH Hospitality, Inc. are converting over 100 recently-acquired WoodSpring Suites hotels to the Extended Stay America portfolio of brands later this year. With the addition of these properties, Extended Stay America’s portfolio will comprise 762 hotels, consisting of close to 85,000 rooms across 45 states.

Meetings and events grow in July: Meetings and events in the U.S. surged 163.9% over July 2021, as per the monthly meetings and events data for July 2022 released by Knowland. The figure, however, was 15.5% less than June 2022, which was related to normal seasonality. Even with the decline, the U.S. market recovered 81.4% in July, ahead of the 80.1% in June. The average number of attendees per event for July 2022 rose to 121 compared to 64 in July 2021 and 91 in July 2019. The average space used this July was 3,088 square feet, while meetings in July 2021 averaged 2,461 square feet and 2,791 square feet in July 2019. The top five growth markets (compared to June) were Sarasota, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; Buffalo, New York;New York, New York; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina. The corporate segment accounted for 58.1% of meetings and event business with technology, training/education and healthcare leading among the industry segments.