Briefs: Benchmark Pyramid rebrands; first dual La Quinta, Hawthorn Suites

Benchmark Pyramid rebrands: Benchmark Pyramid has rebranded to Pyramid Global Hospitality. The parent company will consist of several divisions in charge of specific industry sectors. All branded properties in the Americas will be under the purview of Pyramid Global Hospitality. Benchmark and Pyramid Luxury Lifestyle will focus especially on the company’s portfolio of independent properties. Hamilton and Pyramid Europe will continue to be in charge of the portfolio of hotels in Europe. The company said it will be able to best serve the different needs of owners and their assets by having three distinct branded and independent verticals. The combined entity’s global portfolio consists of over 240 properties in the U.S., Europe and Caribbean. 

La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotel in Pflugerville, Texas

First La Quinta, Hawthorn Suites dual-brand hotel: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has opened the first La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotel concept in Pflugerville, Texas. The dual-brand concept will help guests choose between extended-stay and leisure and business transient accommodations. Of the property’s 103 rooms, 73 feature La Quinta’s Del Sol prototype room and 30 with the Hawthorn Suites new room design. The pet-friendly hotel includes a shared lobby, fitness center, bar, heated outdoor pool and hot tub and business center. This new branding concept has added to 48 hotels to Wyndham’s development pipeline of more than 1,500 hotels.

US profitability exceeds 2019 levels: U.S. hotel GOPPAR surpassed the pre-pandemic figure for the second consecutive month, revealed STR’s April 2022 P&L data release. GOPPAR, TRevPAR and EBITDA PAR metrics were the highest for the country since November 2019.

  • GOPPAR: US$90.96
  • TRevPAR: US$218.40
  • EBITDA PAR: US$68.37
  • LPAR (Labor Costs): US$64.22

GOPPAR and GOP margins continued to show incremental improvements month-over-month, with the GOP margin (41.6%) at its third-highest level on record and the highest since November 2018. Lower group demand (reducing the cost of spend on F&B) and impact of inflation saw F&B profits going marginally up from April 2019. Labor costs stayed slightly below the 2019 comparable as a result of lower employment levels and fewer available amenities. Nine of the key markets realized GOPPAR and TRevPAR levels higher than pre-pandemic figures. Miami continued to lead recovery in both GOPPAR and TRevPAR, hitting 178% of the 2019 GOPPAR. Meanwhile, San Francisco and Minneapolis remained near the bottom line in both metrics.  The GOPPAR level for the top 25 markets combined was the highest of the pandemic and just US$12 less than April 2019.

Fairmont signs in Phoenix: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, along with Phoenix, Arizona-based Thunderbird Legacy Development, have announced the signing of definitive agreements for the development and management of a new Fairmont Hotel and Residences in Phoenix, Arizona. Slated to open in 2025, the 25-story Fairmont Phoenix will feature 225 rooms, including 34 suites, and 151 branded residences. The residential units will be a collection of one- to three-bedroom residences and penthouses from floors 14 to 25 of the building. Sales of the residential units are expected to start later this year, with Polaris Pacific leading the sales and marketing. Thunderbird Legacy Development will be the developer and general partner. Gensler has been appointed as the project’s architect and Project Management Advisors will oversee the project’s management. Thunderbird will be the project’s co-owner along with Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center.

Kimpton, Staybridge Suites hotels in St. Louis: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and Staybridge Suites have announced plans for two hotels in St. Louis, Missouri. Expected to open in early 2025 as part of a new-build Downtown West development, the hotels will be located next to each other but the buildings and guest experiences will be vastly different. Each owned and operated by a joint venture between Midas and Green Street Real Estate Ventures, the new Kimpton in St. Louis will be a seven-story building consisting of 170 rooms, including 10 suites. The adjacent Staybridge Suites will be a 129-suite property spanning six floors and will mark the extended-stay brand’s debut into the St. Louis downtown district.

LionGrove acquires Wyndham in Puerto Rico: LionGrove, Miami, Florida, has acquired the 400-key Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The property will continue to be a part of Wyndham and will retain its existing Wyndham Grand brand. With this acquisition, LionGrove owns three hotels with two of them in Puerto Rico representing around 900 keys. The seller was represented by Andrew Dickey and the team at JLL, while Mark Fisher and JLL’s capital markets team represented LionGrove alongside its Chief Investment Officer Phil Wade on the acquisition’s financing.

Singaporean family office acquires in Australia: High Street Holdings, on behalf of a Singapore-based family office, has acquired the 167-room Rydges North Sydney Hotel for A$75 million (US$53.86 million). The family office plans to purchase more hotels in Australia. The deal was brokered by CBRE Hotels on behalf of Event Hospitality & Entertainment. The Singaporean family office plans to undertake a refurbishment of the hotel, which occupies a 2,549 square meter freehold site in North Sydney. The company is actively pursuing investment opportunities in Australia as part of its global diversification. In 2021, it made its first acquisition in Australia with the purchase of the Kennigo Hotel in Brisbane.

Ascott acquires in Australia: Ascott Ltd., the wholly-owned unit of Singapore’s CapitaLand Investment, is acquiring its first lyf-branded co-living property in Sydney, Australia. The freehold asset’s acquisition is being made through the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund, a private equity fund with Qatar Investment Authority. The 197-unit property, to be called lyf Bondi Junction Sydney, is expected to open in 2024. Ascott also opened its first lyf property in Australia, the 105-unit lyf Collingwood Melbourne. The acquisition in Sydney marks the Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund’s third investment this year. So far, the fund has invested in 12 properties for almost US$500 million. With the addition of the property in Sydney, there will be 11 lyf properties with around 2,200 units held under the fund.

Premier Parks acquires operation of Valcartier-Calypso Group: Premier Parks, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has acquired the operations of Montreal, Canada-based Valcartier-Calypso Group. The deal includes an all-inclusive 4-star resort hotel with a spa and indoor water park, two premium outdoor water parks, a destination campground, an ice hotel, and the largest winter games center in North America. These acquisitions increase Premier Park’s portfolio to 15 properties in the U.S. and Canada. The Valcartier-Calypso Group includes Calypso Waterpark in Limoges, Ontario, in Canada and the Valcartier Vacances Village near Quebec City in Canada (which comprises the 153-key, 4-star Hotel Valcartier, Bora Parc, Valcartier Water Park, Hotel de Glace, Valcartier Winter Playground and Camping Valcartier).

Ennismore’s Pasricha awarded MBE: Sharan Pasricha, founder and co-CEO of Ennismore, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022 for his contribution to the hospitality industry. Pasricha founded Ennismore in 2011 and the business grew under his leadership, including the global expansion of The Hoxton in the U.S. and Europe, the reinvention of Gleneagles and the creation of Working From_, a shared community workspace. Pasricha entered into a joint venture with Accor in 2021, bringing together 14 brands representing 97 properties and 150 more in the pipeline.