Briefs: Hoshino buys Guam resort; European values recover

Hoshino subsidiary buys Guam resort: Japan-based Onward Holdings Co. Ltd. has exited the Guam hotel business after selling its 428-key Onward Beach Resort to Guam Hotel Management, Japan, a subsidiary of Hoshino Resorts. The transfer price of shares is around US$52.3 million. The transaction is expected to close on April 10. The resort comprises two towers and a water park. The transaction does not include the Onward Mangilao Guam and Onward Gold Resort Guam golf courses operated by Onward.

BWH Hotel Group promotes Pohl: BWH Hotel Group has promoted Roh Pohl to president of International Operations and president of WorldHotels. In his new role, Pohl will be in charge of further strengthening the group’s global presence and enhancing its operations on a global level. He joined the company in 2007 and has previously served as senior vice president and chief operations officer. BWH acquired WorldHotels in 2019 and has since grown the company’s global reach and offerings and added brands in the upper upscale and luxury segments. As WorldHotels president, Pohl will be responsible for ensuring that strategic goals are fulfilled to include increasing sale, driving revenue to hoteliers and enhancing the brand’s image. Before joining BWH, Pohl spent 25 years with Boykin Management Co. and Marriott Corp.

GSA approves Trump hotel sale: The General Services Administration (GSA) has approved of the deal between the Trump Organization and Miami-based CGI Merchant Group to sell the rights of the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. CGI will give management to Hilton to operate the hotel as a Waldorf Astoria. The GSA said it had determined CGI as a “qualified transferee” and Hilton as a “qualified operator” post a review. Located in the historic Old Post Office Building, Trump Organization had reportedly reached a deal to sell the rights to the controversial hotel for US$375 million, fetching a profit of US$100 million.

Europe’s hotel values in 2021 saw a 5% average improvement on values compared to 2020

European hotel valuation: Cost efficiencies, robust demand in the second half of 2021 and continuing investment interest boosted a recovery in values of Europe’s hotels, according to the annual European Hotel Valuation Index by HVS. The report said there was a 5% average improvement on values as compared to 2020. Since investors maintained their interest in hotels during COVID-19, values held fairly steady, especially in properties with good potential and in strong destinations increasing demand for deals that that were priced realistically. Around 60% valuations declined between 5% and 15% in 2020, while in 2021 over three-quarters of these properties realized value rises. The ones whose value did not increase were undergoing refurbishments and periods of closure. However, inflationary pressures, increasing fuel costs and labor crisis began to affect performance in the second half of the year.

Mission Hill expands in Florida: Denver, Colorado-based Mission Hill Hospitality, a KSL Capital Partners portfolio company, has acquired the 100-room Inn at Naples, Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Naples, Florida, at an undisclosed price. This is the company’s third acquisition in Florida. The property is undergoing a large-scale transformation, which includes renovation of the guest rooms, public and meeting spaces, lobby and restaurant. Launched 12 months ago, Mission Hill’s portfolio currently consists of 18 hotels across the U.S.

Ascott acquires in China, Amsterdam: The Ascott Ltd., Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Investment, has acquired properties in Ningbo, China, and Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for S$190 million (US$139.87 million) through Ascott Serviced Residence Global Fund 1, Ascott’s PE fund with Qatar Investment Authority. In Ningbo, Ascott has acquired two residential towers on a turnkey basis. It will open in 2025 as the 206-key Somerset Hangzhou Bay Ningbo. The purchase in Amsterdam is a rare freehold asset, which will be refurbished and reopened as the 93-unit serviced residence Citadines Canal Amsterdam in 2023. With these two acquisitions, the Ascott fund will own 10 properties with around 2,000 units.

Siegel Group closes Vegas hotel sale: The Siegel Group Nevada Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada, announced it has completed the sale of the 64-key Artisan Hotel Boutique in Las Vegas for US$11.90 million. The group acquired the boutique hotel in 2009 and rebranded it. The hotel was the last property in a portfolio of boutique hotels in the Las Vegas market.

Star Entertainment CEO steps down: Matt Bekier, CEO of Star Entertainment Group, has stepped down from his position amid an ongoing probe into possible violations of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws at its casinos. Bekier’s decision to resign comes after concerns were raised at the public hearings in connection with the review of the Star Sydney hotel and casino, Australia’s second largest casino, the group said in a statement. Bekier told the board that as the managing director and CEO, he was “accountable for the effectiveness and adequacy of the company’s processes, policies, people and culture,” adding that the correct thing for him to do was to take responsibility, the statement added. His final departure date has not been determined yet. An investigation was initiated last June amid concerns over compliance with rules and customer due diligence.

ASEAN tourism insight: International arrivals to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is projected to increase to 142 million in 2024 from 136.9 million in 2019, boosted by the region’s natural attractions and heritage, affordable connectivity, improved tourist facilities, rising consumer class and proximity to India and China, revealed GlobalData’s latest report. The ASEAN region saw a boom as a destination before the pandemic, with inbound arrivals to the 10 ASEAN member countries growing at a CAGR of 7.7% between 2016 and 2019, the report said. In 2020, inbound flows to the region dropped 78.8% YOY to 29 million due to decreasing traveler confidence and strict entry requirements. The member states’ over-dependence on Chinese tourism left them vulnerable, as China’s rapidly growing middle class’ boom in overseas trips, with many visiting nearby ASEAN countries. China constituted 13% of arrivals to the ASEAN region in 2014, which grew to 23% by 2019.