Briefs: Hyatt-Gencom’s big Miami proposal; IHG growth in DACH

Hyatt, Gencom propose major Miami redevelopment: Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Miami-based luxury hospitality and residential developer Gencom presented on Tuesday to a Miami River Commission meeting their vision for redeveloping the downtown city-owned Miami Hyatt Regency site with a privately funded mixed-use project with a three-tower, ARQUITECTONICA-designed project that includes 1,500 residences, a 615-room flagship Hyatt Regency, 190,000 square feet of event space, improved access in and out of the urban core and open-air public space along the Miami River. The Hyatt-Gencom JV is currently negotiating terms of a ground lease extension with city of Miami staff. If approved by commissioners this summer, the measure would be brought to voters during a November 2022 referendum. If approved, construction on the Hyatt Regency Miami site is expected to begin in 2025. The proposed development seeks to amend and restate the ground lease that ushered in development of the existing Hyatt hotel in the early 1980s to include, without limitation, an extension of the lease renewal term from 45 to 99 years.

Hotel Indigo Vienna

IHG growth in DACH: IHG Hotels & Resorts has extended its multi-property development agreement for the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and said it has expanded the growth ambition to Italy and Poland. In 2022 alone, tristar GmbH will open four new Holiday Inn Express hotels and a Hotel Indigo in Vienna, marking the brand’s entry into the Austrian market. The announcement is a further development of IHG’s existing partnership with tristar GmbH, which is set to include 60 hotels by 2035 with openings across all IHG collections including Luxury & Lifestyle, Premium and Essentials brands in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Poland. The DACH region continues to be a key strategic market for IHG, with 88 hotels currently open in Germany and 27 pipeline properties, including those operated by tristar GmbH. In Austria and Switzerland there are currently 17 hotels under operation, and six properties in the pipeline. The most recently signed deal is for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Monheim am Rhein, which is scheduled to open in November 2024 in the city between Cologne and Dusseldorf.

Leisure leads Hyatt rebound: Led by Apple Leisure Group Americas revenues and profits, Hyatt Hotels Corp. reported 1Q22 earnings with lightened losses at US$73 million compared to US$304 million in 2021, as well as over a 100% surge in comparable system-wide RevPAR from the prior year. Record levels of leisure demand fueled nearly 60% of Hyatt’s rooms revenue in the quarter with continued outperformance at resorts and all-inclusive properties. Hyatt noted comparable system-wide RevPAR was -37% below 2019 in January and improved to 9% below in April. For April 2022, Americas and EAME/SW Asia exceeded April 2019 RevPAR by 3% and 1%, respectively. Hyatt also reported 1Q EBITDA of US$200 million, which was above consensus of US$132 million. Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian said the company expects the rate of recovery to broaden and strengthen in the months ahead as evidenced by the strong pace of actualized and future bookings for business and group travel. The company also updated its asset disposition commitment, whereby the company expects to net US$812 million in proceeds from either sales or signed management agreements made in the first quarter. In total, the company expects to sell US$2 billion worth of real estate by the end of 2024.

Big earnings beat for Choice: Choice Hotels International’s 1Q22 earnings report showed domestic RevPAR exceeded 2019 levels by 10.4%, while applications for new domestic franchise agreements increased 46% year-over-year. April RevPAR increasing approximately 16% compared to April of 2019. RevPAR for full-year 2022 is expected to increase between 10% and 13%, verus full-year 2019. RevPAR growth was driven by an increase in average daily rate (ADR) of 9.3% and a 60-basis-point increase in occupancy levels versus first quarter 2019. Adjusted EBITDA of US$96.6 million was above consensus of US$88.3 million. Total revenues increased 41% to US$257.7 million for 1Q22, compared to the same period of 2021. Net income increased US$45.1 million to US$67.4 million, representing diluted earnings per share (EPS) of US$1.20, a 200% increase over first quarter 2021.

GHA reports strong 1Q: Dubai-based Global Hotel Alliance reported a strong rebound in Q1 room revenues with The U.A.E. and the Maldives dominating with average room revenue (ARR) per stay of US$1,270 and US$8,530 respectively, compared to the global average of US$670. Ten GHA hotel members out of more than 500 globally accounted for one-third of total Q1 room revenues. Six out of those 10 were located in Dubai and the Maldives with their room revenues accounting for 14.4% and 8% of total room revenues for the period respectively. Overall, global room revenues in Q1 exceeded 60% of levels achieved in 2019, while total revenues (room and non-room) in Q1 increased by 76% in comparison to Q1 2021, driven both by an increase in room nights sold (up by 34%) and by much higher average spend per night (up by 32%).

Four Seasons’ new project in Doha: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has partnered with Q Bayraq Real Estate Investments to announce a new project in Doha which will be available for both long- and short-term stays. Currently under construction, The Pearl-Qatar will feature 161 fully-furnished apartments, ranging from one- to three-bedrooms with full kitchens, ensuite laundry, living areas and outdoor terraces. The building’s interiors will be designed by Wimberly Interiors. A total of 84 additional private residences will also be available for sale. The 19-story building will be situated on a private beach and will offer both sea and city views. The Pearl-Qatar will also include five restaurants and bars (including a signature dining venue by Michelin-starred Chef Joël Robuchon), wellness and fitness centers, a salon, an indoor lap pool and two outdoor pools, private screening room with an open kitchen and outdoor terrace and a private beach. Mehdi Zaanoun has been appointed as the project’s general manager.

Hang Eleven, Life House to break ground in Canada: Canadian real estate developer Hang Eleven Properties will soon break ground on 48-key boutique hotel, Beldi, in Squamish, British Columbia. The hotel will be operated by Life House, while the design and concept will be a collaboration between Squamish-headquartered HunterOffice and Vancouver-based Ste. Marie Studio. This marks Life House’s first Canadian property. The independent hotel management company will oversee operations, revenue, marketing and food and beverage. Beldi will offer a restaurant on the ground floor and a rooftop lounge area which will double up as a co-working space by day and cocktail bar by night. The hotel was initially conceived as a microhotel.

Parkview provides US$207M loan for NYC deal: Parkview Financial, Los Angeles, California, along with Montgomery Street Partners, have provided a loan worth US$207 million to an undisclosed borrower for the acquisition and redevelopment of the former Hudson Hotel in New York City. Morris Betesh and Alex Bailkin of New York-based Meridian Capital Group arranged the transaction. The 24-story hotel was most recently operated by Cain International and had closed in 2020 due to mounting losses from the pandemic. The borrower plans to convert the hotel into a 438-unit residential tower. The building will also include 25,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of retail. The units will reportedly be priced at a 20% discount to rates offered at other properties to attract young professionals, students and small families. The redevelopment of the property is slated to be completed by early 2023.

Hyatt announces new luxury collection: Hyatt Hotels Corp. has launched a global collection of resort brands focused on leisure demand by combining Hyatt and AMR Collection’s luxury all-inclusive portfolio. Comprising 70 resorts with more than 25,000 rooms, the new Inclusive Collection consists of nine luxury all-inclusive resort brands — Hyatt Ziva resorts, Hyatt Zilara resorts, Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Breathless Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Vivid Hotels & Resorts (coming soon), Alua Hotels & Resorts and Sunscape Resorts & Spas. World of Hyatt members can avail benefits at the over 50 Inclusive Collection resorts in destinations like Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama and the Caribbean. Inclusive Collection resorts in Europe will begin participating in the Hyatt rewards program soon. Hyatt now offers four collections — Timeless Collection, Boundless Collection, Independent Collection and Inclusive Collection.

Ukraine war not deterring Americans travel plans: Americans’ sentiment regarding visiting Europe remained strong, with a majority (61%) of them intending to travel to Europe this year despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, revealed a new study by MMGY Travel Intelligence. About 23% of Americans said they plan to wait and see how the situation transforms before finalizing their plans, while 10% were expected to reschedule or postpone and 7% were likely to cancel plans. Since the first study was conducted in early March, traveler concerns about the war spreading to other parts of Europe have dipped (62% to 54%), while concerns about the increasing cost of air travel saw an increase (32% to 38%). The war has also increased Americans’ fears about travel safety in Europe, with 58% agreeing or strongly agreeing with these fears. It has also increasing their travel safety concerns regarding travel to international destinations outside of Europe (45%) and travel within the U.S. (27%). Americans also more likely to consider Eastern European countries less safe than those in Western Europe. Poland, Germany and Austria, other than Ukraine and Russia, were considered as less safe due to the war.

Ireland gets further VAT reprieve: To help the industry get back on its feet, the government in Ireland has extended the lower VAT rate for the hospitality sector. The 9% lower VAT rate, which was due to expire at the end of August, will now run until February 28, 2023. The cost of maintaining the 9% rate is likely to be in the region of €250 million (US$263.4 million).