Briefs: Is Blackstone selling G6?; Cycas, Borealis tie up

Will Motel 6 find a new owner?: Blackstone is reportedly soliciting interest from potential suitors to acquire its G6 Hospitality company, which operates the predominantly franchised budget brands Motel 6 and Studio 6. Blackstone has already sold off a lot of the real estate and the deal could fetch more than US$1 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. Blackstone acquired the brand from Accor in 2012 and at the start of 2021 there were about 1,200 Motel 6 properties.

Ace in Chicago sold: Vancouver, B.C.-based Onni Group is reportedly finalizing a deal to buy from Sterling Bay Companies the 159-room Ace Hotel in Chicago’s Fulton Market District for more than US$63 million. It was also reported that as of January 26, 2022, Ace Hotel Group will no longer manage the property.

GHA, Asmallworld announce partnership: Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), Dubai, has entered into a strategic partnership with Asmallworld AG, Zurich, which will see both companies becoming shareholders in each other’s businesses when the transaction closes in March 2022. The new partnership will launch in mid-2022. Asmallworld will own a 10% stake in GHA in a part cash, part shares transaction, while GHA will own a 3% stake in Asmallworld. This comes after the recent relaunch of GHA Discovery, the GHA-operated loyalty program which offers ‘Discovery Dollars’, a digital rewards currency, along with a ‘Live Local’ concept offering benefits, activities, evens and experiences in hotels. Asmallworld will support GHA with the delivery of the program, particularly the ‘Live Local’ concept, while Asmallworld will provide complimentary access to its social network for GHA Discovery’s elite tier members free of charge. The partnership also provides Asmallworld with the power to recruit independent hotels into the alliance under a new Asmallworld hotel brand portfolio.

US performance exceeds 2019 levels: Hotel performance in the U.S. surpassed the levels seen in the same week of 2019, according to STR’s latest report through December 18.

  • Occupancy: 53.8% (+7.7%)
  • ADR: US$121.87 (+11.6%)
  • RevPAR: US$65.61 (+20.2%)

Among the Top 25 Markets, the largest occupancy increase over 2019 (+20.4% to 51.8%) was reported in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, while New York City saw the steepest occupancy decline (-12.4% to 73.4%) but reported the second-highest absolute occupancy level among the STR-defined U.S. markets. New Orleans registered the largest ADR increase (+38.1% to US$152.28). The largest RevPAR deficits were in San Francisco/San Mateo (-10.4% to US$87.69) and Oahu Island (-9% to US$160.41).

Motto by Hilton Rotterdam Blaak

Cycas, Borealis tie up: Europe’s Borealis Hotel Group and Cycas Hospitality have announced a strategic partnership to open and operate new, branded hotels across Europe. The first phase of the collaboration was revealed this week with the signing of a hotel management agreement for Cycas to operate the 108-room Motto by Hilton Rotterdam Blaak, as well as a second, new hotel that will be announced in early 2022. Set to open mid-2022, the Rotterdam hotel – a converted, former bank – represents the first Motto by Hilton to open in the Netherlands, as well as the urban lifestyle brand’s European debut.

Four Wisconsin hotels trade: The North Central Group (NCG), in a joint venture with Raymond Management Co. (RMC), sold on December 22 four properties in one transaction. The acquirer was BitNile Holdings subsidiary Ault Alliance, through its subsidiary Ault Global Real Estate Equities Inc. The Hilton Garden Inn Rockford, Illinois; Hilton Garden Inn Middleton, Wisconsin; Courtyard by Marriott Middleton; and the Residence by Marriott Middleton will be under new ownership and management. The name of the buyer was not disclosed. Middleton-based NCG continues to own and operate 25 properties and will develop and operate the new Moxy Hotel Madison Downtown, which is anticipated to break ground in spring 2022 and open summer of 2023, as well as develop and operate The Trade Milwaukee, an Autograph Collection Hotel, scheduled to open spring of 2023.

November bookings in Spain surges five-fold: The number of nights booked by travelers in hotels in Spain increased five-fold in November as compared to the previous month, but was still 20% lower than the November 2019 figures, according to data by the National Statistics Department. The number of nights booked was 14.8 million in November, up from 2.8 million in the same month in 2020. Spanish residents booked about 40% of the rooms and most of the foreigners went to the Canary Islands. The Spanish government expects the number of foreign tourists coming into the country in the fourth quarter to reach two-thirds of the figure in 2019.

Giri Hotel Management acquires Union Bluff: The Union Bluff Hotel on York Beach, Maine, was acquired by Giri Hotel Management, Quincy, Massachusetts, for US$23 million from Brett and Mary Jane Merritt, after being owned and operated by the same family for more than three decades. The five-story hotel has three buildings with 41 rooms and an undeveloped parcel of land next to the main building that might be used to build additional rooms. Giri owns properties across Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut. This is Giri’s 45th property in New England.