Briefs: US profits strong in June; Apirose’s second Birch location

US profitability reaches 32-month high: GOPPAR in the U.S. touched an all-time high since October 2019, according to STR’s June 2022 P&L data release.

  • GOPPAR: US$91.23
  • TRevPAR: US$226.10
  • EBITDA PAR: US$69.53
  • LPAR (labor costs): US$68.40

Each of the key bottom-line metrics improved from May, driven by increased room rates and improved revenue from F&B and groups. Profit margins have remained strong over the past 12 months but fell marginally recently due to increasing wages and costs. Hotels have resumed services, amenities and F&B operations, which were previously reduced, to help increase overall profits but at lower margins. Catering and banquet revenue, however, has lagged with an increase reported in the recent months due to better group demand. None of the major markets saw GOPPAR and TRevPAR levels exceeding 2019 figures. Miami and Anaheim led in GOPPAR recovery. While markets that heavily rely on business demand, like San Francisco and Philadelphia, posted improved GOPPAR figures, these markets stayed at the bottom. Despite an increase in June, San Francisco’s GOPPAR was only 32% of 2019 levels in the first six months of 2022.

Rosewood residences to debut in LA: Rosewood Hotel Group, Hong Kong, will launch its first standalone branded Rosewood Residences in Los Angeles, California, with the Rosewood Residences Beverly Hills. Scheduled to open in 2024, the project will feature 17 residences starting at US$9 million. Thomas Juul-Hansen will work on the project’s architecture and interiors. Ranging from 3,000 to more than 7,000 square feet, the residences will include a chef’s kitchen with oversized double islands, temperature-controlled wine storage; while half of the residences will have their own private swimming pools and fully equipped outdoor kitchens, wet bars and firepits. Amenity spaces will include a resort-like rooftop pool, spa, outdoor lounge area, fitness center, private dining rooms and an exclusive restaurant for resident owners. Other Rosewood residences include Florida standalone residences like Lido Key and Naples.

Graduate starts home rental program: Graduate Hotels has launched Graduate Homes, a short-term rental offering with properties available to be booked in Oxford, Mississippi, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, for stays beginning in Fall 2022. Graduate expects to add markets as it grows the platform. Specializing in university-anchored markets, Graduate Homes offers local homeowners the opportunity to earn additional income during peak university weekends such as home football and basketball games, graduation, and homecoming. Graduate Homes guests will enjoy homes in prime university locations, VIP amenities, including a dedicated concierge service to coordinate everything from transportation to the ultimate tailgating experience, access to Graduate Hotels pools and fitness centers and exclusive discounts across Graduate Hotels bars and restaurants. Guests will also be able to book in-home experiences such as yoga classes or personal mixologists through Graduate Hotels partnership with experiential platform Way. Graduate Homes handles for owners all management services, including the booking platform, marketing of listings, vacation planning, concierge services and pre- and during-stay communication. Homeowners listed with Graduate Homes will receive additional incentives and perks, including exclusive access to their neighboring Graduate as well as a 20% discount at the 32 Graduate Hotels properties across the U.S. and U.K.

Selsdon Park Hotel in Croydon

Apirose announces second Birch location: Apirose, the London-based real estate investment company, has announced that the second Birch property — Selsdon Park Hotel — will open in 2023 in south London’s Croydon area. The 200-acre parkland estate currently includes a 150-key hotel with conference facilities, dining venues and fitness activities. The hotel and grounds are undergoing renovations to reopen as a Birch property. The hospitality concept has been led by co-founder Chris King and the Birch team with Adam Mursal of Pillar Consulting serving as the development manager. The hotel is the second joint venture project between Apirose and London-based Birch Hospitality Ltd., after the first location in Hertfordshire.

HFTP ends relationship with AHLA: The Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) has announced it has declined the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s (AHLA) unsolicited merger offer, citing “disparate interests and business models of HFTP and AHLA” and said it will complete and publish the Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) 12th Revised Edition on its own. After acquiring the rights to the USALI, in 2019 HFTP started the process to revise the current 11th edition and established the Global Finance Committee (GFC) with AHLA. The GFC was supposed to independently oversee/govern the content and future revisions of the USALI. According to HFTP, the business practices of AHLA were too diverse, including AHLA’s plan to become the one voice for the entire U.S. hospitality industry. All existing GFC members will be invited to continue on the 12th edition, which will be finalized by the year-end. Some vacancies on HFTP’s USALI committee are expected to be created. According to the HFTP, AHLA’s ambition to become a competitor in the event space also resulted in a change in the associations’ relationship, which was highlighted by the recent announcement of a new, competing AHLA/Questex event which is scheduled during the same days as the 2023 HITEC event. Stating that HITEC has seen plenty of competition over the years, Frank Wolfe, CAE, CEO of HFTP said, “The unfortunate issue for the industry is that the impact on the suppliers and HITEC allies such as AAHOA, CHTA, HSMAI and IHITA was not taken into consideration before duplicating the HITEC dates, published well in advance. Decisions like this really create a hardship for the industry, especially the suppliers without whom we would not survive.”

Chetrit to revitalize dirty NYC hotel: The Chetrit Group, New York City, has reportedly secured a US$185 million construction loan from Mack Real Estate Credit Strategies to revamp the 570-key Hotel Carter in New York City.

Hotel pays for sex trafficking role: Om Hospitality, owners of the Economy Inn in Springdale, Arkansas, has been ordered to pay US$25.4 million in damages, including more than US$19 million in punitive damages, for its role in a sex trafficking case that took place between the summer of 2014 and July 2017. The law firm representing the victim said it believes this is the largest verdict in the country against a single hotel for its role in a sex trafficking of a minor case. The law firm representing the victim has been working on this case for four years.

Wyndham Grand adds Grandover Resort: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has expanded its flagship Wyndham Grand brand with the addition of the 244-room Grandover Resort & Spa in Greensboro, North Carolina. Spread across 1,600 acres, the resort includes two 18-hole championship golf courses, a spa, tennis courts, fine dining, fitness center and over 45,000 square feet of  event space. The resort will be hosting this week’s Wyndham Championship, the sixth-oldest event on the PGA TOUR, excluding the majors. Through its affiliation with Wyndham Grand, the resort will be the latest property to join The Meetings Collection, Wyndham’s curated collection of hotels and resorts in sought-after meetings destinations in the U.S. The resort will be fully integrated into Wyndham’s loyalty program, Wyndham Rewards, later this fall. The Wyndham Grand portfolio currently comprises around 70 upper-upscale hotels globally.

Indigo Road Hospitality grows in North Carolina: The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, Charleston, South Carolina, in partnership with Charlotte, North Carolina-based Madison Capital Group, and Asheville, North Carolina-based JPW Development has acquired the Snowbird Mountain Lodge in Robbinsville, North Carolina, from Robert Rankin and his wife Mandy. Indigo Road has also assumed management of the property. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. This marks Indigo Road’s third property in North Carolina, following Skyline Lodge and The Flat Iron Hotel. Since its creation, the Main Lodge has undergone several refurbishments, including the addition of several cottages.

Marriott leads US construction pipeline: With a 4% increase by projects YOY, Marriott International led U.S. construction pipeline, followed by Hilton (8% YOY increase) and IHG (2% increase YOY), according to Lodging Econometrics. Current construction projects with these three franchise companies accounted for 66% of the deals and 64% of the rooms in the total U.S. construction pipeline. During the first half of the year, 247 hotels with 28,116 rooms opened, with Marriott, Hilton, and IHG branded hotels representing 70% with 172 new openings and 20,365 rooms. Marriott has the most projects under construction and scheduled to start in the next 12 months, with 249 projects/33,398 rooms and 653 projects/80,395 rooms respectively. Hilton has the highest number of projects in the early planning stage of the pipeline, with 725 projects/78,879 rooms, these record high project and room totals for Hilton account for 32% of projects in the early planning stage.

Top 3 companies leading hotel construction:
Marriott: 1,355 projects/167,034 rooms
Hilton: 1,312 projects/147,780 rooms
IHG: 789 projects/79,701 rooms

Top 5 brands leading pipeline:
Home2 Suites by Hilton: 465 projects/47,825 rooms
Holiday Inn Express by IHG: 299 projects/28,598 rooms
Hampton by Hilton: 281 projects/28,591 rooms
Marriott’s TownePlace Suites: 270 projects/25,340 rooms
Marriott’s Fairfield Inn: 235 projects/21,885 rooms

Most hotel openings:
Marriott: 78 new hotels/9,475 rooms
Hilton: 64 new hotels/7,901 rooms
IHG: 30 new hotels/2,989 rooms

Hotel Equities adds to its lifestyle unit: Hotel Equities, Alpharetta, Georgia, has been selected to operate The Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The hotel is the latest addition to the company’s newly launched lifestyle vertical. The new division, which was announced this March, has been created through a strategic alliance with Colorado-based Greenwood Hospitality. The 124-key boutique hotel is owned by Florida-based Atlantic Hotel Assets. The hotel features rooms, suites and penthouses with fully equipped kitchenettes and living spaces.

Hilton opens 11, signs 15 in Caribbean and Latin America: Hilton continues to expand into the Caribbean and Latin American (CALA) region with the addition of 11 new hotels in the first half of the year, growing its CALA portfolio to over 190 hotels and representing almost 15% of Hilton’s presence outside the U.S. Hilton has also confirmed it plans to open 15 more hotels across 10 brands in the second half of the year, including debuts in Mexico and Brazil. The company has also signed 15 new development deals, bringing its pipeline to 105 properties with around 15,750 rooms. From January 1 to June 30, Hilton has opened over 2,100 rooms across seven brands in six countries. Hilton plans to open its 200th hotel in the Caribbean and Latin America by the end of the year. Hilton’s broader development pipeline of 105 properties extends to 24 countries and territories, with five destinations — Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, representing more than 50% of the company’s growth plans, by room count, in the region.

Marriott’s new offer for meetings and events: Marriott International has announced a new offer — Back on Track — to celebrate the return of meetings to its properties in the Caribbean and Latin America. The offer will be available at 37 properties in the Caribbean, 60 in Mexico and 72 in Central and South America till December 31 for meetings held by December 31, 2024. The offer is available for Marriott Bonvoy members and planners can benefit from double Marriott Bonvoy points. They can also choose between two additional benefits per meeting booked. In addition to the offer, Marriott will also offer special events and activities at its meeting properties, such as special tours for groups, cooking classes, mixology sessions, workcation tools, etc.

Kissimmee hotel residences gets US$54M loan: Concord Summit Capital, Miami, Florida, has arranged for Centennial Bank to provide a loan of US$54 million to build Embassy Suites — a 300-unit, for-sale condominium hotel — at Sunset Walk in Kissimmee, Florida. Construction is already underway. Encore Opportunity fund, the hotel’s developer, is offering buyers designed and furnished studio, one- and two- bedroom condo hotel residences priced from the high US$300s. Concord Summit has funded all of Encore’s components in the Sunset Walk entertainment masterplan community. This also marks the third loan that Concord Summit has arranged in the last 12 months in Sunset Walk. Concord Summit has also provided US$55 million construction loan for an apartment community, The Registry at Grass Lake, in Winter Garden, Florida.

WoodHouse acquires Elevation Hotel: WoodHouse, Dallas, Texas, has acquired the Elevation Hotel & Spa in Crested Butte, Colorado, from Houston, Texas-based Boxer Property & Resorts, which has owned and operated the hotel since 2013. The hotel will remain independently owned by WoodHouse and will be operated by Highgate. To mark the acquisition, WoodHouse will introduce a pop-up concept of its Dallas restaurant, José, as part of the hotel’s 9380 Tavern F&B offering. The pop-up restaurant will debut later this month. The new owner also plans to start renovating the hotel. The property will remain open in the summer and forthcoming ski season.

Sonnenblick-Eichner arranges sale of Surfsand Resort: Sonnenblick-Eichner Co., Beverly Hills, California, has arranged a US$58 million sale and US$40.6 million of acquisition financing of the fee simple and leasehold interests in the Surfsand in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The 95-room full-service resort was acquired by Vancouver, Washington-based Vesta Hospitality. The new ownership is planning to undertake a US$9 million renovation, which will further enhance the resort and its amenities. Sonnenblick-Eichner has financed the resort thrice previously for the seller.

Diversity in company boards: Hospitality public company boards consisted of 22.5% women in 2021, with the Russell 3000 averaging 25.6% women board members in 2021, revealed the latest report on diversity in hotel industry’s public company boards released by  the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation (AHLAF) along with Castell Project. The Russell 3000 average of women board members is expected to reach 27% in 2022. The share of female hospitality board members reached 23.2% in 2020 and dipped to 22.5% in 2021. Two hospitality public companies have no women on their board. Hilton, Marriott and Membership Collective Group each have four female board members. A total of 7.6% of hospitality public company board members were Black, rising from 6.3% in 2020 and equivalent to 2019. In comparison, the U.S. population is 13.4% Black. Employment in the hospitality industry is 13.6% Black, falling from 18.8%. As per the survey, only 13 out of 30 hospitality boards have Black representation. There are three Black board chairs, of which one is a woman. Daphne Dufresne, chair of Condor Hospitality Trust, is an outside member while Thomas Baltimore at Park Hotels & Resorts and Robert Johnson at RLJ Lodging Trust are founders. RLJ has a majority Black board, while Marriott, Braemar and Membership Collective Group have two Black members. In terms of board diversity, hospitality public companies lag both the Russell 3000 and the S&P 500.