FelCor to sell 30 hotels, focus on NYC and Washington markets

IRVING, TEXAS FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. is planning to sell about 30 of the 84 hotels it owns, repositioning its portfolio with an emphasis on the quickly recovering markets of New York City and Washington, D.C.

Fourteen hotels are already on the market, of which 11 are suburban or airport locations, and seven are located in Texas, Florida and Georgia. The REIT says additional hotels will be brought to market based on various factors, telling analysts that it eventually plans to bring 30 properties to market. FelCor is not in an urgent mode to sell, saying it will hold onto assets until they can be sold for fair prices.

FelCor’s same-store RevPAR increased 6.3% for the third quarter year over year to US$87.83, and 7.9% for September. Its hotel EBITDA margin increased 67 basis points for the quarter, driven by a 2.1% increase in ADR, but its net loss was US$89.3 million for the quarter.

RevPAR increased at 61 of FelCor’s hotels, and in every major market except for Orlando. “The lodging industry fundamentals continue to strengthen, and we are pleased with our operating results for the quarter,” says President and CEO Richard A. Smith. “While the booking window remains relatively short, group booking pace continues to improve each month, occupancy is improving and RevPAR growth is accelerating. We are taking advantage of the positive imbalance between demand and supply to remix our customer base and drive daily rates. During the quarter, ADR for our portfolio increased 2.1%, driven by a 14% increase of premium transient room nights.”

On September 30, FelCor transferred its Embassy Suites Hotel Piscataway-Somerset, New Jersey, to its lender. The company continues to work with a special servicer to likewise transfer Embassy Suites Chicago-North Shore/Deerfield to its lender.