Fed Chief Jerome Powell once again roiled the financial markets with a speech. His legacy is that he was a good leader of the Fed who never should have held a press conference because his comments always seem to have a negative effect on the market. The DJIA plunged 1008 points on Friday while Nasdaq was down 498, the S&P 500 fell 141 points and the 10-year Treasury yield was up .01 to 3.04%. Lodging stocks were lower across the board. The biggest decliners included a -14% drop from SOND, VCSA was down -8%, IHG and MCG both fell -7% and XHR, BHR, TNL, HT, and SHO fell -6% on the day.
JP Morgan cut its view on IHG Hotels & Resorts to Neutral from Overweight.
Hoteliers did not seem very pleased with the US General Services Administration’s increase in lodging per diems for 2023. HNN said hotels might end up abandoning negotiated rates for government employees in favor of higher-paying demand segments. This follows the news the increase will only be to $98 from $96. While better than two years of flat rates, the 2% increase does not even come close to keeping up with inflation or the increase in room rates in the US that has been in the high teens.
The Aloft Orlando Downtown hosted a grand opening this week to celebrate the completion of a massive renovation. The downtown Orlando, FL hotel, located in the former site of the Orlando Utilities Commission, expanded its onsite event space, added two new concierge lounges, revealed new cocktail offerings and a lineup of live music at the WXYZ Lounge, new technology, and new furniture and fixtures throughout.
A landmark hotel in York, PA, is expected to open for the first time in almost six years. The Yorktowne Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is operated by GF Hotels & Resorts and plans to open in the fall. The hotel has 123 guest rooms, six meeting rooms, a lobby bar and a rooftop lounge.
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust closed on the sale of the 236-room Hotel Spero in San Francisco, CA, for $71.0 million to a third party. Proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes and reducing the Company’s outstanding debt borrowings associated with recent hotel acquisitions, in accordance with the Company’s investment strategy.
Miami voters approved a new 100-year lease for the developers of a proposed Dream Hotel-anchored mixed-use project on the Miami River in Miami, FL. MV Real Estate Holdings and its partner Driftwood Capital, can now proceed with their plans to transform a 1.5-acre city-owned site. The joint venture intends to build a $185 million mixed-use project anchored by a 165-key hotel under the Dream banner. The development, known as Riverside Wharf, would also include restaurants, an event hall, nightclub and rooftop day club.
In Lake Worth Beach, FL, developers Amrit and Amy Gill have received approval to revamp the long-vacant Gulfstream Hotel. The $100 million makeover will bring a plethora of jobs to a population hit hard by COVID-19.
Hotel Equities announced the launch of its new Lifestyle division. HE’s alliance with Greenwood Hospitality combines Greenwood’s extensive collection of lifestyle and luxury hotels with HE’s portfolio of award-winning focused and full-service hotels. The lifestyle division now includes over 30 assets, including hotels such as The Farnam in Omaha, NE, and The Henry in Dearborn, MI, both Autograph Collection by Marriott hotels, as well as the Tulsa Club, a Curio Collection by Hilton, located in Tulsa, OK.
Noble House Hotels & Resorts Ltd. announced the acquisition of 50% ownership in The Marquesa Hotel and Café Marquesa, in Key West, FL. Current owners and operators, Carol Wightman, Erik deBoer and Derek deBoer, will continue to own the remaining interest in the hotel. Noble House Hotels & Resorts will operate and manage the property going forward. The hotel features 44 rooms, three pools, and tropical interior gardens, and of course, the Café Marquesa.
The Omni Homestead Resort, in Hot Springs, VA, is now accepting group bookings for its expanded event and meetings capabilities as part of an overall $140 million property-wide renovation, set to be completed by Winter 2023. The Omni Homestead Resort will add 4,000 square feet of function space through the opening of an all-new, indoor/outdoor Event Pavilion while enhancing the resorts existing 71,000 square feet of meeting space. Slated for completion by late Summer 2023, the Event Pavilion can serve up to 225 guests and offers a bridal suite and dedicated prep kitchens. By August 2023, The Theater, a breakout facility for keynote speakers, will receive a classic, yet modern update. Poised to meet the demands of meeting groups, additional renovations to existing spaces will include new carpets, refinishing of the wood floors, fresh paint, wall coverings, acoustic ceiling tiles and more. Enhancements touching food and beverage venues include Pioneer Picnic, Martha’s Market, The Lobby Bar, which soon will become a new speakeasy-style lounge, Jefferson’s Restaurant and Taproom, Rubino’s at The Cascades, and The Dining Room. A full roster of additional updates includes façade improvements, balcony deck work, guestroom renovations, new associate housing building and the historic rehabilitation of the Warm Springs Pools.
Proponents of redeveloping 848 Seymour Street in downtown Vancouver into a major hotel are making it clear they would like to build their project in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. A new rezoning application outlines the plan to turn the mid-block surface parking lot into a 30-story hotel tower with 393 guest rooms. The project is being spearheaded by Paul Y. Construction with Forme Development as the local development manager. The proponents are requesting the City of Vancouver to allow the proposal to fall into an expedited application review. If the expedited review is granted, the development permit would be reviewed and approved by the first quarter of 2024, and the hotel would be completed by early 2025. The proposed hotel tower will dedicate the first three floors to lobby, restaurant, bar, lounge and amenity spaces. Additional amenity spaces will be situated on the top two floors. Four underground levels will contain both replacement vehicle parking and back-of-house hotel operations.
Highgate announced that James Karabelas had been appointed as Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Karabelas will lead Highgate’s sales and marketing team across its 10 properties and expanding portfolio in Hawaii. Karabelas joins Highgate from Aqua-Aston Hospitality where he served as the Vice President of Marketing.
EV Hotels will be opening a 5-star luxury resort in the new Larimar City & Resort project in the Dominican Republic. The complex will be built in association with CLERHP who is behind the project. The new EV hotel will have up to 400 rooms and an array of Dubai-style leisure amenities. FitNest is making a collaborative effort with EV hotel to bring wellness & fitness to hospitality by giving the gym state-of-the-art equipment, training assistance, and much more.