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North America

U.S. Businesses Pare Back Travel Restrictions

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
October 18th, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • The DJIA was up 338 points while Nasdaq was up 97, the S&P 500 was up 42 points, while the 10-year treasury yield was down nearly .02 to 4.00%.
  • Evercore ISI Group upped its rating on DiamondRock Hospitality to Outperform from In-Line.
  • US Travel’s latest Business Travel Tracker finds American companies increasingly paring back pandemic-era restrictions on business travel

The DJIA was up 338 points while Nasdaq was up 97, the S&P 500 was up 42 points, while the 10-year treasury yield was down nearly .02 to 4.00%. Lodging stocks were modestly higher. SOHO led the group, up 7% while INN was up 5%.

Evercore ISI Group upped its rating on DiamondRock Hospitality to Outperform from In-Line.

US Travel’s latest Business Travel Tracker finds American companies increasingly paring back pandemic-era restrictions on business travel amid developing storm clouds in the form of persistently high inflation and a looming recession. Many companies slashed their business travel budgets during the pandemic, but less than half still have policies in place restricting it. The U.S. Travel Association’s forecast projects that business travel’s growth cannot be sustained in the long term, leading to a decline in the coming quarters. JPMorgan Chase cautions that very, very serious headwinds, including inflation, rising interest rates and the ongoing war in Ukraine, were likely to tip the U.S. into a recession in the next six to nine months. With many economists and business leaders anticipating a mild recession in 2023, companies may look for ways to limit investment and travel spending, delaying a full recovery in business travel activity, as reflected in the Business Travel Index. In the face of this slowdown, certain federal policies can help offset these headwinds and spur the recovery of business travel. The U.S. Travel Association is calling on Congress to support temporary tax provisions that would encourage companies to restore business travel spending. Further, the U.S. Department of State should take steps to greatly reduce visitor visa interview wait times to facilitate more international business travel.

According to a new study by HotelTechReport, Hawaii has ranked No. 1 on a list of highest-earning hotels in the country, with hotels statewide generating an average annual revenue of more than $25.8 million. The state has a total of 277 hotel businesses. For comparison, California has 11 times more hotel businesses than Hawaii and ranks No. 6 on the list of highest-earning hotels, with 5,825 hotel businesses, each making an average of nearly $5.2 million in revenue. District of Columbia is No. 2 on the list with 119 hotel businesses generating an average revenue of about $21.6 million. New York comes in at No. 3 with 2,314 hotel businesses making an average revenue of nearly $6.3 million per business. Florida is No. 4 with 3,485 hotel businesses and an average revenue per hotel of nearly $6 million, followed by Massachusetts at No. 5 with 794 hotel businesses with an average revenue of $5.6 million. California is No. 6 followed by Illinois, Nevada, Arizona, Maryland and Colorado, in that order. Mississippi is the state where hotel businesses make the least amount of revenue, with a total of 689 hotels making an average of about $1.07 million in annual revenue. This is followed by Arkansas, with 718 hotels making an average of $1.12 million per business, and South Dakota, with 442 hotel business making an average of $1.15 million. Kansas, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, West Virginia, and Montana also rank among the states with the lowest hotel revenues.

Hotel Equities announced the opening of its newest property, TownePlace Suites by Marriott Tehachapi. Owned by H2H Asset Group and managed by Hotel Equities, The all-suite hotel is the first extended-stay hotel in the Tehachapi, CA market. 

TMGOC Ventures LLC acquired the 136-key Aloft Charleston Airport and Convention Center hotel by Marriott, the only select-service lifestyle hotel at Charleston International Airport. TMGOC plans to invest nearly $3 million to renovate the property and has hired Aimbridge Hospitality to operate the South Carolina hotel. Aloft Charleston Airport is home to 136 guest rooms, XYZ bar, Re:mix lounge, Re:charge fitness center, Splash indoor pool, and complimentary on-site parking.

Construction has started on a new Autograph Collection by Marriott hotel in downtown Huntsville, AL. Updated plans show the $40 million project will have eight floors, more than 200 rooms, a rooftop bar, two restaurants and conference/banquet space. Ascent Hospitality, the project developer, expects the hotel to be completed by late next year or early 2024.

Hilton announced that Hilton Columbus Downtown has officially opened the doors to its 463-room second tower, making the hotel the largest in Ohio. Hilton Columbus Downtown boasts a total of 1,000 guest rooms, over 75,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space, and four new food & beverage concepts across both towers. A skybridge connects the hotel’s two towers, as well as the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Hospitality Ventures Management Group has been selected to operate the 195-room Reverb by Hard Rock Downtown Atlanta, in Atlanta, GA. The recently opened hotel is owned by Bolton Atlanta, an affiliate of Dezhu US. The 11-story property features multiple food and beverage venues.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of the 25-story Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City, debuting as the first Hyatt Regency hotel in Utah and the only hotel directly adjoining the Salt Palace Convention Center. As one of the city’s largest hotels, the property features 700 guest rooms and suites, a rooftop terrace complete with a pool, cabanas, firepits as well as a fitness center. Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City boasts 60,000 square feet of event space. 

Extended Stay America signed a development agreement with a partnership comprised of Concord Hospitality and Whitman Peterson to develop 15 new Extended Stay America Premier Suites hotels. The properties will be located in major markets throughout the Western United States, including Denver, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; and Salt Lake City, UT. Concord Hospitality will be handling the development, branding and operations of the properties. Whitman Peters will provide equity, identify markets and assist with development. 

A recent groundbreaking ceremony celebrated the renewal of construction on the Potter Block building in downtown Red Cloud, NE. The Potter Block building will undergo rehabilitation and be transformed into the Hotel Garber. Garber will be a 26-room boutique hotel featuring an event and meeting space, a lounge, catering facilities and a small library. The National Willa Cather Center’s Campaign for the Future is spearheading the project in partnership with Red Cloud’s Heritage Tourism Development Office. The organizations have secured $6 million for the project placing them at 87% of their total fundraising goal. 

The SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Orlando Lake Buena Vista has opened its doors in Orlando, FL. The property features 123 suites, three meeting rooms, a business center, fitness center, outdoor pool, and a guest laundry facility.

PMZ Realty Capital LLC closed over $100 million in financing during the third quarter of 2022. Some of the transactions closed include: the 78-room Courtyard by Marriott Binghamton, Vestal, NY; 159-room Hilton Garden Inn Columbus-University Area, Columbus, OH; 103-room Hampton Inn by Hilton Bowie, Bowie, MD; 150-room Delta by Marriott Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL; Home2Suites Monaca, PA; and the Hyatt Place Fort Lee/George Washington Bridge, Fort Lee, NJ.

Sonder Holdings Inc. announced that Chief Financial Officer Sanjay Banker is stepping down from his role and will join the company’s board of directors at the start of next year, and become a Senior Advisor to the company for a one-year period. A formal search process has been launched for the position of Chief Financial Officer. Banker will continue to remain in the role through to the end of the year to ensure an orderly transition and support the recruitment of a new CFO.

Rocco Forte Hotels announced the appointment of Tristan Knight as Group Director of Human Resources. Tristan rejoins Rocco Forte Hotels following his most recent position as Regional Talent & Culture Director for Europe & Middle East at Rosewood Hotel Group. Tristan will lead the global people strategy across the iconic collection of hotels and resorts, providing strategic direction and support to the leadership and operational teams at Rocco Forte Hotels. 

Dominica’s new eco-luxe resort is holding its grand opening this month. The new Coulibri Ridge has 14 suites on a massive 285-acre property. The hotel is the brainchild of Daniel Langlois, and is completely off the grid, with a solar plant supplemented by wind turbines. Amenities include a pair of large infinity pools, a gym, yoga pavilion, spa facilities and two dining rooms.

Europe Highlights

Leonardo Hotels will invest more than $100 million into the renovation of the 280-room Dilly Hotel in London. The hotel will be added to Leonardo’s United Kingdom and Ireland portfolio of 52 assets.

The Livingstones bought their stake in the Premier Inn owner at the end of September through an entity called L&R Ventures Limited. There is no indication that the Livingstone brothers intend to buy the full company.

Set in the center of Madrid’s cultural, artistic and culinary scene, Radisson Hotel Group opened its first Radisson Red in Spain. Radisson Red Madrid features 260 modern rooms, 10 of which are suites; three signature culinary experiences; cool communal spaces; a gym; and meeting/celebration facilities.

The Las Aguilas Hotel Affiliated by Melia, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, offers 216 rooms, 10,000 square metres of gardens with a heated pool, a tennis court and multiple dining venues. Las Aguilas Affiliated by Melia provides a choice of spaces for meetings and events. Facilities include six versatile rooms that allow the spaces to be adapted to the number of attendees.

Deutsche Finance International and BCP Capital have signed a long-term agreement with Ennismore to operate the Central Hotel as Ireland’s first Hoxton. The 129-room hotel, located in Dublin city center is scheduled to open in 2024. Plans are progressing for the careful refurbishment and expansion of the hotel, incorporating neighboring buildings including a significant increase in the existing bar, night venue and restaurant space. The redevelopment is being financed with a loan from a fund managed by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management

Hyundai announced plans to open a luxury pop-up hotel powered solely by its electric vehicles. Hotel Hyundai will consist of a cabin, a restaurant, and a cinema and will be located in Essex, England. The pop-up hotel aims to demonstrate the Ioniq 5’s vehicle-to-load capabilities and will be open for three weeks.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
October 18th, 2022 at 4:30 PM EDT

Companies: Aimbridge Hospitality, Aloft Hotels, Apollo Global Management LLC, Autograph Collection, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Concord Hospitality, Ennismore, Extended Stay America, Extended Stay America Premier Suites, Hard Rock International, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hospitality Ventures Management Group, Hotel Equities, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Regency, Leonardo Hotels, Marriott International, Melia Hotels International, PMZ Realty Capital LLC, Radisson Hotel Group, Radisson Red, Reverb by Hard Rock, Rocco Forte Hotels, Sonder Holdings Inc., SureStay Plus, The Hoxton, The Melia Collection, TMGOC Ventures LLC, TownePlace Suites, Whitman Peterson

Locations: Alabama, Atlanta, California, Dominica, Dublin, Florida, Hawaii, London, Madrid, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Orlando, South Carolina, Utah, Washington DC

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