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North America

Choice Hotels Buys Back Stock and Boosts Dividend

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 9th, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Choice Hotels International reported solid 1Q results, better than expectations. In the good old days, when stocks actually moved up and down based on fundamentals.
  • Deutsche Bank upped their target price on Ryman Hospitality to $128 from $126 and reiterated their Buy rating.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel Boston has reopened following the completion of a dramatic design update of its arrival area, lobby and port cochere.

The DJIA was down 56 points, Nasdaq was down 77 points, the S&P 500 was down 18 points, and the 10-year treasury yield was essentially unchanged at 3.52%. Sigh.

Choice Hotels International reported solid 1Q results, better than expectations. In the good old days, when stocks actually moved up and down based on fundamentals, you could dictate the direction of CHH stock by whether they bought back stock or not. Clearly, that is not the case anymore as CHH repurchased $160 million worth of stock in 1Q but the stock still sold off today after the earnings report. CHH has 3.4 million shares left on their repurchase authorization so it is probably a good assumption there will be a new repurchase authorization in the future. CHH also announced they were increasing the annual dividend rate by 21%.

Deutsche Bank upped their target price on Ryman Hospitality to $128 from $126 and reiterated their Buy rating. Truist said RHP remains their favorite Lodging REIT. They upped their target price to $119 from $115.

The Four Seasons Hotel Boston has reopened following the completion of a dramatic design update of its arrival area, lobby and port cochere. The hotel’s wide lobby has been re-imagined as a series of smaller spaces, complete with a new front desk. The property also features a collection of lobby-level spaces including a new lounge and restaurant, and a library. Making a return to Four Seasons Hotel Boston this month is the second-floor breakfast restaurant, sixth-floor garden terrace, and the refreshment pantries on every guest rooms floor.

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples in Florida will reopen on July 6 following an extensive renovation and expansion that began in 2021. The Florida Gulf Coast resort will debut the Vanderbilt Tower which features an expansive Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge and more than 70 club-level guestrooms, along with a new resort lobby, and three new dining experiences. The reconfigured resort presents re-imagined outdoor spaces including new pools, bungalows and cabanas along with extensive redesigns to all the resort’s 474 guest rooms and suites.

The city of Indianapolis, Indiana will take over the financing for the long-awaited Signia by Hilton hotel at Pan Am Plaza after Kit Realty Group Trust said they could not secure funding due to the state of the market. Construction for the $510 million hotel will be funded through hotel revenue bonds and not tax increases. The hotel will be developed alongside the Indiana Convention Center’s sixth expansion. 

The EBCI Tribal Council approved a resolution to cover costs to remodel and rebrand the Chestnut Tree and Hampton Inn hotels located on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina. Both of these businesses are owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and will now be managed on behalf of the Tribe by Kituwah, LLC. The total allotted for the efforts will be $3,270,784.

LBA Hospitality announced the addition of the 95-room avid hotel by IHG in Ocala, Florida, to their growing management portfolio. The four-story property features a fitness center, market and outdoor patio.

IHG announced Hotel Indigo continued to strengthen its presence in the midwestern US with the opening of Hotel Indigo Minneapolis Downtown. The 218-room hotel is housed in the original Northstar Center and is owned by Great Lakes Management Group. The hotel includes the Star Bar & Bistro, a fitness center, business center and marketplace in the lobby.

Choice Hotels International’s Cambria Hotels unit announced the opening of the Cambria Hotel Detroit Downtown located in Detroit, Michigan. An adaptive reuse of The Walker-Roehrig Building, the new 154-room hotel features multi-purpose indoor and outdoor spaces, multiple food and beverage venues, over 18,000 square feet of multi-function meeting and even space, a fitness center and marketplace. Five Iron Golf will open in Summer 2023.

Oliver Hospitality is planning to spend $1 million to upgrade the lobby, common spaces and rooftop area at the 94-room Hotel Clermont located in Atlanta, Georgia. Oliver is also planning to add a food option to the rooftop by hoisting a food truck to the top of the building. The work is made possible by Oliver getting caught up on payments toward a $22.2 million loan from Argentic Investment Management that it secured on the property in 2019. 

Aspen Hospitality officially transitioned the Hotel Born, located adjacent to Denver, Colorado’s Union Station, to Limelight Denver, effective today. To start, Limelight will implement select programming changes. Over the balance of 2023, additional enhancements will be made throughout the hotel as the property transforms to Limelight, the first urban location for the brand. Limelight Denver features 200 guestrooms, 14,000 square feet of meeting space, and a popular restaurant. 

Melia Hotels International announced four projects during Fitcuba, Cuba’s international tourism fair held last week. The new Melia Trinidad Peninsula and Sol Caribe Beach are also due to open this season on the island. The Melia Trinidad Peninsula will open next autumn with 400 modern rooms, a wide range of dining options, kids club and playground, YHI spa, business center, and multiple function rooms. Sol Caribe Beach is Melia’s new hotel in Varadero. The property offers an all-inclusive dining experience, and lively entertainment including themed shows, educational games, competitions, dance classes, and an array of sports activities on the beach. Melia announced four further projects for the island that will begin this year including the INNSiDE Habana Catedral, an entirely new 50-room hotel. The second project is the Hotel Plaza in Havana. The 188-room hotel will join the exclusive Melia Collection portfolio, the group’s newest luxury brand. Also in Havana, the company will take over management of the historic Hotel Sevilla. This property joins the Affiliated by Melia network, with 178 rooms, a sophisticated gastronomic proposal and multiple spaces. Finally, in Holguin, Melia will manage Sol Turquesa Beach hotel, a 531-property located in Yuraguanal Beach

Personnel Moves

The Plasencia Group named Matthew Sinclair as its Vice President of Marketing. Sinclair previously served as Vice President of Design at Plasencia and has been with the company since 2019. His responsibilities include developing strategy in all areas of the company’s internal and external marketing activities as well as expanding The Plasencia Group’s brand throughout the hotel industry and the broader commercial real estate investment arena. 

Capital Vacations announced the appointment of Jerold L. Rexroad as CFO, effective April 17. Rexroad was most recently EVP, Director and Chairman of the Carolinas for United Bankshares, Inc.

Viceroy Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Yoav Gery as Chief Development Officer. He was most recently President of Knotel, a flexible office company with operations in numerous US and European markets. Prior to Knotel, we have President of Selina and Head of International Real Estate for WeWork. Prior to that he was Chief Development Officer for Morgans Hotel Group.

Scandic Hotels has appointed Laura Tarkka as new country head of the Group’s operations in Finland as well as a member of Scandic’s Executive Committee. Her most recent position is CEO of Finland’s largest electronics chain, Gigantti. Prior to that, Laura worked as CEO of Kamp Collection Hotels. Laura will take over from Aki Kayhko, who will leave the company after 11 years. She will start her new position in the middle of August 2023. 

Europe Highlight

One of the oldest hotels in ScotlandThe Weem Inn near Aberfeldy, has been put up for sale at offers over £500,000. The inn has been closed since the Covid pandemic, but is in the process of being refurbished to create an 18-bedroom hotel, with restaurant and bar facilities and an outdoor terrace. The new owners will need to complete the refurbishments. Graham + Sibbald has been appointed to sell the property.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 9th, 2023 at 4:27 PM EDT

Companies: Aspen Hospitality, Cambria Hotels, Capital Vacations, Choice Hotels International, Clermont Hotel Group, Four Seasons, Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Innside by Melia, Kit Realty Group Trust, LBA Hospitality, Limelight Hotel, Marriott International, Melia Hotels International, Oliver Hospitality, Plasencia Group, Ritz-Carlton, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Scandic Hotels, Signia by Hilton, Sol by Melia, Truist Securities, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Atlanta, Boston, Cuba, Denver, Detroit, Florida, Indiana, Minneapolis, North Carolina, Scotland

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