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North America

Vancouver’s Occupancy Levels Lead Canadian Rivals

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 30th, 2023 at 4:44 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Hotel industry updates: Canadian hotel RevPAR exceeds C$100 for third consecutive month, with Manitoba and Vancouver leading in occupancy rates.
  • Renovations and expansions: Knoxville, Tennessee plans to add 350 hotel rooms, while a $12 million extended-stay hotel is set to open in Maryland Heights, Missouri.
  • Company announcements: Hyatt Place Melbourne Airport opens in Florida, while LVMH scraps luxury hotel plans in Beverly Hills.

The DJIA was down 51 points but Nasdaq was up 42, the S&P 500 was flat and the 10-year treasury yield was down .11 to 3.70%. Lodging stocks were mixed. SOND was up 15% (0.0817) while SOHO jumped 12% as they announced the payment of some special preferred dividends, trying to get preferred shareholders whole again on their past dividends. AHT was up 8% on the day.

Canada’s hotel RevPAR came in above CAD100 for the third consecutive month, according to STR’s April 2023 data. April 2023 (year over year percentage change) is as follows: Occupancy: 62.7% (+9.3%); ADR: CAD178.80 (+14.8%); and RevPAR: CAD112.16 (+25.5%). Among the provinces and territories, Manitoba recorded the highest April occupancy level (74.5%), up 28.5% year over year. Among the major markets, Vancouver reported the highest occupancy level (79.8%), 5.4% above 2022. Prince Edward Island (40.2%) saw the lowest occupancy among provinces, down 5.7% year over year. At the market level, the lowest occupancy was reported in Calgary (58.5%), 1.7% above the 2022 comparable. 

Construction crews are gutting and renovating a rundown, vacant hotel in Hartford, Connecticut. The former Hartford Hotel and Conference Center will reopen next March under the TownePlace Suites and Fairfield Inn flags, according to Kautilya Group. The five-story hotel will have a single lobby and registration area serving customers for both brands. The dual-brand property will have entirely new furnishings, a remodeled lobby and a modernized pool. The property will add a Starbuck’s with a drive-thru. 

Vector Hospitality has plans to add nearly 350 hotel rooms to downtown Knoxville, Tennessee. Plans include a seven-story, 162-room AC Hotel by Marriott on Walnut Street and Locust Street as well as a 175-room Tempo by Hilton hotel and 275-space parking deck on W. Church Street. Tempo is still in its planning phase. In addition to guest rooms, the AC Hotel includes signature spaces like the AC Lounge and AC Kitchen. The estimated completion date is August 2025. The future Tempo hotel has an estimated completion date of spring 2026. 

A new $12 million extended-stay hotel planned at the site of a former office building in Maryland Heights, Missouri, is moving ahead after years of delays. Sina Hospitality plans to develop a four-story, 115-room Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel on the site of the former Northport office building. According to plans approved by the city, the office building would be demolished and the new hotel will be built from the ground up.

IHG Hotels & Resorts broke ground on its new Even Hotels property in suburban Miami, FloridaEven Hotel Sweetwater – Doral is projected to open in time for the 2024 summer travel season. The hotel will feature key elements of the brand’s recently introduced refreshed prototype including three room types containing varying exercise amenities, the new Even Kitchen & Bar restaurant and a 24/7 market. 

ADELON Capital and Twenty8 Group announced the grand opening of the Hyatt Place Melbourne Airport hotel on June 7. AD1 Management has been designated to operate the new hotel which is located in Melbourne, Florida. The Hyatt Place Melbourne Airport boasts 143 a spacious suites, a fitness center, first-floor restaurant and bar and soon to open outdoor pool and rooftop bar. 

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton is scrapping plans to build a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills after residents in the city appeared to vote against the project. The company confirmed that two measures on the Cheval Blanc Beverly Hills project have fallen short by a narrow margin, although some votes remain to be counted. 

The Wellington Resort, in Newport, Rhode Island, received unanimous approval from the Zoning Board to convert its 51-unit timeshare property into a 152-room traditional hotel. The project received little pushback. 

The SeaMist Oceanfront Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has undergone a recent revitalization. The improvements are being driven by Genuine Hospitality, LLC, which was selected to manage the resort and has made several recent enhancements, including updated guest rooms. The resort includes 359 guestrooms and 62 suites, five outdoor and one indoor pool, the Wahoo Waterpark, Rita’s Ice and an onsite market. 

The Pakistan International Airlines inked an agreement with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation management to lease out the Roosevelt Hotel. The PIA management said Roosevelt Hotel will be operated by the New York city local corporate for a period of three years. Under the agreement, the U.S. firm will provide residential facilities to “housing migrants” in the hotel.

Sandpiper Lodging Trust hired Michael T. Helgeson as Vice President of Capital Markets. Helgeson is responsible for the education, promotion, marketing, and sales of Sandpiper Lodging Trust to Registered Investment Advisor firms across the country. Prior to Sandpiper, Helgeson held the Regional Vice President of Capital Markets role for the AOG Institutional Diversified Fund.

Fertitta EntertainmentInc. appointed Maurice Wooden as President of Luxury Hotel Development. In this role, Wooden will oversee all facets of research and development for the company’s Luxury Hotel brands. Most recently, Wooden served as President and COO of Hospitality for the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas properties. 

Dart Enterprises announced the entry of Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman into the Cayman Islands market by the second quarter of 2024. The 10-story hotel will feature 282 guest rooms and a ballroom. Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman will bring a fresh approach with competitive pricing for stays, culinary experiences, meetings and other events. 

Personnel Moves

Melia Hotels International SA announced Sonia Jerez replaced Pilar Dols as CFO effective from June 5.

Espire Hospitality Group named Akhil Arora, currently the Chief Operating Officer, as its next Chief Executive Officer. Arora joined Espire Hospitality Group in May 2021 with 13 years of experience of working with hospitality brands. 

RM Woodworth & Associates has promoted Jeremy R. Gilston to vice president. In his new role, Gilston will assume a broader leadership role, overseeing key strategic initiatives and shaping RMWA’s future. Most recently, Gilston was a portfolio manager for Brookfield Asset Management’s 111-hotel extended stay platform, Brookwood Hotels, through its Blackstone acquisition. 

Europe Highlights

Nordic Choice Hotels unveiled its new identity as Strawberry. The parent company of Nordic Hotels & Resorts changes its name and positions itself as a challenger within the travel industry. According to Strawberry, they are no longer just a hotel company. Today they also operate 120 restaurants, 20 spas, gyms, meeting places and arenas. The name change marks the company’s ambition to be the leader when it comes to experiences in the Nordics, through more external partners, hotels, restaurants, and much more. The name change to Strawberry marks a new beginning, however, it does not affect the names of any of the sub-brands such as Nordic Hotels & Resorts

Apex Alliance announced the acquisition of the Grand Hotel Gardone located on the Italian Garda Lake in Gardone Riviera, Italy. The opening of the iconic hotel is scheduled for June 2023, marking the beginning of this year’s summer season. The Apex Alliance Hotel Management has been announced as the official hotel operator. The hotel will remain open until late autumn of 2023 and as of 2024 will undergo a 45 million euros investment plan for renovation and preservations works. The 167-room hotel will be transformed into a luxurious 5-stay property under a renowned international chain, with the renovations expected to be concluded by spring of 2026. Ernst & Young and KPMG Italy & Romania provided consultancy services for the transaction.

Zeal Hotels signed an Exclusivity Agreement with IHG Hotels & Resorts for their first net zero carbon hotel, set to open next year. The group recently obtained detailed planning permission for the 142-room hotel and construction is due to begin in July. The property will feature a meeting room, restaurant, bar, gym, gardens, and numerous car charging points. The hotel will be managed by Valor Hospitality.

Accor and Polski Holding Hotelowy Group announced a partnership to implement their first joint venture. Next year, Interferie Hotel Medical Spa Swinoujscie, operated by PHH Group, will welcome its first guests under the Movenpick brand from Accor’s portfolio. Swinoujscie will be the fifth destination of the leading brand of premium hotels in the country. In 2024, the property will offer its guests 308 rooms with a restaurant, brewery, café and an extensive spa and wellness area. The property will also have a conference center of seven rooms with a total area of 740 square meters.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 30th, 2023 at 4:44 PM EDT

Companies: AC Hotels by Marriott, Accor, Ashford Hospitality Trust, Blackstone, Brookfield, Dart Interests, Espire Hospitality Group, EVEN Hotels, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Fertitta Entertainment, Genuine Hospitality, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Hotel Indigo, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Place, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Kautilya Group, Marriott International, Melia Hotels International, Movenpick, Nordic Choice Hotels & Resorts, PHH Group, Sandpiper Lodging Trust, Soho House and Co Inc., Sonder Holdings Inc., Strawberry, Tempo by Hilton, TownePlace Suites, Valor Hospitality Partners, Vector Hospitality, Inc., Wynn Group of Companies, Zeal Hotels

Locations: Calgary, Connecticut, Florida, Italy, Los Angeles, Miami, Missouri, Myrtle Beach, New York, Poland, Prince Edward Island, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vancouver

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