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North America

Marriott’s Next New Midscale Brand

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
June 5th, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Marriott International, Sonesta International Hotel Corporation, and Pyramid Global Hospitality, announced plans for expansion and introduced new brands in different locations, including Latin America, Canada, and several U.S. states.
  • Accor highlighted the progress of its branded residences business, with numerous projects under development worldwide, including Dubai, Australia, and South Korea.
  • The Plasencia Group facilitated the sale of The Westin Tampa Bay, and Dan Hansen returned from retirement to lead Hyatt’s new mid-market extended-stay brand, Hyatt Studios, with a significant development pipeline.

The DJIA fell 200 points while Nasdaq was down 11, the S&P 500 fell 9 points and the 10-year treasury yield was nearly flat at 3.69%. Lodging stocks were lower despite what seemed like optimism from the NYU show. SOND was down -10% and SHCO was down -6% to top the big movers.

Marriott International, Inc. plans to further expand in the affordable midscale lodging segment, following its recent entry into the segment with City Express by Marriott in Latin America. Marriott’s new brand, now more formally announced, has not been named yet but is currently being referred to as Project MidX Studios. The affordable midscale extended stay brand is intended to deliver reasonably priced modern comfort for guests seeking to stay 20+ nights or more in the U.S. & Canada and will cost about $80 a night. Project MidX Studios, expected to be Marriott’s most affordable cost-per-room project in the U.S. & Canada, is designed to enable accelerated speed-to-market with a low cost to build. The prototype model targets a build cost of $13-$14 million, requiring approximately 54,000 square feet of total building area for 124 studios. The brand is also expected to have a light operational cost model for owners and franchisees. Concord Hospitality, in collaboration with Whitman Peterson, expects to break ground on three Project MidX Studios this year, with anticipated openings in late 2024 or early 2025. 

Sonesta International Hotel Corporation announced the debut of two soft brands within its expanding portfolio, Classico, A Sonesta Collection and MOD, A Sonesta Collection. These two new brands offer independent hotel owners the opportunity to affiliate with Sonesta’s network while retaining their own iconic hotel names, identities, designs and established styles. Marketed by Sonesta’s Luxury and Lifestyle Lodging Development Team, each Classico property will have a distinct identity and offer signature local cuisine, traditional high-touch service and refined interiors. The first Sonesta Classico brand property is the 40-room Z Ocean Hotel in Miami, Florida’s South Beach neighborhood, which opened on May 1, 2023. Each MOD, positioned within Sonesta’s upscale portfolio, will feature eclectic interior designs and amenities, such as curated food and beverage options. The first MOD property will launch as Hotel 11 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Pyramid Global Hospitality announced the continued expansion of its management portfolio with the addition of six U.S. hotels and resorts. Of the six properties, Flamingo Resort & Spa and The Sandman Hotel in Santa Rosa, California; Wayfinder Newport Hotel in Newport, Rhode Island; Hotel Paradox – Autograph Collection in Santa Cruz, California; and The Preserve Sporting Club & Residences in Richmond, Rhode Island, will be joining the Benchmark Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle division. The Westin Tampa Bay in Tampa, Florida will join Pyramid Global Hospitality’s branded division. 

Accor provided an update on the progress of its branded residences business line. Currently, Accor has some 40 branded residence communities around the world, with another 100+ projects under development, across 20 distinct brand collections. By 2027, the company expects to have more than 150 branded residences in operation, an increase of more than 300%. These properties are supported by Accor One Living, the company’s industry-first platform focused on the development, design and operation of mixed-use projects and branded living communities. Ennismore has 11 banded residences open and 26 under development, including Mondrian Residences Burleigh Heads in Gold Coast, Australia; and Maison Delano Residences, Seoul. One of the strongest markets in the world for Ennismore branded residences right now is Dubai, where the lifestyle collective currently offers three unique projects: SLS Residences The Palm Dubai set to open in 2026; Mama Shelter Residences, Dubai opening in Q1 2024; and SO/ Uptown Dubai Residences opening later this year. In the luxury segment, Raffles and Fairmont flagship developments include The OWO Residences by Raffles in London; Raffles Residences Boston Back Bay; Fairmont Residences Century Plaza in Los Angeles; and Fairmont Residences Royal Palm Marrakech

MCR has acquired three hotels in Florida. Totaling 384 rooms, the portfolio includes a Hampton Inn by Hilton, A Courtyard by Marriott and a Hyatt Place in Orlando and Dayton Beach. The Hyatt Place Orlando/Lake Buena Vista boasts 169 rooms and 6,247 square feet of meeting space. The Hampton Inn Dayton Shores features 111 rooms and suites and the Courtyard DeLand Historic Downtown features 104 rooms and suites and two event rooms totaling 1,309 square feet of meeting space. MCR now has 13 hotels in Florida.

Summit Hotel Properties, Inc. completed the acquisition of the 120-guestroom Residence Inn Scottsdale North for $29 million through its joint venture with GIC. Additionally, the Company completed the previously announced disposition of four wholly-owned hotels totaling 467 guestrooms for a gross sales price of $28.1 million. The portfolio included: the 151-room Hyatt Place Chicago/Lombard/Oak Brook in Illinois; the 126-room Hyatt Place Chicago/Hoffman Estates in Illinois; the 97-room Hilton Garden Inn Minneapolis/Eden Prairie and the 93-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Eden Prairie-Minnetonka, both in Minnesota. The Company also announced the termination of its previously announced agreement to dispose of two wholly-owned hotels totaling 283 guestrooms for a gross sales price of $50.5 million. The two hotels included the Residence Inn Atlanta/Midtown/Peachtree at seventeenth in Georgia with 160 rooms; and the 123-room Courtyard Kansas City Country Club Plaza in Missouri.

Park Hotels & Resorts Inc. announced that, starting this month, it ceased making payments toward the $725 million non-recourse CMBS loan which is scheduled to mature in November 2023, and is secured by the 1,921-room Hilton San Francisco Union Square and the 1,024-room Parc 55 San Francisco. The Company intends to work in good faith with the loan’s servicers to determine the most effective path forward, which is expected to result in ultimate removal of these hotels from its portfolio. Analysts were pretty uniform in their commentary that this will be good for PK shareholders.

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians are diversifying while staying in the tourism business. The tribe that owns the Yaamava’ casino resort in Highland, CAand the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas bought a 40% stake in the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club in Dana Point, CA. The 400 room hotel sits across the Pacific Coast Highway from the ocean on 162 acres. The tribe is partnering with Ohana Real Estate Investors, which paid $497 million for the resort in Dana Point in 2020. The property includes a 6 acre private beach club, three swimming pools and its own 18-hole golf course. Ohana finished a $30 million makeover of the resort’s guest rooms last year, including converting 20 rooms into one-bedroom suites.

Pacifica Hotels announced the purchase of the Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle for $33.7 million. Pacifica Hotels plans to undergo a thoughtful renovation that will refresh all 125 guestrooms as well as the restaurant and lobby. Hotel Vintage Seattle, which will remain Kimpton operated, offers 660 square feet of event space, an outdoor restaurant, fitness center and adjacent parking garage. Included in the acquisition of the property is the Hotel Vintage brand. 

Related Group and BH Group partnered to purchase a 3.7-acre waterfront development site in Pompano Beach, Florida for $47.5 million from JJ Land Realty LLC, an affiliate of Chetrit Group. Centennial Bank provided $28.5 million in financing for the deal. Related Group and BH Group have not disclosed their specific development plans.

Corsair Hospitality Group announced the opening of The Pensacola Beach Resort, an independently branded hotel on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The transformed property boasts 161 waterfront guest rooms, an elevated pool deck, new restaurant concept, retail offerings, a beach bar and a curated art collection. 

Karisma Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of the 355-suite Margaritaville Beach Resort Riviera Maya, the newest all-inclusive Island Reserve collection resort. The resort offers several firsts for the Island Reserve collection including a new Landshark brewery concept, new room categories and suites, as well as nine restaurants and bars, a full-service spa and dedicated wedding and event venues. 

LuxUrban Hotels Inc. has signed separate agreements to enter into 35-year Master Lease Agreements, each inclusive of two five-year options, to operate two new properties in New York City’s Times Square: The Hotel at Times Square and Hotel 46 Times Square. The 79-room Hotel 46 Times Square is expected to open to guests during the third quarter of 2023 and the 213-room Hotel at Times Square is expected to open during the fourth quarter of 2023. Each of these properties will operate under the Company’s LuxUrban brand.

The Plasencia Group announced the sale of 16-story, 252-room, The Westin Tampa Bay, located in Tampa, Florida. The Plasencia Group represented the seller, an affiliate of Castlerock Asset Management, in the sale to an affiliate of Pyramid Global Hospitality

Personnel Moves

Dan Hansen, who previously led Summit Hotel Properties, has come out of a brief retirement to lead Hyatt’s new mid-market, extended-stay brand, Hyatt Studios, which has a planned development pipeline of 100 hotels.

Aimbridge Hospitality appointed Aly El-Bassuni as Divisional President, Enhanced Select Service. Most recently, El-Bassuni led an experiential and digital transformation within the student housing space, successfully launching and scaling a new, high-growth student housing brand an operator called Yugo as its Global Chief Executive Officer.

Auberge Resorts Collection announced four new leadership appointments. Tijs Klerx has been promoted to Vice President of Operations, Openings & Transitions. Prior to joining the brand in 2022, Klerx opened several hotels with Viceroy Hotels & Resorts. Marco Bustamante, who started his tenure with Auberge Resorts Collection in 2015, has been promoted to Vice President of Food & Beverage. Bustamante brings experience working with three Michelin Star restaurants in New York City. Bryan Woody has been promoted to Regional Vice President of Auberge Resorts Collection. In this new role, Woody will oversee the brand’s destinations in the Rockies. Woody joined Auberge Resorts Collection after many years in New York City, where his career spanned several senior leadership roles with luxury and lifestyle brands. Caitlin McConnell has been promoted to Vice President of Marketing, Openings & Transitions. Prior to joining the brand in 2020, McConnell was director of marketing at The Standard Hotels.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
June 5th, 2023 at 4:55 PM EDT

Companies: Accor, Aimbridge Hospitality, Auberge Resorts Collection, Autograph Collection, Benchmark Pyramid Luxury & Lifestyle, City Express, Classico, Courtyard by Marriott, Delano, Ennismore, Fairmont, Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Place, Hyatt Studios, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton, LuxUrban Hotels Inc., Mama Shelter, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, MCR, MOD, Mondrian, Ohana Real Estate Investors, Pacifica Hotels, Park Hotels and Resorts Inc., Raffles, Related Companies, Residence Inn by Marriott, SLS, SO/ Hotels & Resorts, Sonder Holdings Inc., Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Sotherly Hotels Inc., Standard International, Summit Hotels, The Standard, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Atlanta, Calgary, California, Cancun, Chicago, Florida, Kansas City, London, Mexico, Miami, Minnesota, New York City, Orlando, Rhode Island, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Tampa

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