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North America

Morgan Stanley Gets Cautious About U.S. Hotel Companies

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

June 27th, 2023


Skift Take

  • The DJIA, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 experienced growth with varied changes in lodging stocks. Morgan Stanley adjusted price targets for numerous lodging companies, including Sunstone Hotels and Host Hotels.
  • Major hospitality companies, such as Selina Hospitality, Whitestone Companies, and Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa, announced important business updates including investments, renovations, and acquisitions.
  • EOS Hospitality, Hotel Equities, and Aimbridge Hospitality made key personnel changes. Accor plans to open 1,200 hotels in the next five years, with a RevPAR growth of 15% to 20%. Aimbridge Hospitality will manage the Alliance Palace Aparthotel in Batumi, Georgia.

The DJIA fell 13 points, rose 212 points while Nasdaq was up 220, the S&P 500rose 50 points and the 10-year treasury yield was up .05 to 3.77%. Lodging stocks were mostly higher even though the two biggest movers were to the downside. SOND was down -9% and SLNA was down -5% on the day.

Morgan Stanley upgraded Sunstone Hotels to Equal Weight from Underweight with a price target rising to $10 from $9. They lowered Host Hotels to Underweight from Equal Weight. MS also chopped price targets on many other lodging companies. On the C-Corp said, MS believes most of the companies’ results are trending below 2Q consensus but international trends should act as an offset for several of them. They upped their PT on Marriott to $208 from $210 but lowered their target on Hilton to $163 from $166. Hyatt’s PT was sliced to $136 from $142, Choice Hotels was lowered to $127 from $134 and Wyndham was cut to $80 from $92. Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s PT was lowered to $12 from $13 and MS cut Xenia Hotels’ price target to $11 from $12.

Selina Hospitality gave a very long business update. First, if all goes well they will be getting a $50 million cash investment from a group led by an affiliate of Global University Systems. They received $10 million but will get another $10 million to $20 million if SLNA gets another $20 million in a PIPE or other funding source. The first $10 million is funded under a secured convertible debt instrument and SLNA’s two founders and their Kibbutz Holding investment vehicle will personally guarantee SLNA’s obligations under the convertible debt arrangements. If all goes as planned, SLNA will get $50 million to $70 million of additional capital. SLNA also said they launched a Labor Restructuring Plan that is expected to impact 350 full time employees and save the company $5.8 million in payroll costs, to be completed by the end of 3Q23. It was safe to say with the -5% drop and the low volume in SLNA’s trading today, Wall Street did not react very well to the very long update.

The Wall Street Journal said Ty Warner and Four Seasons are getting closer to resolving their differences and the Four Seasons in Midtown Manhattan may actually reopen soon. Due to the pandemic and contract dispute, the hotel has been closed for three years. Four Seasons and Ty Warner’s negotiations could also affect what happens at the Plaza Hotel, a few blocks away. Four Seasons and Raffles Hotels & Resorts brands are said to be the finalists to take over management of the Plaza. If the Four Seasons Midtown reopens, then Raffles is expected to get the win.

Whitestone Companies announced the purchase of five hotels from KKR totaling 612 guestrooms. The hotels include: the Hilton Garden Inn Colorado Springs, Homewood Suites Colorado Springs, Homewood Suites Princeton, Homewood Suites Cleveland, and Courtyard West Palm Beach Airport. With these new acquisitions, Whitestone Companies adds the states of Florida and Colorado to its list of investments across nine states.

Concord Hospitality Enterprises and Whitman Peterson announced construction of an eight-story Hilton Hotel at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, will begin this summer. The $70 million, 252-room hotel is expected to be completed in 2025 and will include a restaurant, fitness center and indoor and outdoor meeting spaces. The Hilton will be the second hotel at the Mayo campus. 

Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa, in Hilton Head IslandSouth Carolina, has completed its second phase renovation which consisted of a transformation of its 513 guest rooms and suites, following the recent update of the resort’s public spaces, dining outlets and function space. The property is owned and managed by Columbia Sussex

Essex Hotel Management added the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Fort Myers Estero in Estero, FL, to its portfolio, bringing the total count of hotels under Essex’s management to 15. Countryside Hotels, LLC recently acquired the property which features 114 suites, an outdoor pool, fitness center, and a bar with an adjacent patio and firepit. The property will undergo a full refresh in the coming months.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of a recently converted and renovated Holiday Inn Express hotel in suburban Seattle, Washington. The 95-room property features more than 2,700 square feet of meeting space and a modernized fitness center. The Holiday Inn Express Federal Way – Seattle South is owned by S&S Hotel Solutions, LLC.

OCN announced OCN Resorts & Residences, a new luxury resort in Mexico’s Puerto Escondido, is slated to open in Summer 2024. OCN Resorts & Residences will offer world-class amenities and an exquisite culinary lineup. 

The Godfrey Hotel in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, Michigan, is set to open in August, according to developers Hunter Pasteur Homes and Oxford Capital Group. The $75+ million, seven-story, hotel features 227 guestrooms, four meeting spaces, two bars, a fitness center and a restaurant.

The new hotel at the United States Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is celebrating several milestones this month including topping off the structure and officially naming the new property. The Hotel Polaris, owned by a subsidiary of Provident Resources Group and managed by CoralTree Hospitality, will welcome guests starting late 2024. The brand-new 375-room hotel will include multiple food and beverage venues, an outdoor pool and sun deck, full-service spa, fitness center and more than 26,000 square feet of expansive indoor meeting space. In the spirit of its landmark location, the hotel will offer the only in-hotel flight simulators in the United States. 

The Graystone Lodge, located in Boone, North Carolina, celebrated its grand opening on June 20. Formally a Super 8, the hotel has been undergoing major, multi-million dollar interior and exterior renovations over the past few years. Owned by siblings, Justin Patel and Selina Bell, The Graystone Lodge boasts 101 completely transformed rooms, a brand new heated indoor pool and renovated pool facility, new fitness center, outdoor area with a gas fire pit and a completely revitalized lobby and mercantile.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of the Best Western Plus Fort Worth North in Fort Worth, Texas. Owned by AJNM Hotels Group, the fully renovated property features 148 guestrooms, three meeting and event facilities of varying sizes, fitness and business centers, guest laundry facilities and a convenience store.

Best Western Hotels & Resorts also announced the opening of the Best Western Plus Bonham in Bonham, Texas. Owned by GK Reddy the newly constructed hotel provides 57 guestrooms, a meeting room, outdoor pool, fitness and business centers, laundry facilities and a Suite Shop. 

RobertDouglas secured financing for Chartwell Hospitality and Soundview Real Estate Partners’ dual-branded, 261-key Residence Inn & Courtyard Kansas City Downtown Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri. RobertDouglas secured roughly $36 million of fixed-rate debt with attractive pricing from a balance sheet lender. The loan carries a 3-year term with open pre-payment after an initial 12-month lockout. 

Personnel Moves

EOS Hospitality announced the appointment of Simon Mais and Chief Executive Officer and Mark Keiser as President & Chief Development Officer. In these new roles, Mais and Keiser will continue to define EOS Hospitality’s strategic direction, manage overall operations, and not only expand but diversify the company’s portfolio of unique and first-in-class assets. Mais most recently oversaw EOS’s owned and managed hotels as Chief Operating Officer of EOS Hospitality. Keiser was most recently Chief Development Officer of EOS Hospitality.

Hotel Equities announced the promotion of Dan Block to Senior Vice President of Operations. In this expanded role, Block will oversee a diverse, multi-branded portfolio of hotels across the United States, driving operational excellence and ensuring outstanding guest experiences. Joining HE in March 2022 through the Greenwood Hospitality partnership, Block held the position of Vice President of Operations. 

Aimbridge Hospitality announced the recent growth of its senior leadership with the hiring of Tristan Pearman as Vice President of the company’s Taste & Theory Restaurant Group and Gary Thomas as SVP, Lifestyle Operations within the Evolution Lifestyle Division. Aimbridge Hospitality also announced internal promotions of senior leadership – in the Full Service Division: Marsha Ray to SVP, Full Service, Luxury & Resorts, and Adam Patenaude to SVP, Full Service Luxury Resorts. In the Select Service Division: Amir Mustafa to SVP, Select Service, Operations; and in the Enhanced Select Service Division: Scott Stuart to SVP, Enhanced Select Service, Operations. In addition, Heidi Cosio has been promoted to SVP, Revenue Effectiveness.

European News

Accor plans to open more than 1,200 hotels in the next five years, increasing the number of its resorts by more than one-fifth. The Company also raised its outlook, forecasting its 2023 RevPAR to grow by 15% to 20% amid reorganization plans that were implemented in January. Accor now expected its full-year earnings before EBITDA to come in the range of 920-960 million euros ($1.01-$1.05 billion). It aims to grow its EBITDA by 9-12% annually from 2023 until 2027. Accor also stated at its capital markets day that it plans to return around 3 billion euros to shareholders in that period via dividends and share buybacks. To unlock its growth potential, Accor is taking full advantage of the strengths of each of the two new divisions created in January 2023. For each of them, Accor has defined clear strategic priorities. To maximize growth in EBITDA, the Premium, Midscale and Economy Division, is organized by geography and focuses on three priorities: its brands; its key markets; and the efficiency of its growth model. The development of the Luxury & Lifestyle Division, organized by brand, is part of a strategy to strengthen the identity and appeal of iconic brands, offering unique and innovative experiences. The strategic priorities of this division are focused on the brand promise, the originality and high quality of products and services and an ambition to generate strong EBITDA growth. These two divisions leverage the shared services platform including Procurement, Accor Tech and the Digital & Business Factory. 

Aimbridge Hospitality’s EMEA Division has been selected to manage the Alliance Palace Aparthotel, located in Batumi, Georgia. Owned by Alliance Group, the 350 apartments are located within a 41-story, multi-use property complex. With the agreement in place, Aimbridge EMEA is also opening an Eastern European office location in Tbilisi, Georgia

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

June 27th, 2023

Companies: Accor, Aimbridge Hospitality, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Best Western Plus, Chartwell Hospitality, Choice Hotels International, Concord Hospitality, EOS Hospitality, Four Seasons, Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Marriott International, Oxford Capital Group, LLC, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Selina, Sonder Holdings Inc., Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., TownePlace Suites, Whitestone Capital, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Kansas City, Mexico, Miami, New Jersey, New York City, North Carolina, Seattle, South Carolina, Texas

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