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North America

Choice Hotels Forecasts Higher-Than-Expected Earnings

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

July 11th, 2023


Skift Take

  • Stock market indices showed positive movement, with the DJIA rising 317 points and the Nasdaq up 75 points, while lodging stocks mostly saw gains.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts clarified that it did not experience a demand reversal for leisure bookings, refuting an earlier misleading report.
  • Choice Hotels issued a business update reaffirming full-year guidance, highlighting a drop in share repurchases and a higher-than-expected 2024 EBITDA projection, possibly indicating upcoming announcements or unique circumstances in the industry.

The DJIA rose 317 points while Nasdaq was up 75, the S&P 500 rose 30 points and the 10-year treasury yield was down .03 to 3.98%. Lodging stocks were mostly higher. VCSA was up 9% and AHT was up 5% to lead the gainers.

Choice Hotels issued a business update this morning, reaffirming full-year guidance and giving a 2024 EBITDA target that was above Street estimates. Analysts were a bit puzzled on the reasoning for doing this but perhaps we will find out shortly. Two things that stood out in the update. One was that quarter-to-quarter share repurchases dropped to $60 million in 2Q from $160 million in 1Q. The second was the higher-than-expected 2024 EBITDA projection although the 107 hotel openings year to date was not a number that anyone should gloss over. it had opened an average of more than four hotels a week in the first half of 2023 — a 39% jump year-over-year. As for why CHH did this, it could be an upcoming debt offering or exchange they will be announcing or something else, perhaps why Wyndham shares were so strong today. It could just be that it is 2023 and weird stuff continues to happen. 

SoHo Properties, owner of the Margaritaville Resort Times Square, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a move aimed at preventing a planned Monday foreclosure auction on the Manhattan hotel. The 32-story, $370 million hotel development features 234 guestrooms and over 34,000 square feet of retail space. The auction was planned after SoHo was said to have defaulted on a $57 million loan provided by Arden Group. Margaritaville Holdings said the Chapter 11 filing won’t affect the hotel’s operations. The media had a field day with the whole wasting away again thing.

The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, in Arizona, has opened its newly renovated waterpark and pool area after an $18 million transformation. Known as AquaRidge WaterPark, the 140,000 square foot re-imagined and expanded pool experience includes an enhanced lazy river, two pools and a waterfall, and three multi-story waterslides. Other enhancements at the pool area include new day suites along the lazy river, a splash pad area with cabanas and a new outdoor dining area. The JW Marriott is still working on two other parts of the pool area, including it adults-only area. The pool-area investment is only part of the $80 million worth of renovations happening at the resort including a new restaurant and the update of the property’s 869 guestrooms and 81 suites. JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is owned by a joint venture among Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC and institutional investors.

Atrium Hospitality has completed a four-phase, multi-million dollar transformation of all 261 two-room guest suites and bathrooms at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque in New Mexico. The property boasts 30,000 square feet of flexible event space comprised of 19 meeting rooms, a business center, fitness center, onsite restaurant, lounge and café, and an indoor pool.

Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company announced The Alloy Hotel, a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, recently underwent an $18.5 million renovation and has been re-imagined as a lifestyle hotel. Located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, the Alloy features 327 newly-refreshed guestrooms, 60 of which are suites; 25,500 square feet of conference and event space across 27 rooms; a market; restaurant; fitness center; an outdoor patio for dining and lounging; and a seasonal outdoor pool.

Hotelier and developer Ben Arnold will again pitch a $135 million, four-star hotel and apartment project slated for the Vista entertainment district of Columbia, South Carolina. His revamped plans for the property he owns are scaled down from his earlier $511 million plan. The project is expected to bring a 301-room, dual-branded Hyatt hotel, a 183-unit apartment building and a 380-space parking garage. The Hyatt House and Hyatt Centric hotel would be a first for Columbia, as well as the Capital City’s largest hotel property. The hotel would boast 10,000 square feet of rooftop restaurant, bar and meeting space with a retractable roof, as well as another restaurant on the ground floor. The apartments, called The Residence at Vista Depot would include a pool, yoga studio, fitness center and dog spa and rooftop space. Arnold hopes to break ground in early 2024 with construction taking between 2 and 2 ½ years.

Davidson Resorts has been selected by Allied Capital & Development to manage Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place in Jupiter, Florida. The property features 179 rooms, 15,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space, a rooftop pool, fitness center and more.

The Crescent Hotel, Fort Worth the Cultural District’s first luxury property, is debuting in late summer 2023. Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the five-story hotel is the newest project in Crescent Real Estate’s portfolio of properties and features 200 guestrooms including 12 suites, dynamic dining experiences, and more than 14,000 square feet of special event space across 10 unique venues. The Canyon Ranch Wellness Club, which will open October 2023, will include a fitness center, a spa with 10 treatment rooms and a salon. The Crescent Hotel is part of a larger mixed-use project, The Crescent, Fort Worth, which also includes a Class AA office building and 167 luxury apartments. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of its newest Candlewood Suites hotel in Joliet, Illinois. The property offers 86 suites, a gym, indoor pool, onsite restaurant, and more than 13,000 square feet of event and meeting space. The Candlewood Suites Joliet Southwest is owned by Joliet CW Hotels, LLC and managed by Guru Group.

TPG Hotels & Resorts, and its marina management affiliate, TPG Marinas, has assumed management of six east coast marinas for Epum Holdings. The marinas in the portfolio include: Old Harbor Marina, Clinton, Connecticut; Mystic Point, Mystic, Connecticut; Spicer’s Marina, Groton, Connecticut; Noank Shipyard, Groton Connecticut; Glastonbury Marina, Glastonbury, Connecticut; and Sunset Harbor, Essex, Maryland.

Transat A.T. Inc. entered into a sale and purchase agreement for its land property located in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, for $38 million to Finest Resorts. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur in Transat’s fourth quarter. The proceeds of the sale will be used to immediately repay a portion of the Corporation’s secured facilities.

The Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, unveiled their new upgrades. As part of a multi-million dollar project, upgrades were made to the guest rooms, meeting rooms, event spaces and the lobby and social spaces. 

Innovative Hospitality Management has acquired the 167-key Inn at Fox Chase, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, from GHM Properties, for $13.75 million. The six-story hotel has 2,368 square feet of meeting space across three rooms, an outdoor pool, fitness center and an onsite restaurant. The Inn at Fox Chase is currently a part of the Best Western Premier Collection brand and will remain under the same flag and name.

Level Hotels & Furnished Suites announced the fall opening of its newest extended-stay property in Hollywood, CaliforniaLevel Hollywood will feature 36 furnished suites, an outdoor pool and spa, indoor theater, pet run, outdoor sports court, and steam and sauna rooms. This marks Level’s second extended-stay property in the Los Angels area this year and brings Level’s property count up to 12.

Lost Hospitality plans to open a $7 million, 28-room boutique hotel in The Germania building located in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. The property represents Lost’s first hotel property as the group is looking to fully transition into the hotel business under the moniker Lost Hotels. The hotel, which is currently unnamed, could open as early as winter 2024.

Mainsail Lodging & Development announced the July 18 opening of Mello on the Beach, a new beachfront retreat on Anna Maria Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The eclectic Mello on the Beach offers 11 vacation rental units, a pool area with places to lounge and an outdoor shower, communal BBQ grills and fire pit, a law with private beach access and rooms for games and hanging out.

DSH Hotel Advisors arranged the sale of the three-story, 48-room Sleep Inn & Suites Lakeland I-4, a Choice Hotel, for $4,525,000. DSH Hotel Advisors exclusively represented the Florida seller, Gardenia Inn Inc., and the buyer, Brahmas Lakeland LLC.

Hunter Hotel Advisors announced the sale of the 179-room Holiday Inn Charleston-Riverview in Charleston, South Carolina. A partnership led by Rick Patton, Principal of Rio Partners, purchased the property from Park Place Hospitality Group for an undisclosed price. Hunter’s Miami office arrange the sale for the seller. 

Personnel Moves

Mumford Company reported a strong first half of 2023 and the addition of John James to the sales team based in Atlanta. James most recently served as a senior associate with Avison Young’s Hospitality Group. In the last few weeks, Mumford Company closed several deals representing a broad range of property types throughout the United States.

EOS Hospitality appointed Barry Wabler as Chief Financial Officer. At EOS Hospitality, Wabler will be focused on financial strategy and planning and serve as the leader of the finance team. Most recently, Wabler was Partner at Valentine Insurance Services LLC

Resolute Road Hospitality announced the expansion of their leadership team with the additions of Amanda Schaus as Chief Legal Officer and Sergio Cardenas as Corporate Director of Sales and Revenue Management. Resolute Road has also promoted Evan Danziger to Director of Operations and Erick Rock to Regional Manager. As Chief Legal Officer, Schaus will oversee all aspects of legal affairs for the entire corporation. As Corporate Director of Sales and Revenue Management, Cardenas will manage all aspects of corporate sales and revenue management. In his new role as Director of Operations, Danziger will oversee all aspects of hotel operations and support the Resolute Road Hospitality General and Regional Managers. In his role as Regional Manager, Rock will support the hotel’s General Manager by communicating the goals and expectations that embody the Resolute Road Hospitality promise. 

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

July 11th, 2023

Companies: Atrium Hospitality, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Best Western Premier, Candlewood Suites, Choice Hotels International, Concord Hospitality, Davidson Hospitality Group, DoubleTree by Hilton, DSH Hotel Advisors, Embassy Suites by Hilton, EOS Hospitality, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Hunter Hotel Advisors, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt House, IHG Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Level Hotels & Furnished Suites, Mainsail Lodging & Development, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, Margaritaville Island Reserve All Inclusive Resorts, Marriott International, Mumford Company, Radisson, Radisson Hotel Group, Resolute Road Hospitality, TPG, Wyndham Grand, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Albuquerque, Cincinatti, Dallas, Florida, Illinois, Los Angeles, Mexico, Michigan, New York City, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Phoenix, South Carolina

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