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North America

Positive Outlook for RLJ Lodging Trust

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
July 13th, 2023 at 4:22 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Stock Market Update: DJIA, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all ended the day with gains, reflecting a broad market
  • RLJ Lodging Trust: Baird reports positive investor meetings, highlighting underappreciated growth outlook and company drivers.
  • Hotel Developments: AC Hotels by Marriott planned in East Memphis, acquisition of Westin Annapolis, and Equinox Hospitality‘s acquisition and rebranding of Four Points by Sheraton San Rafael Marin County.

The DJIA ended the day up 47 points, Nasdaq was up 219, and the S&P 500 rose 0.85% on a broad market rally. The 10-year treasury yield dropped -0.10 to 3.76%. The Dow Jones U.S. Hotels Index was up 0.92%. Wyndham’s stock price remained at the elevated level it’s been since Tuesday.

Baird reported on investor meetings they held with RLJ Lodging Trust’s management team. Baird said they believe RLJ’s 2023-2024 growth outlook and company drivers are underappreciated, especially at current valuation levels. They continue to like the portfolio’s positioning with its urban tilt, smaller group exposure and upside from conversions. Baird said investors primarily asked about the margin outlook and expense pressures, the recovery trajectory in Northern California, and capital allocation decisions/optionality, particularly with a focus on the transaction market and the potential for RLJ to deploy balance sheet capacity toward acquisitions. Management noted June performance was similar to May, in line with recently lowered expectations. They continue to expect 2Q23 results to be toward the lower end of guidance range, in line with what they said at NAREIT. RLJ management remains bullish overall due to the solid demand backdrop and multi-year low supply outlook. They are most upbeat about the urban recovery and continued group momentum. RLJ continues to view share repurchases as the best near term use of capital; ROI projects and conversions are the next best uses of capital. Baird said management is not seeing many interesting acquisition opportunities and very few distressed opportunities.

Baywood Hotels plans to erect a 116-room AC Hotels by Marriott in East Memphis, Tennessee, marking the first AC Hotel in the Memphis market. Poplar Hospitality LLC, an affiliate of Baywood Hotels, wants to develop the hotel within the Poplar Oaks Planned Development. Construction of East Memphis’ AC Hotels by Marriott is anticipated to begin in 2024, with an opening date slated for 2025.

District Hospitality Partners announced the acquisition of the Westin Annapolis, in Annapolis, Maryland. District Hospitality is planning a significant renovation to the bar, restaurant, and lobby. The 225-room property boasts 13 event spaces encompassing over 19,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and an indoor pool. HEI Hotels & Resorts will continue to manage the asset. Eastdil Secured served as the debt placement advisor, and Wells Fargo provided the financing. 

Equinox Hospitality acquired the Four Points by Sheraton San Rafael Marin County, in San Rafael, California, for $38 million. The property includes the largest outdoor hotel pool in Marin County, approximately 6,840 square feet of versatile event space across seven ballroom and meeting rooms, a generous restaurant and bar space and a charming outdoor seating area. Equinox Hospitality plans a thorough renovation and strategic rebranding. The hotel will soon align itself with the growing portfolio of Tribute by Marriott

Midas and Green Street Real Estate Ventures killed plans to build condos in Clayton, Missouri. The companies planned to build a 25-story tower with 73 condos and 180 hotel rooms. The duo’s plans for the 20-story Canopy by Hilton hotel now include 245 guestrooms, a jazz club and restaurant with outdoor space, a parking garage and rooftop bar and terrace.

A joint venture between Flintlock Construction and Atlas Hospitality has landed $120 million of construction financing to develop a 32-story voco-branded hotel in Times Square. Beach Point Capital Management supplied the three-year floating-rate loan with two one-year extension options for the sponsorship’s planned 401-key property. The hotel will be operated by IHG Hotel & Resorts. Demolition of the former retail site was completed in May and construction is slated to last through the third quarter of 2025. Atlas Hospitality signed a 99-year ground lease. The development will mark the first newly built voco hotel in New York City.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that the Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa, a retro-inspired property with 97 guestrooms and suites, has joined the JdV by Hyattportfolio and is now open. Located in Calistoga, California, the property marks the first Independent Collection hotel in Napa Valley. Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa recently expanded its offerings with 35 new guestrooms and is expected to add five new villa accommodations, bringing the total key count to 102 rooms in 2024. Calistoga Motor Lodge and Spa provides an ideal space to gather and features an onsite restaurant, two natural mineral water pools, a mineral water hot tub and a full-service spa. 

Clarion Pointe, franchised by Choice Hotels International, Inc., is continuing its expansion with 60 hotels open and more than 50 hotels in the pipeline. Interest in the brand remains strong with several recent openings including Tampa, Jacksonville, Prescott Valley, Charleston, South Carolina, and Syracuse. Like all Clarion Pointe hotels, the newest properties feature “focal pointes” such as: contemporary design touches; thoughtful food and beverage selections; technology with on-demand connectivity; and dedicated workout space. 

Matteson Capital is proposing a project that would add high-rise apartment buildings, a luxury hotel, restaurants and other businesses at one site in the Bricktown neighborhood of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The $735 million project, called The Boardwalk at Bricktown, would include three apartment towers with 924 units combined, a 348-unit luxury hotel, several restaurants, retail and entertainment areas, and 890 public parking spaces In addition, there would a lagoon, fountains and other water features. If approved, it would begin around June 2024 and take several years to complete.

Mast Capital has received county approval to move forward with its redevelopment plans to further enhance and re-imagine the iconic Saddlebrook Resort in the Wesley Chapel neighborhood of Tampa, Florida. Mast Capital will move forward with plans to develop a new town center with a mix of uses that will add 465 rental apartments, 25 town homes, 75,000 square feet of retail and office space and a pedestrian promenade. It will also build a 120-unit townhome community and 25,000 square feet of commercial space, along with an extensive renovation of the resort, golf course and lifestyle amenities. Mast Capital, in partnership with Amzak Capital, acquired the 480-acre property in March 2022. The property is currently home to a 500-key, condo-hotel resort, over 40 tennis courts, six pickle ball courts, two 18-hole golf courses, over 100,000 square feet of meeting space, a tennis and golf academy, several cafes and restaurants, a full-size driving range, large resort-style pool, a spa, tennis and golf pro-shops, nature reserve, as well as classroom space and student dormitories.

Montage International and DINE have reached an agreement for the development of both a Montage and Pendry resort on a 1,500-acre parcel of private peninsula in the Punta Mita development of Riviera Nayarit along Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Set to open in 2026, the new resorts will include the 140-guestroom Montage Punta Mita with 91 branded Montage Residences and the 115-room Pendry Punta Mita with 30 branded Pendry Residences. The resorts will feature luxurious amenities including Spa Montage, Spa Pendry, an array of food and beverage offerings, outdoor sporting experiences, and a variety of indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces. Guests of both properties will also enjoy access to the amenities of the broader Punta Mita development, including two golf courses and five residential beach clubs.

The St. Joe Company announced the opening of the 75-room Camp Creek Inn situated on the grounds of St. Joe’s private membership club, Watersound Club. Camp Creek Inn is a three-story boutique inn featuring two dining options, an outfitter shop, executive meeting rooms. Adjacent to the inn and available to guests is a collection of new Watersound Club amenities, including a wellness center with group exercise rooms, training room, and adults-only pool area. Other onsite amenities include eight tennis courts, eight pickleball courts, a hot tub, zero-entry pool, a poolside dining venue, grass fields for sports, a half basketball court and a teen’s lounge. Additional Watersound Club amenities including private Gulf of Mexico beachfront, two dining venues, two pools and additional tennis courts. The Shark’s Tooth Golf Course provides another 18-hole options and includes a clubhouse with a bar and grill.

Margaritaville announced the opening of the Margaritaville Resort Lake Tahoe later this year in Lake Tahoe, California. The Company will be transforming the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel at the base of Heavenly Mountain Ski Resort into its first lodge in a ski destination. Davidson Resorts will manage the property after it completes its multimillion-dollar renovation. Margaritaville Resort Lake Tahoe will have 399 suites, a heated indoor pool with patio, an open-air indoor atrium and multiple dining options. 

Nat Cuthbert, the new owner of the historic Hotel Petersburg announced a $14 million makeover is bringing the property back to life. The hotel, located in downtown Petersburg, Virginia, is slated to reopen in April 2024. The six-story hotel has been vacant since the 1960s. In addition to re-installing some of the hotel’s old elements, much of the property needed to be upgraded. That included cutting the number of guestrooms down to 68 from 125. The hotel will also have brand new elevators, including one that takes guests to a rooftop bar. The hotel is expected to open in 2024 as part of Hilton’s Tapestry Collection.

Under Canvas announced its eleventh camp, in Paradise Valley, Montana, is now open. Located near the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, Under Canvas North Yellowstone – Paradise Valley boasts 50 safari-inspired canvas tents a main lobby tent and a café-style dining concept. 

Hunter Hotel Advisors announced the sale of the Courtyard Clearwater Beachand AC Hotel Clearwater Beach in Clearwater Beach, FloridaMission Hill Hospitality purchased the properties from Norwich Partners. The properties provide 283 rooms in Clearwater Beach.

Four Seasons Resort Peninsula Papagayo, located on Costa Rica’s North Pacific coast, will undergo a multimillion dollar enhancement project to debut on November 1, 2023. The resort will pause operations from August 2023 to October 2023. The coastal resort will add the Virador Beach Club, a retreat with an Oceanside eatery and lounge and an infinity-edge pool and private cabanas; as well as the Wellness Shala, along with a transformation of Kids for All Seasons and a golf course renovation. 

Hilton announced the opening of Hilton Garden Inn La Romana, marking the Hilton Garden Inn band’s first hotel in the Dominican Republic. The 130-room hotel boasts 9,000 square feet of meeting and event space across three flexible venues, an infinity pool, outdoor bar, retail space, and a fitness center.

The Loren Hotel Group broke ground in Turks & Caicos to make way for The Loren at Turtle Cove Hotel and Residences. The Loren at Turtle Cove will open in 2025 with six private beachfront villas, 25 condominium units and 33 guest suites. Amenities include an onsite pool, fitness center, spa, destination restaurant, private beach club, tennis courts, and kid’s club.

Personnel Move

JLL announced Adrienne (Kautzman) Andrews joined the firm’s Phoenix Capital Markets offices as a Managing Director in its Hotels & Hospitality division. Andres will focus on debt advisory transactions in the Western U.S. with a particular emphasis on growing the group’s select-service presences in the region. Prior to joining JLL, Andrews served as Senior Vice President at CBRE in Phoenix. 

Europe Highlights

The European Travel Commission released its “European Tourism: Trends & Prospects” report for the second quarter of 2023. Highlights of the report include that Europe’s tourism recovery is maintaining its momentum despite economic headwinds, reaching about 95% of 2019 levels of international arrivals. The U.S. proves to be the strongest long-haul source market to Europe to date this year. The latest data available shows that one-quarter of reporting European destinations have surpassed pre-pandemic levels of foreign arrivals. Recent data up to May shows that value-for-money destinations are performing well with Serbia (+27%), Bulgaria (+21%), Montenegro (+12%), and Turkey (+9%) among those leading recovery. 

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
July 13th, 2023 at 4:22 PM EDT

Companies: AC Hotels by Marriott, Atlas Hospitality Group, Canopy by Hilton, Choice Hotels International, Clarion Pointe, Davidson Hospitality Group, District Hospitality Partners, Equinox Hospitality, Four Points by Sheraton, Four Seasons, HEI Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, Margaritaville Island Reserve All Inclusive Resorts, Marriott International, Montage International, Pendry Hotels and Resorts, RLJ Lodging Trust, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Tribute Portfolio, Under Canvas, Voco, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: California, Charleston, Costa Rica, Dominica, Lake Tahoe, Maryland, Memphis, Missouri, Montana, New York, New York City, Oklahoma, Riviera Nayarit, South Carolina, Tampa, Turks and Caicos, Virginia

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