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North America

IHG to Launch a 19th Brand

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
August 8th, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Choice Hotels and IHG saw new 52-week highs after reporting their earnings. Service Properties Trust also had a positive day with a 4% stock increase. IHG introduced a new conversion-focused brand in the mid-market.
  • Marriott acquired and integrated the City Express brand. Hilton introduced a new hotel in Times Square. Several other hotel groups, including Charlestowne Hotels, 21c Museum Hotels, and Six Senses, announced new properties or renovations.
  • Tru by Hilton opened in Mississauga, Ontario. TUI is actively expanding its hotel portfolio. Mandarin Oriental and Six Senses revealed new luxury resorts in Italy and Greece, respectively. Personnel news highlighted new appointments at LBA Hospitality and Barriere.

The DJIA fell 159 points while Nasdaq was down 110, and the S&P 500 was down 19. Those end-of-day indexes were a huge improvement from the morning plunge in the markets. MAR, CHH, and IHG hit new highs today, but BHR and SLNA were both down -5% on the day.

Both Choice Hotels and IHG reported earnings today, and both hit new 52-week highs, a good thing to see as we wind down this very rough 2Q earnings season. Both have the franchise model, which probably has a lot to do with the reaction. Service Properties Trust also reported results, and their stock was up more than 4% today.

The big news from IHG was that they are pitching hotel owners on a new brand in the mid-market. Skift covered the story this morning, as IHG wants something that prioritizes a conversion brand rather than a new construction brand. That can keep them growing at a time when new construction may hit some financing and supply-side bottlenecks. This is the first big thing Elie Maalouf has done since taking the CEO job.

In May, Marriott International completed the acquisition of the City Express brand portfolio, entering the affordable midscale segment and launching its 31st brand, City Express by Marriott. Marriott International announced today that City Express by Marriott properties have transitioned into the company’s travel program and marketplace, Marriott Bonvoy. The City Express loyalty program, known as City Premios Rewards, has now been fully integrated into Marriott Bonvoy and no longer exists as a separate program. The City Express Marriott portfolio is currently comprised of approximately 150 hotels across 75 cities in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Chile.

The RADCO Companies acquired the 143-room Aloft Phoenix-Airport hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, marking the company’s first hotel acquisition in 2023 and is the first property RADCO has even owned in Phoenix. Cushman & Wakefield’s Hospitality team in Phoenix brokered the sale on behalf of the seller. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed. Aloft Phoenix-Airport features business facilities, event and meeting space, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and a fitness center. HEI Hotels and Resorts will manage the hotel.

The 12-story Hilton West Palm Beach announced it will debut a fully transformative renovation this fall. With more than 29,000 square feet of meeting space, including the newly expanded outdoor lawn, the hotel is the only hotel in South Florida to be directly connected to a convention center. The $25 million renovation will feature the introduction of a new lobby bar; 400 refreshed rooms, including 43 suites; six newly-constructed cabanas; new dishes and experiences across three restaurants, lobby bar, and café; and more.

Hilton announced the opening of Tempo by Hilton Times Square, the first hotel from Hilton’s newest contemporary lifestyle brand. Located in TSX Broadway, a new 46-story tower in New York City, the 36-story hotel features 661 guestrooms and multiple food and beverage outlets.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Miami International Airport announced the completion of the multi-million dollar renovation to its 318-room property. The six-month extensive renovation project includes updates to all guest rooms, lobby, breakfast area, and more than 20,000 square feet of event spaces.

Charlestowne Hotels announced its continued expansion in the Midwest with Hotel Verdant. The 80-room adaptive reuse project in Racine, Wisconsin, is located in the former Zahn’s Department Store building. The property features multiple food and beverage venues and 3,500 square feet of meeting and event space.

The Town of Orangetown, New York, has relinquished its role in trying to steer future development on the HNA Palisades Training Center site. In the Southern District of New York, it secured an order compelling HNA to transfer the property to SL Green in partial satisfaction of the $185 million it is owed. Previously, the Town had signed a deal with Reveil, who was planning an updated hotel and conference center, glamping, event spaces, a working farm, test kitchens, co-working, and 20 to 30 townhouses at the 106-acre site. Orangetown is hopeful that SL Green will move forward to sign a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Reveil.

The renovation work on the historic Tygart Hotel in Elkins, West Virginia, is continuing but will not be completed in October, as had been previously announced. Woodlands Development Group plans to open the hotel this winter and the restaurant in the spring. Taylor Enterprises will run the hotel and restaurant at the Tygart Hotel. The 56-room hotel will feature a restaurant and conference room.

21c Museum Hotels announced the opening of 21c Museum Hotel St. Louis in the heart of Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Formerly a YMCA building, the 10-story hotel boasts 173 rooms, 14,000 square feet of museum exhibition space, the Locust Street Athletic & Swim Club, a coffee shop, and a restaurant.

Hotel Equities formed a strategic alliance with Maximum Hospitality, where Hotel Equities will provide operational resources and oversight for Maximum’s portfolio of hotels. The partnership leverages the expertise and resources from HE and Maximum Hospitality to drive operational excellence, guest satisfaction, and financial performance across the portfolio. 

Pendant Capital launched last year intending to create value for investors through strategic ownership and operation of hotel and hospitality-related assets. Pendant has experienced success by closing deals in highly desirable destination cities across the nation, including Sedona, Arizona; Napa, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Naples, Florida. Pendant seeks to build on its success in year two through deep connections and industry insights to introduce new investors to the world of hospitality. A robust pipeline includes high-end properties in key resort locations. 

Mumford Company completed the sale of the Tru by Hilton Rockwall Dallas, located in Rockwall, Texas. Mumford Company represented the McNeill family’s interests in selling the property. The Tru by Hilton Rockwall Dallas features 98 guestrooms, a fitness center, a business center, and a heated outdoor pool with patio seating. 


PMZ Realty Capital LLC arranged leasehold acquisition financing for the Holiday Inn Charleston-Riverview located in Charleston, South Carolina. A regional bank provided the $13.5M acquisition loan for the property. The 14-story, 157-room Holiday Inn Charleston-Riverview offers 1,200 square feet of meeting space, a business center, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and an onsite restaurant.

Tru by Hilton announced the opening of its latest property, Tru by Hilton Toronto Airport West. The 121-room hotel is located in Mississauga, Ontario, and is owned by BVD Group and managed by Aimbridge Hospitality Canada. The property offers a market, fitness center, and an indoor heated pool.

Personnel News

LBA Hospitality hired Chris Moore to be the company’s Corporate Director of Food and Beverage Lifestyle and Full Service Brands. Before she arrived at LBA Hospitality, Chef Chris was the Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef for a hospitality company. Before that, Chris served as the Executive Chef at the restaurants at the Biltmore Estates. Chef Chris’ primary focus will be the full-service ad lifestyles brands of LBA’s portfolio; however, she will work to enhance F&B operations throughout all properties to drive greater value for the owners and developers.

Barriere named Alexandre Barriere and Joy Desseigne-Barriere as co-chairs of the group. Together they represent the fourth generation of the family to lead the group since its establishment in 1912. The new co-chairs have bought out the shares owned by Fimalac since 2011. As they take ownership of the group, Joy Desseigne-Barriere and Alexandre Barriere have appointed Gregory Rabuel as CEO. Rabuel, the former chairman and CEO of SFR and Altice France, will assume the position immediately and lead the group toward growth, development, and diversification in both French and international markets.

International News

TUI will use momentum stemming from a return to normal operating business to expand its hotel portfolio further and focus on profitable growth via its hotel fund. The London-listed German travel group said the fund, which was started last year, acquired Emerald Zanzibar Resort and Spa for an undisclosed amount and intends to acquire a hotel property from TUI’s portfolio. The fund has further capital for acquisitions and is looking at possible hotel projects while the next investment opportunities are already being pursued. 

Mandarin Oriental announced the development of a new luxury resort inSardinia, located in the heart of Costa Smeralda. Set to open in mid-2025, this development marks the Group’s fifth venture in Italy. Mandarin Oriental, Porto Cervo, will be developed in partnership with Gruppo Statuto. Surrounded by forest, the hotel will comprise 83 rooms and suites, five restaurants and bars, a fitness center, large indoor and outdoor pools, an exclusive Beach Club, and a private beach. 

Six Senses Porto Heli will bring the brand’s trademark wellness and sustainability ethos to the Ermioni in the Greek Peloponnese. Set to open in 2026, Six Senses Porto Heli will offer around 60 rooms and suites along with 10 branded residential villas for sale; a Six Senses Spa with eight treatment rooms, a Biohacking Lounge, boutique and concept store, outdoor fitness and wellness circuit and spa herbal gardens; a large infinity pool and spa; a restaurant; Alchemy Bar, Earth Lab, outdoor pool and sports facilities, sound healing dome, and Grow With Six Senses play area and activities for children. Six Senses has partnered with a joint venture between CBE Capital, Golden Land Goutos, Taconic Capital Advisors, and Cedar Capital Partners. 

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
August 8th, 2023 at 4:47 PM EDT

Companies: 21c Museum Hotel, Aimbridge Hospitality, Aloft Hotels, Barriere, Charlestowne Hotels, Choice Hotels International, City Express, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Ennismore, HEI Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn, Hotel Equities, IHG Hotels & Resorts, LBA Hospitality, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott International, Maximum Hospitality, Mumford Company, Pendant Capital, PMZ Realty Capital LLC, Service Properties Trust, Taylor Hospitality, Tempo by Hilton, The RADCO Companies, Tru by Hilton

Locations: Arizona, California, Charleston, Dallas, Florida, Greece, Miami, New York, New York City, Phoenix, St. Louis, Toronto, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Up Next

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IHG Opposes Marriott’s City Express Trademark Bid

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