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North America

IHG Launches New Brand Garner

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
August 16th, 2023 at 4:38 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Market Performance: DJIA, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 experienced declines while the 10-year treasury yield increased. Lodging stocks showed mixed to modestly lower results. BHR traded down to a new low.
  • Hotel Investment Insights: Baird reported on meetings with Xenia Hotels & Resorts’ management, highlighting patience required due to leisure trends and Scottsdale renovation disruption. S&P upgraded XHR’s ratings based on improved RevPAR and EBITDA outlook.
  • Industry Developments: Hilton plans automatic housekeeping, Courtyard Wichita completes renovation, District Hospitality Partners acquires Westin Annapolis, Cascade Hotel Kansas City to open, Aimbridge to manage Marriott properties, Hyatt introduces Hyatt Studios brand, IHG launches midscale brand Garner, various expansion and renovation projects noted.

The DJIA fell 181 points, Nasdaq was down 156, the S&P 500 was down 34 points, and the 10-year treasury yield was up .04 to 4.26%. Lodging stocks were mixed to modestly lower. BHR traded down to another new low.

Baird reported on investor meetings they held with Xenia Hotels & Resorts’management team. Baird said there is no change to their longer-term outlook, but some patience could be required due to still-normalizing leisure trendsand expected near-term disruption from renovation in Scottsdale. They continue to have a favorable view of the portfolio’s Sunbelt and greater than peer group exposures. Investors are focused on leisure trends, comparisons, renovation disruption, and all the puts/takes looking out to 2024. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings raised all their ratings on XHR by one notch, including the issuer credit rating to B+ from B. They also raised their issue-level rating on the company’s senior unsecured bet to B.B.- from B+. The upgrade reflects S&P’s revised base case for RevPAR and EBITDA and for XHR to sustain leverage in the high-4x to low-5x range through 2024. S&P had been assuming demand for XHR’s upper upscale and luxury hotels would wane this year given all the macro, but RevPAR in the first half of the year was up 9.6%.

STR reported U.S. lodging data for the week ended 8/5. U.S. hotel RevPAR was up 2%, all on ADR, as occupancy was flat. Group RevPAR was up 3.8%.

Hilton is bucking the trend and will begin offering automatic daily housekeeping at its luxury, full-service, lifestyle brands, and its Embassy Suites hotels worldwide this fall. Other brands within the U.S. and Canada, including extended-stay hotels, will receive automatic service every other day. Currently, only HLT’s luxury brands offer automatic daily cleanings.

The Courtyard Wichita at Old Town in Wichita, KS, managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, announced the completion of its extensive renovation project. In addition to the increased availability of suites, property enhancements include new FF&E in guestrooms and public spaces, refreshed bathrooms in select guestrooms, and upgraded I.T. through the installation of Marriott’s Guestroom Entertainment Platform. A ribbon-cutting event is slated for September 2023 at the Courtyard Wichita at Old Town, serving as the official debut of the freshly renovated establishment. The highlight of the renovation is the unveiling of the Rock Island Suite, a multi-purpose premium guest suite designed for special occasions. The 129-room hotel now also features 7,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space. The changes also include the addition of Ranney’s Boardroom, a new collaboration room that pays homage to the building’s original tenant, Joseph Addison Ranney Jr.

District Hospitality Partners, led by Fred Malek, a 1988 graduate of the Naval Academy, purchased the Westin Annapolis hotel last month for $51 million. The 225-room hotel near the academy was previously owned by Crescent Real Estate, which acquired it in 2018 for $41 million. Malek’s company previously owned the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel before they sold it in 2018. Their portfolio includes properties across the U.S., Mexico, and the Caribbean. The Westin Annapolis has one of the largest ballrooms in the city at more than 6,300 square feet. Malek said HEI Hotels & Resorts will continue to manage the property.

The Cascade Hotel Kansas City, the second property in a $105 million two-hotel development, will open in October. The 10-story, 177-room hotel is part of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio and will feature retail and restaurant space, a rooftop bar overlooking the Plaza, and a spa. Their sister property, the Aloft Hotel, opened at the beginning of the year after 2 years of construction. The two buildings are connected and will share several amenities, including the Strang food hall.

Aimbridge Hospitality announced they were selected to manage five Marriott properties recently acquired by Three Wall Capital LLC. The five properties are located in the Phoenix and Fort Lauderdale metros and have a total of 642 keys. They will be managed through Aimbridge’s Select Service Division. Aimbridge said they are now responsible for managing nearly 80 extended stay, select service, and full-service properties owned by Three Wall Capital. The properties include Residence Inns in Glendale, AZ, and Plantation and Miramar in F.L., plus a SpringHill Suites in Glendale and a Courtyard in Miramar.

Hyatt Hotels Corp announced significant updates to Hyatt Studios, the latest select service brand in the Hyatt portfolio, including executed franchise agreements for the first locations in Mobile, Alabama, and Marysville, CA. Hyatt Studios is H’s first upper-midscale extended stay brand in the Americas and is expected to be a key accelerator for H. The first Hyatt Studios locations will include the inaugural property in Mobile, AL, from 3H Group in late 2024 and Presidio Hotel Development LLC opening a 113-room Hyatt Studios in 2025. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the launch of their midscale conversion brand Garner – an IHG Hotel. IHG said they expect the brand to be the leading choice for guests wanting great value stays at high-quality properties and for owners seeking higher returns in the midscale segment. IHG said they have already received more than 100 definitive expressions of interest in Garner. IHG said owners had expressed their desire to work with a high-quality conversion brand at a lower price point, so IHG developed Garner based on their feedback and insight. Garner will be ready to franchise in the U.S. by early September, with the first hotels expected to be open by the end of this year. IHG expects the brand to reach over 500 hotels over the next 10 years and 1,000 hotels over the next 20 years in the U.S. alone. 

The Neptune Resort in Fort Myers, FL, is planning an expansion project to double the number of guestrooms. Following the damage from Hurricane Ian, the owner and operators Continental Hospitality Group and Springboard Hospitality are proposing to increase the two-building, 71-room resort to a one-building complex with four floors and 140 rooms. They acquired the property two years ago for $27 million.

The Caribe Royale Orlando Resort is set to undergo another expansion of its convention area, a part of a larger remaining that has totaled more than $150 million in new amenities. The 1,337-room hotel near Walt Disney World filed a pre-application with Orange County in early August for a project called Caribe Royale Service Building and Convention Center Expansion. They want to add up to 35,000 square feet, including meeting space, pre-function space, and more, to the hotel, bringing the total space to more than 250,000 square feet. In 2021 they debuted a 50,000-square-foot ballroom space. This new expansion is set to start construction in early 2024 and open for business in January 2025. The new space will be built on the northwest part of the property.

Hotel Downstreet has officially opened as a hospitality hotspot in the heart of downtown North Adams in Massachusetts. The property was transformed by independent hospitality management firm Main Street Hospitality which also owns nearby Porches Inn. Hotel Downstreet offers 90 guest rooms, an indoor pool, onsite laundry, a lobby that invites a meeting space, and The Studios at Downstreet, located directly off the lobby, open spaces for ongoing collaboration with artists, galleries, and nearby institutions that can double as gathering and event spaces.

The new private Cascade Bungalows at Brasada Ranch Resort in Bend, Oregon, have launched, featuring a modern mountain design with a Scandinavian aesthetic inside and the best of the high desert outside. There are 16 bungalows, with more planned. They include the adults-only enclave with a private patio and hot tub, king bed, sunken living rooms complete with a cozy fireplace, exclusive culinary offerings, and more.

The SureStay by Best Western Grayson has opened its doors in Grayson, KY. The hotel features 60 guest rooms, with some rooms offering hot tubs. Guests can use a heated indoor pool, a business center, daily complimentary breakfast, and more.

The Reuben Brothers are charging ahead with the $2.5 billion Century Plaza development in Los Angeles, CA. The strategic alliance is between the Reuben Brothers and Michael Resenfeld’s Next Century Partners. They engaged The Agency’s James Harris and David Parnes, along with The Agency Development Group, to spearhead the exclusive residential sales and marketing campaign for the development. The Agency is partnering with Savills for global representation. Century Plaza is anchored by the reimagined Fairmont Century Plaza hotel and two new 44-story luxury residential towers. The development also features The Shops at Century Plaza, the Gardens of Century Plaza, and a public gathering plaza with a Jaume Plensa sculpture.

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group announced it arranged a new floating rate loan to refinance the 774 key Westin Grand Central in New York City. JLL represented the borrower, a global investment management firm, to secure the loan from funds managed by Apollo. The global investment management firm has owned the hotel since January 2019.

IHG announced the opening of the newly converted and rebranded Holiday Inn Express Morelia Centro Historico in Morelia, Mexico. The hotel is owned by Grupo Tarerio S.A. de C.V. and managed by GOSA Hoteles. The 59-room hotel includes an onsite business center, gym, and free breakfast.

Personnel Moves

HVS announced the appointment of Sophie Perret as managing director of its London office. Sophie joined HVS Madrid in 2003 and relocated to London three years later.

Hyatt announced that Jason Ballard had been promoted to Head of Operations Hyatt Studios, reporting directly to lead Dan Hansen. Ballard was previously H’s V.P. of Franchise Operations, Select Service.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
August 16th, 2023 at 4:38 PM EDT

Companies: Aimbridge Hospitality, Aloft Hotels, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc., Continental Hospitality Group, Courtyard by Marriott, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, District Hospitality Partners, Garner, HEI Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, HVS, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt Studios, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Main Street Hospitality, Marriott International, SureStay, Tribute Portfolio, Westin Hotels & Resorts, Xenia Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Kansas City, Kentucky, Los Angeles, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico, Miami, Oregon, Phoenix, Wichita

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