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North America

International Spending in U.S. Improves 24% Year Over Year

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
September 12th, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • TD Cowen increased price targets for Hilton and Marriott, maintaining Outperform ratings.
  • U.S. international travel spending surged in July 2023, with a trade surplus of $777 million.
  • Various hotel developments and management changes were announced, including HEI Hotels & Resorts’ management of Aloft Tampa Downtown and plans for new properties in New Brunswick and Denver, as well as a significant renovation of The Olana mansion in Texas.

The DJIA was down 17 points, the Nasdaq was down 1% the S&P 500 down .57%, and the 10-year treasury yield was flat at 4.286%.

TD Cowen upped its price target on Hilton to $164 from $148 and on Marriott to $215 from $185. It maintained Outperform ratings on both.

Data released by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office show that in July 2023, international visitors spent nearly $18 billion on travel to and tourism-related activities within the United States, an increase of nearly 24% compared to July 2022. Conversely, Americans spent more than $17.2 billion traveling abroad during July, yielding a balance of trade surplus of $777 million. International visitors have spent more than $118.5 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services year-to-date, an increase of nearly 34% compared to 2022. Purchases of travel and tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the U.S. totaled $9.7 billion during July 2023, an increase of more than 27% when compared to 2022. Fares received by U.S. carriers from international visitors totaled $3.4 billion in July 2023, up 28% compared to July 2022. Expenditures for educational and health-related tourism, along with all expenditures by border, seasonal, and other short-term workers in the U.S., totaled $4.9 billion in July 2023, a 15% increase from the previous year.

DiamondRock Hospitality said their 3Q RevPAR will be down -1.5% to -2% from last year. That will still be up 6%-6.5% above 2019 levels, but Marketwatch said that is a sign that demand for leisure travel is moderating after a years-long boom.

HEI Hotels & Resorts has assumed management of the 130-key Aloft Tampa Downtown in Tampa, Florida. Located on the city’s vibrant Riverwalk, the property was recently acquired by Newbond Holdings. 

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Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley, in Hunt Valley, Maryland, will close on October 30. The 392-room hotel was acquired by Laurus Corp. in 2013. The firm spent $15 million on renovations, changing the hotel’s flag from Wyndham Grand to Marriott International’s Delta Hotels brand. The hotel property went up for auction out of foreclosure in 2018, and the property is currently owned by an LLC associated with Torchlight Investors. The investment company provided financing for Laurus’ purchase in 2013.

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Asheville Downtown, in Asheville, North Carolina, is slated to open by the end of 2023. The 188-unit property will feature approximately 7,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, a ground-floor restaurant, and a rooftop restaurant with a wrap-around terrace. 

Parks Hospitality Group plans a dual-branded Hilton hotel for northwest Cary, North Carolina. The hotel, a Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites, was first announced in 2021, with construction expected to start in 2022 and an opening date in 2024. The project has faced delays and is still in review with the Town of Cary. Construction is now expected to start in the first or second quarter of next year. Plans show 194 guestrooms across six stories with an underground level for a 167-space parking lot, a lounge area, dining area, bar, multipurpose room, fitness room, pool, and courtyard with outdoor seating. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced plans to expand its Crowne Plaza brand in New Brunswick, with a new property in Saint John set to open in late 2023. Owned by Devansh Group of Hotels, the property, formerly known as Canada’s Best Value Inn, will undergo a $7.5 million renovation. The refurbished hotel will feature 135 rooms, an onsite restaurant, a pool, an arcade, and harbor-view meeting facilities. 

Crestline Hotels & Resorts has been selected to manage the Ohio University Inn and Conference Center. The 139-room hotel is located on the campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The hotel’s recently updated guest rooms and suites are complemented with 4,500 square feet of conference and events space, plus expansive outdoor areas. Additional amenities include a business center, fitness center, outdoor seasonal pool with an adjacent terrace and fireplace, onsite restaurant, and parking. 

Romer Neighborhood Hotels announced the opening of Romer Hell’s Kitchen, a 295-room hotel in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen. The property features a café, lobby corner store, and The Study, a library-inspired area with ample seating and a fireplace, which is slated to open later in the fall. The hotel is opening a piano bar and lounge this winter.

The Champ d’Or mansion in Hickory Creek, Texas, took five years and $52 million to build, but the original owners never moved in. Eventually, “The Olana,” as it was named, became a wedding and events venue under Walters Wedding Estates. Now, the property is set to undergo a significant renovation and expansion. According to the Dallas Business Journal, The Olana is set to become a 110-room hotel and spa. The work is expected to include the addition of villas and a pool building, costing $40 million. Twain Financial Partners is the group behind the renovation. Work on The Olana Hotel and Spa began on September 1 and is expected to be delivered in fall 2025.

Urban Green Development plans to construct a 35-key hotel in Denver’s popular neighborhood known as LoHi, called Raha, which means “rest” in Arabic. The new hotel will include a restaurant and lobby bar on the lower level of the building. Above that will be three stories of hotel rooms and a rooftop patio. Urban Green is in its sixth round of approvals with the City and County of Denver for its site development plan. It hopes to break ground on Raha by the end of the year and plans to open the hotel following approximately two years of construction. The total budget for the project is approximately $23 million, funded through lender First National Bank of Omaha and private partners.

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group arranged a $29.6 million floating-rate term loan to acquire and renovate the 130-key Aloft Tampa Downtown in Tampa, Florida. JLL represented the buyer, Newbond Holdings, to secure the loan through the lender, CIM Group. The Aloft Tampa Downtown is one of only three hotels on Tampa’s Riverwalk.

Cronheim Hotel Capital secured $43,600,000 to refinance the existing debt on the Hampton Inn at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York. The loan originated with a national debt fund platform and provides capital to complete a full refresh of the property. The property is owned by an affiliate of its operator, Synergy Hospitality Management.

Four Seasons and Cisneros Real Estate announced plans to develop Four Seasons Resort and Residences Dominican Republic at Tropicalia, along the beachfront of Playa Esmeralda in northeastern Dominican Republic. With construction underway, the project is slated to open in early 2026. The property will include a 95-key resort and 25 Private Residences, a spa, fitness, and wellness facilities including a yoga pavilion; a variety of beach activities and watersports; racquet sports such as tennis, paddle, and pickleball; a Kids for All Seasons children’s club; and event spaces. The onsite culinary offerings will include numerous restaurants and bars. 

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation announced plans for Larimar City & Resort, a new multi-use development that marks the company’s entry into the Dominican RepublicNew Royal Sonesta and James hotels will anchor this development, two of Sonesta’s luxury and lifestyle brands. Sonesta is partnering with CLERHP on hotel properties and residences, with the completion of the first phase of Larimar City & Resort expected from late 2025 to early 2026. This development will include several entertainment venues, including a retail mall, dining options, a fitness center, a spa, a country club with a golf course, an outdoor sports facility, and a kid-centric activity center.

Personnel Moves

Hunter Hotel Advisors expands its national reach with a new Austin, Texas office led by Kami Burnette and Mason McDavid. As Senior Vice President and Vice President of HUNTER, Burnette and McDavid will specialize in institutional investment and private client sales in Texas. Burnette and McDavid joined HUNTER from Paramount Lodging Advisors. 

Airbnb announced that James Manyika is joining the company’s Board of Directors. Manyika’s appointment to the Bard is effective immediately, and he will chair the board’s Stakeholder Committee. Manyika is currently Google’s Senior Vice President of Research, Technology, and Society.

Sage Hospitality Group announced that Renee Wriedt now serves as Area Director of Sales & Marketing, overseeing The Crawford Hotel, Denver Union Station, and The Oxford Hotel. Wriedt spent the last five years as the Director of Sales & Marketing at the Embassy Suites Denver Downtown Convention Center, another property managed by Sage Hospitality.

Staypineapple announced the addition of Cameron Kronemeyer to the organization’s food and beverage operations team. Cameron was most recently the Director of Retail Operations for Mark Ryan Winery. In his new role with Staypineapple, Cameron will oversee the operations at all four of the company’s restaurants and the food and beverage services and offerings throughout Staypineapple’s 10 hotels.

Europe Highlight

Starboard Hotels has added another London hotel to its portfolio following the agreement of a new seven-year refinancing deal. The owner-operator has recently acquired The Bridge Hotel, Greenford, in West London through financing by OakNorth Bank for an undisclosed amount. It plans to add more properties in the future. Savills supported the deal.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
September 12th, 2023 at 5:53 PM EDT

Companies: Airbnb, Aloft Hotels, Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Cronheim Hotel Capital, Delta Hotels & Resorts, DiamondRock Hospitality Company, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Four Seasons, Hampton by Hilton, HEI Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hunter Hotel Advisors, Marriott International, Parks Hospitality Group, Sage Hotel Management, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Staypineapple, The Royal Sonesta, Torchlight Investors, Urban Green Development

Locations: Asheville, Denver, Dominican Republic, London, Maryland, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Tampa, Texas

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