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First Hospitality Buys 17 Hotels in Hostmark Deal

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
September 17th, 2023 at 9:30 AM EDT

Skift Take

  • DJIA, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 all experienced declines while the 10-year treasury yield rose to 4.32%. Lodging stocks had mixed performance.
  • Truist updated price targets for lodging/hotel group stocks, with several adjustments both up and down.
  • Various hotels announced renovations, expansions, and new locations, including the Westin Denver Downtown, Hyatt’s growth plans, and the EV Evolution Venue Hotel in Tampa and Washington, DC.

The DJIA fell 289 points on Friday while the Nasdaq was down 218, the S&P 500 fell 55 points, and the 10-year treasury yield continued its march to 4.50%, up another .03 to 4.32%. Lodging stocks were mixed. New lows were set again by VCSA and AINC, while SOND fell -5% on a day when it held a vote on a reverse split.

Truist updated its lodging and leisure earnings, resulting in price target changes to the lodging/hotel group. ABNB PT goes to $126 from $115, CHH goes to $143 from $133, DRH goes to $10 from $11, H goes to $146 from $149, PK goes to $17 from $19, RHP goes to $123 from $119, while RLJ goes to $13 from $14.

Host Hotels & Resorts said their board of directors authorized a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per share, up 20% from the prior quarter.

The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index was down -3.6% in August from July. The hotel REITs posted their worst month of the year, with the Hotel REIT sub-index down -9.1%. Think about how bad that would have been if it was not for the news that Hersha Hospitality is being acquired. The Hotel Brand sub-index was down -2.2%.

First Hospitality announced an agreement to acquire the majority of the assets of Hostmark Hospitality Group. The move significantly expands First Hospitality’s geographic presence, augments its collection of restaurants and bars, and will include more than 70 hotels nationwide. The transaction adds 17 hotels, giving the portfolio more than 10,000 keys and their footprint expanding to California, Texas, and Florida markets. Closing of the transaction is scheduled for early in the fourth quarter.

The Westin Denver Downtown has completed a multi-million dollar renovation that overhauls the guest experience. Highlights of the Denver, Colorado hotel’s transformation include: The property now offers 432 rooms and suites. Guests are welcomed with a breathtaking green living wall. A new grand staircase offers easy access to meeting level floors and provides an iconic location for future wedding and event photos. The property added 3,000 square feet of lobby-level meeting space, and on-property dining includes a modernized atmosphere, a new fireplace in V’s lounge, and a new menu.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the continued strategic growth of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House brands throughout 2023. The growth includes expanding the brand’s footprint in the US in new markets where there are no Hyatt hotels and the expansion of airport locations in key markets. These markets include: Hyatt Place Albany, New York; Hyatt Place Flagstaff, Arizona; Hyatt Place Muster, Indiana; Hyatt Place Newark / Main Street, Delaware; and Hyatt Place St. Augustine / Vilano Beach, Florida. Additional growth for the company includes the entry of the Hyatt House brand in the following markets: Hyatt House Bentonville / Rogers, Arkansas; Hyatt House Colorado Springs Airport, Colorado; Hyatt House Lansing / University Area Lansing, Michigan; Hyatt House Mall of America / MSP Airport, Minnesota; and Hyatt House Vacaville, California. Throughout 2023, Hyatt has continued to expand on its origin story by increasing its brand footprint at airports across the US. These include Hyatt House Orlando Airport, Florida; Hyatt House Sacramento Airport / Natomas, California; Hyatt Place Melbourne Airport, Florida; and Hyatt Place Sacramento International Airport, California. Hyatt also announced significant progress in developing the Hyatt Studios brand, the latest select service brand in the Hyatt portfolio, including executed franchise agreements for the first locations in Mobile, Alabama, and Marysville, California. Groundbreaking for the Mobile, Alabama, location is slated for Q4 2023.

Casetta expands its portfolio as operator and manager of the iconic Surfrider Malibu, a 20-room Coastal California Beach House. The property includes a restaurant and roof deck with a full bar, a fire pit, and seating areas. 

The Fifth Avenue Hotel is set to open on October 16, 2023, in New York City’s NoMad neighborhood. The hotel will combine a five-story 1907 building called The Mansion with a new 24-floor glass tower. The property will feature 153 rooms and suites, Café Carmellini and The Portrait Bar. The Fifth Avenue Hotel is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.

The historic Hotel San Carlos in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, is set for an $80 million renovation. In August, Rockbridge Capital LLC, the hotel’s owner, applied for a $500,000 grant through the City of Phoenix historic preservation office program to help with the costs of rehabilitating the hotel. The Renaissance-revival-style hotel is seven stories, with a basement and three rooftops, and currently houses two restaurants. With support from a City of Phoenix grant, Rockbridge expects to invest more than $80 million to increase the room count from 128 to 141 and renovate the building’s specific interior and exterior portions. It also plans to expand with a new destination restaurant, lobby bar, and basement speakeasy; reintroduce a historic palm room and accompanying tea court; add a pool and rooftop amenities; and feature 5,000 square feet of meeting space. The renovation will also include modernizing all guest rooms and bathrooms, new mechanical systems, new roofs, and repaired elevators. The company expects to start renovating the hotel in Q4 2023 and deliver the project by the first quarter of 2025. 

EV Evolution Venue Hotel, the world’s first AI smart tech hotel brand, announced the 2025 opening of new locations in Tampa, Florida, and Washington, DC. The EV Hotel combines intelligent automation and personalized service to create an unparalleled guest experience. Each location features loT devices and AI systems that streamline operations and enhance convenience, allowing staff to focus on high-touch customer service. Each EV Hotel location will feature luxurious facilities like a trading floor, NFT lobby/guestrooms, rooftop pools, full-service med spas, and a cycling studio.

Primo Investments purchased the Best Western Sterling Hotel & Suites located in the South End of Charlotte, North Carolina, from Sunrise Hotel & Investments LLC for $8.5 million. The new owners plan to invest $1.3 millionto up-brand the location, transitioning it to Best Western Plus. It will remain open during renovations. The three-story, 97-room hotel currently features amenities such as a fitness center, laundry facilities, meeting space, a business center, and self-parking. 

In collaboration with Mitchell Hochberg of Lightstone, immersive hospitality visionaries Mark and Jonnie Houston have launched a first-of-its-kind multilayered concept, Level 8. Revolutionizing Los Angeles’ dining and social landscape, the dining, drinking, and entertainment experience features eight distinct destinations occupying the entire eighth floor of the recently launched Moxy & AC Hotel Downtown LA. Sprawled across 30,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, Level 8 serves as a stage for some of LA’s top culinary talent to create chef-driven concepts, including Maison Kasai; Mother of Pearl; Que Barbaro; The Brown Sheep; Lucky Mizu; Mr. Wanderlust; Golden Hour; and Sinners y Santos.

TMGOC Ventures is the brainchild of industry veterans and Co-Founders Sunju Patel and Glenn Alba, who sought to create a firm that best serves investors, capital markets, and debt partners. TMGOC announced the recent appointment of former Canyon Partners Real Estate executive Krystal England as the first Chief Investment Officer. Since joining, England has helped double the firm’s portfolio and introduced new preferred equity and rescue capital offerings to its capabilities. Recent TMGOC developments include the recently opened 131-room Moxy Charleston Downtown, the first Moxy by Marriott in South Carolina. Additional projects underway include a 208-key Moxy by Marriott under construction in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, North Carolina; a 162-key Tapestry Collection by Hilton and 233-unit multi-family mixed-use development in Macon, Georgia; a 191-key Thompson by Hyatt in Charleston, South Carolina; a 150-key and 20 residences Autograph Collection in Charleston, South Carolina; and a 100-key and 20 residences Ritz Carlton in Savannah, Georgia

Personnel Moves

Expanding its sales team, KSL Resorts has added three new sales leaders to its growing team of hospitality industry professionals: Bryan Waltz as global sales director, Karen Hudson as global sales director, and John Carter as director of sales/central coast properties. Waltz most recently was area director of group sales for Fairmont Hotels, Hawaii, Big Island, and Maui. Hudson was previously an account executive for the Creative Group. Carter previously worked as a hospitality sales and marketing consultant. 

Cushman & Wakefield announced the addition of Marc Magazine as Executive Director, focused on investment sales. Magazine, who comes to C&W from Savills, where he led the firm’s US Hotel Group with the late Tom Baker, will be based in Washington, DC.

Europe Highlights

Indian Hotels Company announced it is stepping into Continental Europe by signing the 134-room Taj Hotel Hessischer Hof in Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt’s landmark hotel, after extensive renovations, will join the illustrious list of iconic Taj hotels worldwide. Signing under an operating lease arrangement, it will reopen in 2025. As part of extensive refurbishment, and after making its mark in London, Cape Town, and Dubai, Bombay Brasserie, the restaurant famed for its eclectic Bombay and Indian cuisine, will enter Frankfurt. The Chambers, India’s first exclusive business club, will have a new outpost at Taj Hotel Hessischer Hof. Guests can relax at the legendary Jimmy’s Bar with its fabled character. Its elegant banqueting spaces are perfect for business meetings, and its recreational facilities include a spa, fitness area, and a winter garden.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
September 17th, 2023 at 9:30 AM EDT

Companies: AC Hotels by Marriott, Aimbridge Hospitality, Autograph Collection, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Best Western Plus, Casetta, First Hospitality, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Hostmark Hospitality Group, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Hyatt House, Hyatt Place, KSL Resorts, Leading Hotels of the World, Marriott International, Moxy Hotels, Ritz-Carlton, Rockbridge Capital, Sonder Holdings Inc., Taj, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, The Indian Hotels Company Ltd, Thompson Hotels, TMGOC Ventures LLC, Vacasa, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Arizona, Bentonville, California, Charleston, Colorado, Denver, Florida, Germany, Los Angeles, Malibu, Michigan, Minneapolis, New York, New York City, North Carolina, Savannah, Tampa, Texas, Washington DC

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