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North America

Hilton’s Stellar Earnings Season

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
October 25th, 2023 at 4:12 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • Hilton outperforms in US lodging earnings season, with impressive results and a strong development pipeline.
  • Dream Las Vegas project shows signs of revival as financing issues are being resolved.
  • Club Med announces a series of exciting international resort developments and a shift to exclusive 4 and 5-star offerings.

The DJIA fell 105 points, Nasdaq was down 319, the S&P 500 was down 61 points, and the 10 year treasury yield was up .11 to 4.95%. Lodging stocks were lower. About the only good news was that HLT was up $1.10. New lows were set by TNL, VAC, HGV, and VCSA.

Hilton kicked off US lodging earnings season with a bang, beating guidance and analyst estimates as well as upping 4Q and full year 2023 RevPAR and EBITDA guidance. HLT’s development pipeline increased by 3.7%, their second strongest quarter of new signings, and repurchased 4.5 million shares for $684 million, up from 2Q’s $470 million.

Travel + Leisure Co reported results slightly above consensus but guided 4Q well below consensus, blaming its RCI exchange business. TNL announced it acquired the rights to the vacation ownership business of Sports Hospitality Ventures and will be launching future sports themed resorts under the Sports Illustrated Resorts Brand. TNL repurchased only 1.6 million shares for $65 million, less than prior quarters.

STR reported US lodging data for the week ended 10/21. US hotel RevPAR was up 2.9% for the week, year over year. Group RevPAR was up 5.5%.

According to Richard Bissen, the mayor of Maui, Hawaii, West Maui’s phased reopening has been canceled, and all hotels will now be allowed to reopen on November 1. However, concerns remain about finding permanent housing for the nearly 7,000 displaced residents still living in hotels in West Maui and the ongoing efforts to clean up Lahaina.

JMA Ventures and Mohari Hospitality have entered into a strategic joint venture to acquire, recapitalize, and develop up to $2 billion of luxury hospitality and mixed-use projects throughout North America.

Accor now has 45,000 keys across more than 380 properties and 14 brands under its extended stay portfolio, including serviced apartments and private rental properties. The group says it is now the world’s largest player outside of the U.S. in this category, backed by a high concentration of properties across Europe and Asia. Accor’s growth in the extended stay segment has been bolstered by new openings for its Novotel Living brand. Recent expansions for Novotel Living include properties in Bangkok, Saigon, and Kazakhstan. In Singapore, the brand opened Novotel Living Singapore Orchard, a rebrand of the former 8 on Claymore Serviced Residences. Other recent openings include Pullman Living Dongguan Forum in China, while Accor’s flagship apart hotel brand Adagio celebrated its 156th anniversary in 2023 with the opening of 11 new properties across five continents. Accor has more extended stay properties in the pipeline, including new locations for Novotel Living as well as several luxury serviced apartment projects in Riyadh, such as the 150-key Sofitel Serviced Residences Riyadh.

Renaissance Honolulu Hotel & Spa is slated to open in Honolulu, Hawaii in early 2024. The brand new, 39-story, 299-room oasis features a private club lounge, signature restaurant, an Olympic-size lap pool, Himalayan salt saunas, cold plunge baths and steam rooms, a fitness center, and yoga studio. Renaissance Honolulu is the hotel portion of the $500 million twin-tower, mixed-use Sky Ala Moana condominium and hotel project being developed by JL Capital. Highgate will manage the hotel.

Choice Hotels and Matrix Hotels announced the opening of Cambria Hotel Lake Placid located in Lake Placid, New York. The modern hotel features 185 rooms with flexible configurations, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, an indoor pool, indoor and outdoor wedding venues, a marketplace, coin laundry, and the Haystack Bar & Bistro.

A hotel and conference center, in Kokomo, Indiana, has lost its developer yet again. Dora Hotel Company has backed away from building a Hilton hotel due to rising borrowing rates due to the U.S. Federal Reserve hiking interest rates and increased construction and labor costs due to inflation making the project financially untenable for the company. Tim Dora still believes in the project but decided to step away from it to allow the city the ability to land another developer who may be able to get the project done in a more timely manner. First announced in July 2018, the six-story, 123-room Hilton Garden Inn and the adjoining conference center is to be located in downtown Kokomo. The hotel will be owned and operated privately while the two-story conference center will be owned and operated publicly and will offer conference room space and will be the new home for the Kokomo Automotive Museum and the Alliance. Since it was originally announced, the project has lost its developer four times.

According to an extension application recently filed for its building permits, the Dream Las Vegas project could awaken from its slumber. Construction of the casino resort on the southernmost tip of the Strip stalled in March, with its developers reportedly owing between $25M and $30M. According to the new documents filed with Clark County, the construction could restart at the beginning of 2024. One of the documents is a justification letter for the extension written by the developer’s attorneys, promising that the financing issues delaying the project are being sorted out. Specifically, a bridge loan is expected to close by early November, followed by the close of the full capital stack (equity and debt) by December 2023. The 21-story Dream Las Vegas will include 531 guestrooms, seven dining and nightlife venues, a convention center, spa, and a small casino floor.

A US District judge dismissed the proposed class action lawsuit accusing MGM, Caesars, Wynn Resorts, Treasure Island, other LV hotel operators, and software developer Cendyn of conspiring to overcharge for room rates in violation of US antitrust law. The judge described the lawsuit as suffering from ambiguity and numerous deficiencies but said the plaintiffs could file an amended lawsuit within 30 days.

A new eco-luxury property, The Heavens, is under development in East Austin, Texas. The one-of-a-kind resort will offer 12 dome-style aircrete villas accommodating up to 50 guests each, a 200,000 gallon natural water pool with poolside cabanas and a cocktail bar, and a farm-to-table restaurant sourcing ingredients grown onsite. Valencia Hotel Group is in the final stages to provide management, and a tentative opening is scheduled for mid 2025. In Phase two, the founders, Roland Barrera, Dan Mages, and Peter Haynes, plan to build a hotel at the frontage of the property. This new addition, with timeline to be announced in 2024, will offer 50-62 units capable of hosting up to 200 guests and special events.

Construction is set to begin on a Compass by Margaritaville Hotel in Flagler Beach, Florida, sometime this week. The franchise operator for the hotel will be Elite Hospitality, doing business as Sun Partners LLC, under a license agreement with Margaritaville Holdings. The three-story hotel will offer 100 guestrooms, a restaurant, pool with a tiki bar, meeting and retail space, a fitness room, and a rooftop terrace.

The Global Ambassador, a new luxury hotel in Phoenix, Arizona from renowned restaurateur Sam Fox, will open on December 6. The 141-room hotel is the first Arizona hotel listed under Preferred Hotels & Resorts’ highest category for luxury experiences at independent hotels and resorts. The Global Ambassador is also the first hotel project for Author & Edit.

JLL Capital markets arranged $4 million in acquisition financing for Alice Hall in Savannah, Georgia. JLL represented the borrower, The AltAccom Group, and secured the three-year loan with two one-year extensions from the lender. Alice Hall is a three-story, 14-unit apartment building. The units will be converted from existing long-term tenancy to short-term and flexible-term furnished apartments. The addition of hotel-like services and technology will be added to enhance the guests’ experience. Completion of the project is set for Q3 2024.

Sonnenblick-Eichner Company arranged first mortgage financing for The Lodge at Tiburon and Toll House Hotel Las Gatos. The 5-year non-recourse floating rate loan pays interest-only for the entire term and provided proceeds to pay off a maturing loan. The new loan also provided for a SOFR floor of 3.75%. The 104-room The Lodge at Tiburon and the 115-room Toll House Hotel Los Gatos are boutique hotels located in downtown Tiburon, California.

Personnel Moves

Capital Vacations, LLC announced the appointment of Travis Bary and Jerry Rexroad as Co-Presidents, effective November 1, 2023. Under the revised leadership framework, they will share responsibilities for executing and implementing Capital Vacations’ strategy. Bary and Rexroad will maintain their reporting relationship to Mr. Shroff, CEO, who will continue to oversee Capital Vacations’ strategic direction and leadership.

Splendid Hospitality Group appointed Andrew Kendrick as its new Managing Director – Hotels with immediate effect, responsible for overseeing the successful performance of all 24 hotels within the Splendid Hospitality portfolio, as well as managing the central support services for all hotel business.

International Highlights

Club Med announced a variety of new developments including three forthcoming international resorts, reinforcing Club Med’s shift to exclusively offer 4 and 5-star products and the brand’s ambition to expand its portfolio with three to five openings or renovations per year. In 2026, Club Med will open Club Med Tinley, a first-of-its-kind beach and safari resort and the brand’s first-ever location in South Africa. The 4-star resort will include an Exclusive Collection space along with a spa, fitness center, yoga school, and adults-only Zen pool and bar. Club Med Tinley will offer an array of land and water sports including the very first Surf School at Club Med. Club Med also announced the development of Club Med Gramado, the brand’s first Exclusive Collection (5-star) resort in South America and the fourth in Brazil. The resort will open in 2025 in Rio Grande so Sul. Nestled between the woods and the waves of Kota Kinabalu, Club Med Borneo, opening in 2025, will offer a paradise where the jungle meets white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. Situated in the urban region of Nanjing China, Club Med opened the world’s first urban oasis resort, Club Med Urban Oasis Xianlin Nanjing on October 18. Club Med Marrakech La Palmeraie, situated in the heart of Morocco, will be undergoing renovations to renew and transform itself to provide a premium, all-inclusive experience for guests. The 2023-2024 renovations will consist of: the creation of Baby Club to its Children’s Club in December 2023 and the resort will create an extension of La Palmeraie with a family Oasis, named Ksar. The family oasis will offer 66 two-bedroom accommodations with a family pool and a dedicated bar. The Superior and Deluxe rooms will be refreshed with new hardware, furnishings and more in the bedrooms and bathrooms by the end of 2023. Continuing its ambition to be the most desirable lifestyle vacation brand, Club Med will shift its entire portfolio into a 4-Trident (4-star) and Exclusive Collection (5-star) resorts. From April 2024, the brand will only offer premium, all-inclusive beach and mountain Club Med resorts and Exclusive Collection spaces, resorts, yachts, villas, and chalets. The current 3-Trident will transition into 4-Trident properties. In total, there will be 21 Exclusive Collection products available by the end of 2023.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
October 25th, 2023 at 4:12 PM EDT

Companies: Accor, Adagio, Caesars Entertainment, Cambria Hotels, Capital Vacations, Choice Hotels International, Club Med, Compass Hotels by Margaritaville, Dreams Resorts & Spas, Elite Hospitality, Highgate, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, JLL, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, MGM Resorts, Novotel, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Pullman, Renaissance Hotels, Sofitel, Sonnenblick-Eichner Company, Splendid Hospitality Group, Travel + Leisure Co., Vacasa, Valencia Hotel Group, Wynn Group of Companies

Locations: Austin, California, Florida, Honolulu, Indiana, Las Vegas, Maui, New York, Phoenix, Savannah

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