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North America

Business Travel Close to a Full Recovery

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
October 31st, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT

Skift Take

  • JP Morgan downgraded IHG Hotels & Resorts from Neutral to Underweight, favoring Premier Inn owner Whitbread in the European hotels sector.
  • Canada has 275 hotel construction projects with 37,780 rooms in its pipeline, with 22 new projects announced in Q3. Ontario leads with 160 projects, and Toronto has the most projects with 61. A total of 16 new hotels opened in the first three quarters of 2023, with more expected in the last quarter and beyond.
  • The latest GBTA Business Travel Outlook Poll reports that domestic business travel bookings have reached 75% of 2019 levels, while international bookings are at 70%. Spending on domestic business travel is at 77%, and international spend is at 74%.

The DJIA rose 124 points while Nasdaq was up 62, the S&P 500 was up 27 points and the 10-year treasury yield was flat at 4.88%. Lodging stocks were modestly higher.

JP Morgan downgraded IHG Hotels & Resorts from Neutral to Underweight. In the European hotels sector, JPM said Premier Inn owner Whitbread remains their top pick.

Analysts at Lodging Econometrics report that the total construction pipeline in Canada stands at 275 projects and 7,780 rooms, according to a Q3 2023 hotel construction pipeline report for Canada. In the third quarter, Canada had 22 new project announcements with 2,816 rooms. In the first three quarters of 2023, Canada has 16 new hotel openings. LE analysts forecast another 6 new hotels will open in the last quarter of 2023. 35 hotels/4,200 rooms are expected to open in 2024 and 40 hotels and 4,877 rooms will open in 2025.

Canadian Hotel Projects at End of Q3 2023

Under construction568,228
Starting in next 12 months101011,548
Early planning stage11818,004
Brand conversions586,025

Canadian Hotel Pipeline by Province at End of Q3 2023

British Columbia518,500

Canadian Hotel Pipeline by City at End of Q3 2023

Niagara Falls134,712

Global Business Travel Association has released its latest GBTA Business Travel Outlook Poll. Key takeaways from the October 2023 GBTA poll include: most industry stakeholders reported their company’s business travel in 2023 has either largely or mostly recovered when compared to their 2019 levels. Domestic business travel bookings stand at 75% while international bookings reached 70% of their 2019 levels. Respondents report domestic business travel spending has reached 77% of pre-pandemic levels, while international spend sits at 74%. Respondents say the top barriers affecting their business travel in 2023 include corporate budgets keeping up with price increases, inflation/recession concerns, and geo-political events. Suppliers are more likely than buyers to say inflation/recession concerns are a significant barrier. For 2023, more meetings of all types have been the norm including attending in-person meetings and conferences, holding virtual meetings, blending travel, and linking business trips. Hybrid work environments are dominant in the business travel sector, this has not changed from a year ago. For 2024, 67% of travel buyers expect their travel budgets to increase or remain the same. Cost management stands out as a top strategic priority, along with traveler safety and sustainability. A significant portion of those surveyed plan to ramp up their investment in technology and digitalization. 48% of respondents say their company’s 2024 travel program management budget will increase year over year. Nearly half feel new industry technologies, such as New Distribution Capability will pose the most significant technological challenges in the year ahead, while the potential impact of artificial intelligence on the industry in the next year remains split. 

The 286-room Pere Marquette Hotel and the adjoining 116-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel, in Peoria, Illinois, have been sold to Shreem Capital for roughly $18.5 million, along with a 402-space parking garage for $1.5 million. 

Benchmade Ventures broke ground on The SpringHill Suites by Marriott at High Point Downtown/Congdon Yards. The 128-room property will be located adjacent to Congdon Yards located in High Point, North Carolina. The hotel is estimated to be open by fall 2025.

Parks Hospitality Holdings confirmed the acquisition of the Boston Park Plaza. The property will transition to Hilton Boston Park Plaza as part of a post-acquisition rebranding initiative. The hotel boasts 1,060 guestrooms an suites, two restaurants, 70,000 square feet of meetings and event space, onsite Starbucks, Boston’s first Topgolf Swing Suite, the only Leica Store and Gallery in New England, and a FedEx Business Center. Purchased from Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., the hotel will be managed by Hilton. 

Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, located in the heart of Tribeca, reveals six new specialty suites, featuring a curated design honoring the craftsmanship and character of Downtown New York. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of a new Holiday Inn Express hotel in suburban Raleigh, North Carolina. The 104-room hotel offers a saltwater pool, fitness center, business center and 967 square feet of meeting space. The Holiday Inn Express Holly Springs – Raleigh Area is owned by Holly Springs Ventures, LLC and managed by Crown Hotel & Travel Management. 

Moss Construction and Opal Sol announced the topping out its newest all-suite resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Opal Sol will offer 248 suites, three pools, full-service Opal Spa and four unique restaurants. For meetings and events, Opal Sol will offer 57,194 square feet of event space that when combined with Opal Sands, will offer over 106,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor and ancillary space. The resort is expected to open in early 2025.

Comfort Hotels announced the opening of the first, new construction Rise & Shine prototype in Mountain Gove, Missouri. The 56-room property was developed by Thompson Lodging LLC and features an outdoor patio anchored by an indoor/outdoor fireplace; open, airy and inviting public spaces; and a multi-purpose flex room that seamlessly converts to serve a variety of uses. 

Pinnacle Advisory Group – West has relaunched as Stellarum Hospitality Consulting. The rebranded company has the same seasoned professionals to meet the needs of hotel owners attempting to navigate today’s marketplace. The consultancy provides multiple services including: appraisals; feasibility and gap studies; brand and operator selection; highest and best use studies; hotel asset management; and litigation support. 

The Hotel Weyanoke in Farmville, Virginia, has been acquired by Ascend Capital Group in partnership with Taylor Hospitality. Located adjacent to Longwood University, the hotel is home to three dining establishments including the only rooftop-bar in Farmville, and guests have access to Longwood University’s fitness center and more.

A long-closed, 12-story hotel downtown near the Dayton Arcade appears to be going to auction. The news comes after a nearly $40 million project at the site was approved for state tax credits earlier this year. Bidding on the former Dayton Grand Hotel, in downtown Dayton, Ohio, will start at $650,000. Property records show that the building was sold for $1 million in June. It changed hands from HDDA DAYTON LLC to HDDA RLD DAYTON LLC, both of which appear to be associated with HDDA LLC.

Mint House, in partnership with Shorenstein, announced the reopening of Mint House Denver – Downtown Union Station in Denver, Colorado. Mint House will operate apartment-style hospitality units in the high-rise building, which just completed a substantial property-wide refurbishment. Mint House Denver – Downtown Union Station’s footprint has doubled in capacity from its previous iteration. Located in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood, Mint House guests will have access to the building amenities including a fitness center, rooftop pool and deck, a conference room and on-site parking. 

Bayou Phoenix signed a lease with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority giving them control over the former Six Flags site to begin making headway on a nearly half-a billion-dollar project. The project includes an indoor and outdoor youth sports complex with many ball fields and volleyball and basketball courts, along with a suite-style hotel and traditional hotel, an in-and-outdoor water park, a beach lagoon, movie studio, an arcade-style family entertainment center, restaurants and retail.

Blackstone has supplied $78.3 million of acquisition financing for Apollo Global Management and Newbond Holdings’ purchase of the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel. Apollo and Newbond acquired the 317-key hotel portion of the building at 2 Times Square for $165 million from Sherwood Equities in early October. Newmark arranged the debt transaction and procured the sale of the hotel.

Hunter Hotel Advisors announced the sale of the Courtyard and Residence Inn Tampa Oldsmar. KMD Hospitality Management, LLC purchased the Tampa, Florida property from MIG Real Estate Group. Hunter arranged the sale on behalf of MIG. The Courtyard and Residence Inn Tampa Oldsmar provides 177 guestrooms, a fitness center, outdoor pool and meeting space.

International Highlights

Z Hotels secured a loan which will be used towards the purchase and refurbishment of a vacant office block on Charing Cross Road in London. The firm has lined up the £23 million co-loan from OakNorth Bank and ASK Partners. Subject to planning it is expected to be converted into Z Hotels’ 15th site and will have a minimum of 81 rooms and a maximum of 95. 

The Newman, one of 2024’s most anticipated London hotel openings, is the first hotel from new international hospitality company Kinsfolk & CoLocated in the village of Fitzrovia in central London, the hotel offers 81 rooms and suites, a European brasserie, a cocktail bar, and two private event rooms. The spa at The Newman includes a range of hot and cold experience cabins, an active salt therapy room and a hydrotherapy pool.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
October 31st, 2023 at 4:45 PM EDT

Companies: Blackstone, Choice Hotels International, Comfort, Courtyard by Marriott, Four Seasons, Holiday Inn Express, Hunter Hotel Advisors, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Mint House, Parks Hospitality Group, Renaissance Hotels, SpringHill Suites, Z Hotels

Locations: Boston, Canada, Denver, Florida, Illinois, London, Missouri, Montreal, New Orleans, New York City, North Carolina, Ohio, Ontario, Quebec, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver, Virginia

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