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Wyndham’s Board Tells Shareholders to Reject Choice

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

December 18th, 2023

Skift Take

  • Wyndham’s Board rejects Choice Hotels’ unsolicited offer to acquire WH, backed by the Asian American Hotels Owners Association’s opposition.
  • Hilton to open its first Tapestry Collection hotel in Los Cabos in 2024, alongside another project in La Paz.
  • Preferred Hotel Group aims to expand its Beyond Green brand in Mexico, targeting 75 sustainable hotels globally.

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The Daily Lodging Report will go on holiday break with the last issue of 2023 being published on December 20. The first issue of 2024 will be January 2. We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

The DJIA was up a point while Nasdaq was up 91, the S&P 500 rose 21 points and the 10-year Treasury yield was up .03 to 3.95%. Lodging stocks were modestly higher. MAR traded up to another new high while SOND was the mover of note today, up 14%.

As expected, Wyndham’s Board of Directors unanimously determined the unsolicited exchange offer from Choice Hotels to acquire WH is not in the best interests of shareholders. The Board recommends shareholders NOT tender their shares into the offer. WH continues to believe CHH fails to address many things, including the major value gap and risks of their offer, and despite being rejected a few times now, CHH is not changing their offer or the terms. The Asian American Hotels Owners Association also reaffirmed their opposition to this, saying 80% of those WH franchisees in their association believe a combination will hurt their business while 60% said they would terminate their contract if a merger would take place.

Hilton is opening its first Tapestry Collection hotel in Los Cabos next year: the new Tropicana Los Cabos. The 70-room resort, expected to open in early 2024 is a re-imagination of the former Tropicana Inn. The project is being joined by another Tapestry Collection hotel called La Perla, which will be set in the city of La Paz, also in Baja California.

TNB Hotels announced the 93-room Airdrie Inn & Suites in Alberta, Canada has converted to the Fairfield by Marriott Inn & Suites Airdrie. The property offers a variety of rooms and suites, an indoor pool, fitness center, business center, 840 square feet of meeting space, and electric-vehicle charging stations.

The Ansonborough Inn, located in the historic downtown district of Charleston, South Carolina, announced it is undergoing an extensive renovation and repositioning set to relaunch as The Ansonborough Charleston in spring 2024. Developed by Continental Hospitality Group and managed by Wright Investments, Inc, the 45-room boutique property will feature revitalized indoor and outdoor spaces, including an expanded neighborhood bar and lounge, a new beautiful rooftop garden with open seating areas and fireplaces. Moreover, the property will boast a “Poker Room” discreetly nestled beyond a secret bookcase enclave. The hotel will remain open throughout the renovation.

Capital Square and Method Co. announced the topping out of their new project, a 50-unit, luxury boutique hotel in historic downtown Charleston. The unnamed development, located at 529 King Street, is expected to be completed by summer 2024. 529 King Street is a five-story project with 44 valet-operated parking spaces; a lush, private interior courtyard; a library and co-working space; a guest-only lounge; a semi-private terrace or balcony and a rooftop lounge that will be open to the public.

IHG Hotels & Resorts celebrated the opening of a new-build Staybridge Suites hotel in Winter Haven, Florida. Owned by Winter Haven, FL 0721 LLC, Staybridge Suites Winter Haven – Auburndale features 108 suites, a business center, and meeting space.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts announced the addition of The Source Hotel & Market Hall to its Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent portfolio. The Source is a boutique hotel, market hall, and creative hub in the heart of Denver’s lively RiNo Art District. The property offers 100 guestrooms and suites, a fitness center, business center, conference room, ballroom, two rooftop plunge pools, and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

Virginia Governor Glenn Younkin reached a tentative agreement with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the parent company of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals, to move those teams from Washington, D.C. to Alexandria, Virginia. The proposal, which would need the state legislature’s approval, calls for the creation of a $2 billion development just miles from the existing area. It would include an arena for what would be the state’s first major professional sports teams, as well as a new Wizards practice facility, a separate performing arts center, a media studio, new hotels, a convention center, housing and shopping.

Blue Water unveiled its plans for the transformation of its iconic property, the Atlantic Oceanfront Inn in Ocean City, Maryland. The Inn, now named the SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel, is set to emerge as a premier destination following an extensive multi-million dollar renovation. The SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel is a 60-room property located along the Atlantic coastline. The renovation of the original resort involves a complete overhaul to enhance every aspect of the property creating a retro beach vibe throughout. A distinctive feature of The SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel is the opportunity for guests to share amenities with the nearby Aloft Ocean City, another Blue Water hotel property, including the seasonal outdoor pool, bicycle rentals, beach chairs, a dedicated space for lawn games, and a lobby market. The grand opening of The SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel is anticipated in early summer 2024.

Preferred Hotel Group aims to consolidate and strengthen its Beyond Green brand in Mexico, while seeking to establish new strategic alliances with independent hotels in the city and beach segments. The company’s ambitious plan includes the addition of 40 new sustainable hotels globally, with the goal of reaching a total of 75 hotels under the Beyond Green brand, with solid backing from a number of hotels already in negotiations. Preferred Hotel Group announced in late 2020 the launch of Beyond Green as a new hotel brand with a global portfolio of 24 leading sustainable tourism hotels, resorts, and lodges.

The timeline for construction on the Appellation Hotel, in Ketchum, Idaho, is delayed again. According to developer Jack Bariteau, construction will not begin until March due to unforeseen delays in the building process. The new timeline puts the completion date for the hotel and residences around the first quarter of 2026.

Margaritaville Resort Lake Tahoe is now open in South Lake Tahoe, California, following an over $70 million property-wide re-imagination. The 399-suite resort features five unique dining establishments, a year-round heated pool, and over 14,000 square feet of flexible indoor-outdoor event space.

One of the last remaining surface parking lots in the core of the downtown Vancouver peninsula is set to be redeveloped. The Vancouver City Council unanimously approved the rezoning application for 848 Seymour Street to build a 30-story hotel tower. No hotel chain brand and operated has been associated with the project at this early stage, but it is spearheaded and owned by Paul Y. Construction (B.C.) Ltd., which is an asset of the Tso family of Hong Kong. The first three floors are dedicated to the lobby, restaurant, bar, lounge, and amenity spaces. The two uppermost floors of the tower will be dedicated to hotel guest amenities and meeting spaces, with the entire rooftop level called the “Skyroom”, which includes an expansive outdoor patio. Four underground levels will contain 59 vehicle parking stalls.

RM Holdings is looking to turn a landmark building into downtown Windsor’s first boutique hotel. The plan for the mostly vacant Paul Martin Building in Windsor, AB, Canada, is for the city to transfer the building to RM Holdings for $1 with the condition the company follows through with its $30 million investment plan. The hotel is expected to have 80 to 100 unique rooms, including 20 to 40 full-service residences, a restaurant, café, meeting and event spaces, a library/lounge, and retail space. RM Holdings expects a spring 2026 opening.

Tony Hsieh’s family has hired Logic Commercial Real Estate to sell the historic Gold Spike & Oasis hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The asking price is undisclosed, and according to Logic’s website, the two adjacent properties have 130 rooms and a bar and nightlife venue. It also noted the Gold Spike has been operating with gambling, but the ownership preserved its Nevada gaming license.

CBRE has arranged the sale of Holiday Inn Virginia Beach – Norfolk, a 307-room hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Harmony Investments Inc. CBRE Hotels represented the seller, Blenheim Hotels, in the transaction. The six-story property features more than 22,000 square feet of event space, an onsite restaurant and cocktail lounge, and available space for a coffee shop. Additional amenities include a fitness center, business center, heated outdoor pool, convenience store, guest laundry facilities, and 421 parking spaces. Harmony Hospitality plans to undertake an extensive renovation program totaling more than $6 million as part of a 20-year licensing agreement with IHG Hotels & Resorts.

Personnel Move 

Aqua-Aston Hospitality announced Amanda Garziano’s appointment to senior manager of business development for the brand’s condominium hotel and vacation rental operations. As senior manager of business development, Garziano is responsible for recruiting property owners to Aqua-Aston Hospitality’s and sister company Maui Condo & Home’s rental programs. Garziano has held numerous positions with the company since 2004.

International Highlights 

Jumeirah Group plans to double the size of its portfolio by 2030, building on its strength in the UAE and further expanding its portfolio into key global markets. Plans include upweighting its presence in Europe, leveraging its strong base in London, Capri, Mallorca, and Geneva to acquire luxury properties in other major cities as well as exploring opportunities in the U.S. The Group will also look to capitalize on the strong growth potential of the Asia Pacific market to extend its current reach beyond its properties in China, Bali, and the Maldives.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the grand opening of Sunscape Dominicus La Romana, the newest addition to the Inclusive Collection, part of World of Hyatt, following a multi-property collaboration with Be Live Hotels. The debut of the 854-room family-friendly resort marks the 16th Inclusive Collection property in the Dominican Republic. Sunscape Dominicus La Romana offers upgraded amenities including 11 dining outlets, dedicated beach area, Explorer’s Club, Core Zone Teens Club, and 6,400 square feet of meeting facilities.

Accor announced the opening of the first TRIBE hotel in Budapest. Together with ibis, the newly constructed dual-branded hotel is located in Liberty, WING’s unique mixed-use project. ibis & TRIBE Budapest Stadium offers 332 hotel rooms, split evenly by the two brands, and a complex set up with various F&B outlets as well as meeting and fitness facilities. Its skybar is expected to open in the spring of 2024.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

December 18th, 2023

Companies: Accor, Aloft Hotels, Aqua-Aston Hospitality, Beyond Green, Blue Water Development, Capital Square, Choice Hotels International, Continental Hospitality Group, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Harmony Hospitality, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, ibis, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Margaritaville Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, RM Holdings, Sonder Holdings Inc., Staybridge Suites, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, TRIBE, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Alberta, Budapest, Charleston, Denver, Dominican Republic, Florida, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Los Cabos, Maryland, Vancouver, Virginia

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