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Hilton Launches Hilton for Business

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
January 17th, 2024 at 9:57 PM EST

Skift Take

Hilton debuted Hilton for Business, a new, digital-forward travel program empowering professionals running small- and medium-sized businesses to simplify travel management while enhancing rewards and discounts for their loyalty.

The DJIA fell another 94 points, Nasdaq was down another 89, the S&P 500 was down another 27 points, and the 10-year treasury yield rose another 0.04 to 4.11%. Lodging stocks were modestly lower. AHT traded down another -6% to another new low while SOHO and SOND were both down -5% on the day.

Highgate has assumed management of the landmark Joule in Dallas and Le Meridien Central Park in New York City. Highgate also said they will be managing the upcoming Amrit Ocean Resort in Singer IslandMonterey Beach Hotel, and the redevelopment of the Bellevue Hotel Philadelphia, which will all open in 2024.

White Lodging announced the Plaza San Antonio Hotel & Spa, in San AntonioTexas, is slated for opening tomorrow. The hotel, the first Autograph Collection branded property in San Antonio, masterfully repurposed two 19th-century edifices, integrating them into its expansive layout. The Plaza San Antonio Hotel & Spa boasts 253 guestrooms, two in-house restaurants, and over 21,000 square feet of meeting space and a 6,000 square foot ballroom.

The 252-room, eight-story Marriott Palmetto Resort and Spa is scheduled to open in April in Palmetto, Florida. Complementing the hotel is a $48 million project to renovate and expand the Bradenton Area Convention Center. Completion is forecast for the second quarter of 2025. When both projects are completed, the two buildings will be seamlessly connected via a climate-controlled corridor. The hotel will include 10,000 square feet of meeting space, a 15,000 square foot pool deck, a 45,000 square foot outdoor event space, an amphitheater, fitness center, and two restaurants.

Hilton debuted Hilton for Business, a new, digital-forward travel program empowering professionals running small- and medium-sized businesses to simplify travel management while enhancing rewards and discounts for their loyalty. The global program offers a comprehensive set of tools to enhance the business travel booking and management experience and provide Hilton Honors benefits to business customers and their employees around the world. Small- and medium-sized businesses that join Hilton for Business gain access to discounted rates across Hilton’s global portfolio of nearly 7,400 properties both on the website and on the Hilton Honors app. Companies will earn milestone bonuses through Hilton’s loyalty program, Hilton HonorsHilton for Business registration was built to enable a quick enrollment and verification process. Once registered, the customer and their employees gain access to the booking website and other compelling benefits. In addition to enabling any traveler at a company to easily book discounted rates, business owners have full control and can delegate program management to any number of administrators, and adding employees is straightforward – the more employees included in the program, the more benefits the company earns.

Alpental Capital announced the acquisition of the DoubleTree by Hilton Leominster, Massachusetts. The hotel boasts 187 guestrooms, nearly 15,000 square feet of modern meeting space, an indoor pool, fitness center, and an onsite restaurant and bar. Alpental plans to invest in significant property improvements to further elevate the guest experience.

The borrower on $97 million in debt tied to Hilton San Francisco Financial District, a 544-key hotel, has defaulted. Justice Operating Co., a subsidiary of Portsmouth Square, defaulted on two loans at the beginning of the year when they matured. The loans were issued by Bank of America. The loans transferred into special servicing in October after the borrower indicated it needed assistance in making payments. The borrower and issuer are in ongoing discussions for a resolution to pay back the debt. The 26-story Hilton San Francisco Financial District is currently valued at $175 million.

Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado Santa Fe, a boutique resort comprising 65 intimate casitas, announced a multimillion-dollar revitalization of all guestrooms and suites is now underway along with the introduction of sustainability-focused landscaping. The revitalization will be conducted in three phases in an effort not to impact the guest experience and is anticipated to be completed this spring. Four Seasons Resort Santa Fe is home to the Adventure Center, a full-service spa, and signature restaurant.

Wurzak Hotel Group officially expanded its services to include third-party hotel management services for additional ownership groups in strategic markets. The company provides the following management services: hotel operations, food & beverage management, revenue management, spa operations, capital budget management, accounting services, human resources, and IT services. WHG’s related investment company DoveHill Capital Management offers the spectrum of acquisition and development capabilities. These include due diligence and business plan development with market and revenue projections, 3- to 5-year pro forma, hotel design and site plan analysis, franchise agreement review and assistance and pre-opening services, new brand or repositioning/rebranding analysis, as well as capital expenditure assessment and CAPEX plan development, IT infrastructure, etc.

Curator Hotel & Resort Collection has added four new members to its growing portfolio of properties from The Neighborhood Hotel located in Little Italy, ChicagoLincoln Park, ChicagoNew Buffalo, Michigan; and Grand Beach, Michigan. This expansion marks Curator’s debut in the Chicago metropolitan area. The Neighborhood Hotel Lincoln Park, Chicago has 14 spacious suites. The Neighborhood Hotel Little Italy, Chicago has 35 suites. The Neighborhood Hotel New Buffalo has nine studio suites, backyard with fire pits and a grill. The Neighborhood Hotel Grand Beach has 14 suites, and four acres of indoor/outdoor amenities complete with a pool, grills and fire pits, ping pong table, plus a bar and game room.

Pivot has been tapped by KHP Capital Partners to manage the Key West Historic Inns Collection, a portfolio of five historic and re-imagined properties including: Winslow’s Bungalows; Lighthouse Hotel; Ridley House; Ella’s Cottages; and Fitch Lodge. Situated in the heart of Old Town Key West, the collection features seven outdoor pools and two distinctive pool bar experiences.

Aligned Hospitality Management has added two properties to its portfolio, the Studio 6 Sierra Vista, AZ-Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona and the Alice Hotel in Tucson, Arizona. Owned by Sierra Vista Casitas LLCStudio 6 Sierra Vista, AZ-Fort Huachuca is a former multi-family home that was converted into a 69-key hotel. The property offers a host of amenities including a business center, laundry facility, clubhouse and more. The Alice Hotel is a 100-room boutique property owned by Shri Pramukh Inc. Opening in the Spring, the hotel will have a full-service bar and kitchen.

WaterWalk announced the opening of its newest property under the brand’s Gen 2.0 model, WaterWalk Huntsville, in Huntsville, Alabama. The property boasts 126 rooms – 76 fully furnished “STAY” units and 50 ready-to furnish “Live” units. Common areas of the property include “The Living Room” featuring an espresso station, a lending library, workstations, and board games; a fitness center; outdoor pool; and a spacious back patio with lounging furniture, fire pits, lawn games and a grilling area. WaterWalk Huntsville is the 12th location for WaterWalk.

SeaWorld Orlando has plans for an onsite resort hotel connected to Discovery Cove, according to plans filed with Orange County, Florida. The plan lists the proposed hotel as “Project Starboard”. The 250-room hotel would include a spa, children’s program space, a bar, fitness center, meeting space, gift shop and a restaurant.

Wyld Oaks, one of the largest and most valuable mixed-use developments to emerge in Central Florida, is holding its groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. The event will commemorate the official groundbreaking of the destination designed to include: up to 200,000 square feet of retail and outparcels; two hotels; 3,000 to 4,000 multifamily and condominium residences; expansive outdoor entertainment venue; up to 200,000 square feet of office space; and a 10-acre park.

Hard Rock International, in partnership with Pointe Vista Holding Company, announced development plans for the Hard Rock Hotel at Lake Texoma and The Residences at the Hard Rock Hotel Lake Texoma. Set to begin in March 2024, the Hard Rock Hotel and Residences will be located within the Pointe Vista development, joining a 2,700-acre master-planned resort community featuring over 19 miles of shoreline, a golf course, enclosed waterpark, family entertainment center, amphitheater, casino and more. With a planned Q2 2026 opening, the new Hard Rock development will be a premier destination on the Oklahoma-Texas border. The Hard Rock Hotel at Lake Texoma is set to have 189 rooms with 25 suites and 168 residence rentals. Amenities include a conference center and event lawn; Caribbean Bay water area with white sand beaches; Rock SpaBody Rock FitnessHard Rock Roxity Kids Club; rooftop bar; fine dining; all-day dining; and a Rock Shop. The development is serviced by an onsite golf course and a 320-slip marina. Aimbridge Hospitality will operate the Hard Rock Hotel and Hard Rock Residential Program.

An Austin hotel is planned for redevelopment as part of a project expected to create hundreds of new homes north of downtown. At the vacant Radisson Hotel Austin – University, developers plan to renovate the existing 298-room hotel and aim to raise as many as 1,000 new apartments and add 40,000 square feet of commercial space to the site. The property, owned by ASAP Austin LLC, rests between the St. John and Coronado Hills neighborhoods. The hotel will be rebranded to Delta by Marriott, and the facility is set to include a Starbucks and a celebrity chef restaurant. A multi-family developer, which remains unnamed, is set to erect the additional five apartment buildings where tenants will have access to the hotel’s revitalized amenities.

A century-old, 400-room downtown San Francisco hotel has gone up for sale at a steep discount after being closed for nearly four years and suffering tens of millions of dollars in damages during the pandemic. The Hotel Whitcomb is being marketed by Eastdil Secured as a strategic renovation play or “blank slate” for potential conversion into multifamily, senior or student housing, or even self-storage. RFR Holding purchased the 459-room hotel for more than $130 million in 2018. It was recently pitched to a potential buyer for $75 million. The eight-story hotel features about 14,000 square feet of meeting space, 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail, two food and beverage outlets and an onsite parking garage.

Urban Network Capital Group and Vertical Development are proposing to build a condo-hotel in Miami, Florida. The property currently has four small apartment buildings. Under their proposal, the hotel would be 27 stories with 180 rooms, 7,290 square feet of retail and 121 parking spaces making use of vehicle lifts, including 24 electric vehicle charging spaces.

Industry veteran Carmen Almos announced the launch of Ashburton Hospitality, a full-service consultancy firm focused on asset management. The firm began initial operations in 2023 and already has amassed a portfolio that includes nine hotels across brands such as HiltonMarriott and IHG. With a focus on asset management, Ashburton works with owners to uncover untapped opportunities within each hotel, from implementing cost-saving measures to executing capital improvement plans designed to generate additional revenue. The firm offers multiple services, including project management, transaction advice and lender/receivership services. Project management services include overseeing cycle renovations and identifying the opportunity to create F&B outlets in underutilized hotel space. Prior to founding AshburtonAlmos was senior vice president of strategic operations for Mission Hill Hospitality.

Peachtree Group originated $73 million in a construction loan and CPACE financing for the development of a 263-room, dual-brand Home2 Suites (130-key) and Tru by Hilton Hotel (133-key) in San Diego, California, on behalf of Baxter Hotel Group. Baxter plans to begin construction on its 16-story, dual-branded hotel this month and expects a 22-month construction timetable. The Peachtree Group team originated a $50.4 million floating-rate construction loan over a three-year term and $22.6 million of fixed-rate CPACE financing amortized over 25 years, which in total represented 64% of the total development costs. The hotel will have a ground-floor restaurant and a rooftop pool with a restaurant and bar.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
January 17th, 2024 at 9:57 PM EST

Companies: DoubleTree by Hilton, Four Seasons, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Le Meridien, Marriott Hotels, Marriott International, Soho House and Co Inc., Sonder Holdings Inc., White Lodging

Locations: California, Dallas, Florida, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Texas

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