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North America

IHG Gives a Strategy Update

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

February 20th, 2024

Skift Take

IHG posted slightly better than expected results with the most publicized part of the release being their intention to give more $1 billion back to shareholders in 2024.

The DJIA inched down 0.2%. The S&P 500 retreated 0.6%. Nasdaq went 0.9% lower. 

IHG posted slightly better than expected results with the most publicized part of the release being their intention to give more $1 billion back to shareholders in 2024. $800 million will be in planned share buybacks with the rest in dividends. IHG’s pretax profit was $1.01 billion, up from $540 million last year. The final dividend declared was 104 cents compared to 94.5 cents in 2022. IHG traded up to a new high on the news.

Choice Hotels adjusted EBITDA for 4Q beat estimates with their guidance just a bit above consensus. CHH said they remain committed to doing a deal with Wyndham. They said they remain encouraged by their progress on the regulatory front. Obviously, WH has a different opinion of the regulatory progress or lack of it. CHH repurchased $58.4 million worth of stock in 4Q and still has 1.8 million shares left on its authorization.

The U.S. hotel industry reported lower performance results month over month, according to January 2024 data from CoStar. January 2024 (percentage change from January 2023): Occupancy 51.9% (-1%) ADR: $146.33 (+2.7%) RevPAR: $75.99 (+0.9%). Among the Top 25 Markets, Oahu Island experienced the highest occupancy level (79.%), up 6.2% year over year. Markets with the lowest occupancy for the month included Minneapolis (40.7%) and St. Louis (43.7%). The Top 25 Markets showed higher occupancy and ADR than all other markets.

Las Vegas posted its highest average daily room rates on record for the Friday and Saturday of Super Bowl weekend. A report from CoStar found that hotel rates for the region were the highest for a Super Bowl weekend, with an ADR of about $747. The same period last year had ADR of about $227. Analysts note that the Super Bowl’s impact on room rates and the revenue generated will continue into the following week’s data because the game was on Sunday. Before Super Bowl 58, the highest average daily room rates for the Super Bowl host city was $563 for Friday and Saturday during Super Bowl 54 in Miami between the same teams. Two-day weekend occupancy reached nearly 84%, according to CoStar. Weekend ADR grew 227% compared with the same weekend last year, also a Super Bowl weekend. Overall room rates for the week of Feb. 4 to Feb. 11 were up 126%.

A new nine-story hotel could soon be built in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee on a plot of land owned by Vector Hospitality. According to design board documents, the Tempo by Hilton would result in 176 hotel rooms. The building would be a four-story structure built over a five-story parking garage. Developers’ plans include a meeting room, lounge, lobby bar, café, elevated bar with outside space, a fitness center and retail space. According to Vector Hospitality, the company is also working on the AC Hotel by Marriott in downtown Knoxville. Slated to open in Fall of 2025, the seven-story structure would consist of 162 rooms and a rooftop bar.

An idea originally approved in 2019 shelved in favor of residential apartments due to the COVID-19 blow to the hotel market is back on the table. Spinnaker Real Estate Partners is revisiting the construction of a 132-room Hilton hotel in New Haven, Connecticut, weighing the viability of hospitality vs. residential development amidst changing market dynamics and rising construction costs.

After a year-long, multi-million dollar renovation, the Waldorf Astoria Orlando debuts a re-imagined Peacock Alley bar, enhanced meeting rooms, a refreshed full-service spa along with 502 luxurious guestrooms. The property also features expansive pools, a steakhouse, and an 18-hole golf course.

The Algonquin Hotel Times Square, Autograph Collection has been inducted into Historic Hotels of America. The property is one of more than 300 hotels and resorts throughout the country that is recognized by Historic Hotels of America for preserving and maintaining its historic integrity, architecture, and ambiance.

Six Flags Great Adventure Resort, in Jackson, New Jersey, announced the grand opening of Savannah Sunset Resort and Spa, a new luxury glamping experience nestled in the heart of the 350-acre Six Flags Wild Safari. The resort offers 20 glamping suites that vary in size, unmatched views, VIP experiences, VIP dining, spa services, and event spaces.

The Brighton Resort, in Brighton, Utah, announced the opening of its first-ever mid-mountain lodge, Snake Creek Lodge, including a new restaurant called SidewinderBrighton also recently upscaled its Milly Chalet with a new chef and fine dining menu, a new hotdog stand, and a new six-person chairlift.

Good Lion Hospitality announced Petit Soleil, a boutique-style bed and breakfast located in the heart of San Luis Obispo, California, has reopened under new ownership. The recently remodeled 17-bedroom hotel is slated to unveil a second stage of renovations featuring its new cocktail bar and restaurant in the spring. By fall, the hotel will also boast additional new rooms.

New owners Eric L’Etoile and his wife, Corley, are making some big changes at The Crystal River Inn located in San Marcos, Texas. The inn closed for renovations January 1; however, the four rooms in the Thomas House next door are still operating. Once the renovations are completed, The Crystal River Innwill have 10 rooms instead of nine and a new name: Hopkins House Hotel.

As the hospitality industry in Latin America continues to see rapid growth, BWH Hotels is dedicated to expanding current offerings in the region through a series of new development projects in the pipeline. Industry projects indicate a growing demand for hotels in this region over the next several years. Mexico estimated 29,000 new hotel rooms were expected over the next four years. Similarly, Brazil leads Central and South America’s development pipeline with over 17,000 rooms expected by 2027, 14,000 rooms more than the closed country, Peru. BWH Hotels continues to introduce upcoming projects, specifically for one of the company’s upscale boutique brands, Aiden by Best Western and will soon debut its first hotel in Latin America beginning in 2024. The company recently added the first Aiden in the region to its portfolio, Aiden by Best Western Black Hotel Boutique in Mexico City. Added to the property in Mexico City, the brand will open three additional hotels throughout the region, including a 55-room Aiden Quito in Ecuador’s most commercial area; a 138-room Aiden Georgetown in Guyana set to open in the second quarter of 2024, and a 40-room Aiden in El Salvador, set to open in the fourth quarter of 2024. Across other core and signature brands, BWH Hotels signed three additional hotels in Guyana, expected to open by 2026. WorldHotels will soon debut the first property in Mexico next year. Located in The popular area of Zapopan, Andares in Guadalajara and currently under construction, the forthcoming hotel will have 104 rooms and is slated to open in 2025.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Wellington Estates announced the planned debut of Cas en Bas Beach Resort, marking the introduction of the Destination by Hyatt brand in the Caribbean. Expected to open in St. Lucia in late 2024, Cas en Bas Beach Resort will feature 90 suites, dynamic dining options, a pool, retail market, fitness center, and a spa.

The Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman is scheduled to open in April. The IHG resort, which sits on Seven Mile Beach, will feature 282 guestrooms and suites, an outdoor deck with an infinity pool, more than 7,500 square feet of meeting and event space as well as a rooftop lounge. There will also be an upscale food hall, and a fitness center. Dart Real Estate is the owner and developer of the Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman.

Personnel Moves

Hyatt announced new senior leadership appointments in the Americas region and sub-regional structure designed to further support Hyatt’s continued focus on growth, operational excellence, and performance optimization within its largest region. With the new organizational structure, Hyatt’s Americas region is now comprised of two sub-regions: U.S. & Canada and Latin America & the Caribbean, led by two newly appointed sub-regional presidents, respectively: Susan Santiago and Gabriel Felip, effective January 2024. In her new role as President, U.S. & Canada, Santiago is responsible for the growth and performance optimization of Hyatt’s owned and managed portfolio. She is in her 32nd year with Hyatt and most recently served as Senior Vice President of Hyatt’s Lifestyle Division and Miraval brand. As President, Latin America & Caribbean, Felip leads operational performance for all managed and owned Hyatt hotels in the region across all brands, including Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection. Felip previously served as Hyatt’s Group President of Inclusive Collection Global Operations. Included in the Americas’ new sub-regional structure are three newly created roles within the operations, commercial services, and finance functions, respectively: Yvette Martinez-Edwards has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Field Operations, Luxury & Miraval, Shyla Gardner re-joins Hyatt as Vice President, Commercial Services, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Juan Pablo Puerta now serves as Senior Vice President, Finance, Latin America & the Caribbean.

LuxUrban Hotels Inc. announced the appointment of Elan Blutinger as an independent member of the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Blutinger also will serve on the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mr. Blutinger is Managing Director of Alpine Consolidated, LLC. Mr. Blutinger succeeds Jimmie Chatmon, a founding executive of LuxUrban who also had served as a director of the Company since November 2021. Mr. Chatmon voluntarily resigned his board position to accommodate the appointment of Mr. Blutinger, as such, the Company’s board will remain at seven members, five of whom are independent.

Europe Highlights

SMG Holding revealed plans to take Sircle Hospitality Group public. Following the listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, which is planned for the second quarter of 2024, Sircle has an expected market capitalization of around €250 million with a total value of the hotel real estate portfolio of over €400 million. Sircle Hospitality Group plans to use the funds realized for growth investments as well as for the expansion of its hotel portfolio across major Western European cities and the Mediterranean region. Sircle Hospitality’s portfolio comprises 37 upscale hotels in 23 European cities. 75% of the group’s portfolio is concentrated in Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria. A business merger agreement has been signed between Sircle Hospitality Group and SMG European Recover, a subsidiary of SMG Holding. With the closing of the transaction, the new listed company will be renamed Sircle SE, and SMG founder Stefan Petrikovics will become deputy chairman of the company’s board.

Whitbread PLC unveiled plans to further cement its footprint in Manchester with a 229-bedroom hotel slated for the Northern Quarter on Rochdale Road. Construction is poised to begin in the summer of 2024. The new Premier Innhotel is set to rise across 10 stories and feature a restaurant and bar. The announcement of the new Premier Inn hotel arrives on the back of Whitbread’srecent ventures in Manchester, including the opening of a 157-bedroom hotel on Princess Street and a collaborative effort to re-imagine the Premier Inn at Deansgate Locks.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Aspire Hotel Group unveiled the Ramada Encore by Wyndham Munich Messe, the first Ramada Encore in Germany. The hotel features 366 guestrooms, laundry facilities, paid parking, a gym, and onsite restaurant.

Moon GC& P Investments, owned by Banco Santander, will pay 300 million euros for a 38.2% stake in the share capital of a subsidiary of the Melia Hotels International group, owner of three hotel establishments. The new joint subsidiary will own three hotels operated by the Melia GroupMe London (London); Gran Melia Palacio de Isora (Tenerife) and Melia Cala Galdana (Menorca). These hotels will continue to be operated by Melia Group companies.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

February 20th, 2024

Companies: IHG Hotels & Resorts, AC Hotels by Marriott, Aiden by Best Western, Aspire Hotel Group, Autograph Collection, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, Destination by Hyatt, Gran Melia Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, LuxUrban Hotels Inc., Marriott International, ME by Melia, Melia Hotels & Resorts, Premier Inn, Sircle Hospitality Group, Tempo by Hilton, Whitbread PLC

Locations: California, Connecticut, Ecuador, El Salvador, England, Grand Cayman, Guyana, Las Vegas, London, Menorca, Mexico City, Miami, Munich, New Jersey, New York City, Orlando, Tenerife, Tennessee, Texas, Utah

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