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North America

Choice Hotels Tries Another Time With Wyndham

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

March 5th, 2024

Rendering of an exterior of a hotel.

Skift Take

Choice Hotels issued a press release urging Wyndham stockholders to tender their shares before the March 8 deadline. We would characterize the press release as of begging WH shareholders to threaten they will pull the plug.

The DJIA fell 405 points while Nasdaq was down 268, the S&P 500 was down 52 points and the 10 year treasury yield was down .08 to 4.14%. Everyone was wondering what caused the market drop. The Fed meets this week and there are still plenty out there thinking they will lower interest rates (we don’t). Lodging stocks were mixed. HSTRLJ and H traded up to new highs again while SVC and CHH traded down to new lows. CHH wound up jumping 5% after the new low. AINC was down -8% and SOND was down -5% on the day.

Choice Hotels issued a press release urging Wyndham stockholders to tender their shares before the March 8 deadline. We would characterize the press release as a combination of begging WH shareholders to threaten they will pull the plug. Either way, our main takeaway from the release, particularly the comment that “Choice intends to either extend or terminate the exchange officer and will evaluate next steps related to its nomination of a slate of independent directors for election to the board of directors of Wyndham” as a sure sign they are not getting anywhere near the support they would like. We can’t see how they can include in the press release that their offer is $90 when it consists of CHH stock and that stock was hitting new 52 week lows each day. CHH stocks bounced off of lows after a Truist investor called them, with Truist saying they believe the stock was up because they reiterated that they believe they can get the deal done without any changes. Truist does not think CHH is abandoning the merger, which is kind of self explanatory if Truist thinks the stock is up due to CHH thinking they can get the deal done as is. All we can say is the plot thickens.

Deutsche Bank analyzed the latest STR RevPAR data, particularly since they started including Las VegasDB estimates LV has added 180 bps year over year to US RevPAR 1Q to date and is down -30 bps year over year if you remove LV. Not including LVDB estimates US RevPAR was down -2.3% the past three weeks, year over year. DB also believes the addition of LV is providing a boost to the Luxury, Upper Upscale, Independent and Group chain segments and the Mountain and Nevada regions.

Truist upped their price targets on Travel + Leisure to $65 from $59; Marriott Vacations to $159 from $149 and are still reviewing Hilton Grand Vacations. This is all due to what Truist believes were better than expected earnings results.

Welcome Group, Inc. is constructing a five-story, 194-room AC Hotel by Marriott in Pasadena, California. Plans also call for 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial uses as well as a rooftop bar. Completion of the AC Hotel is expected in 2025.

Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate announced the opening of its newest venue, Eagles Edge at ChampionsGate. The 6,000 square foot facility boasts 30, unnetted bays powered by Toptracer Range technology, breathtaking views, and elevated culinary offerings. Eagles Edge also offers an array of gathering areas for intimate parties of six or large corporate gatherings of 1,000.

Drift Nashville has opened in the heart of the East Bank. The 87-key hotel is home to spacious multi-room suites, Nashville’s first in-ground pool, cabanas, onsite gym, three food and beverage concepts, and a seventh-floor penthouse. Drift Nashville is the fourth property of the Drift Hotels brand, following TMC Hospitality’s first Drift in San Jose del Cabo and thoughtful California expansion to Santa Barbara and Palm Springs last year.

New City Properties and Method Co. announced FORTH Atlanta will open in June 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. The $150 million, 16-floor development will include a 196-room luxury hotel with 39 apartment-style rooms. In addition, there will be four separate food & beverage concepts, an elevated outdoor pool with lounge chair seating and cabanas, fitness center, spa, and members-only social club. Additionally, FORTH Atlanta will house a flexible venue for events of all sizes up to 350 seated and a co-working space. New City has selected Method Co. to operate the property.

Red Roof announced the opening of the Red Roof Inn Wildwood, FL – The Villages in Wildwood, FloridaSai Inc. invested more than $50,000 in renovations to the property which included adding new landscaping and bedding, updating the lobby, refreshing guestroom bathrooms and installing new ice and vending machines. The 93-room property offers an outdoor pool and a coin laundry.

Noble House Hotels & Resorts welcomed the Chatham Inn Relais & Chateaux, in Chatham, Massachusetts, to its portfolio of unique, experience-driven properties. The prior owner and now co-owner of the property, Jeff Ippoliti, has chosen Noble House to co-own and manage the property, bringing the total number of North America luxury hotels, resorts an experiences within the Noble House brand portfolio to 24. The 2.5-story Chatham Inn Relais & Chateaux, the oldest continuously operating inn on Cape Cod, offers 18 newly transformed rooms and suites and an intimate fine dining restaurant.

An affiliate of CL Hotels acquired Circa 39 Hotel, in Miami Beach, for $25.55 million. The three-story, 97-room property was sold by a joint venture between Black Salmon and AMS Hospitality GroupCL Hotels plans a multi-million dollar renovation of Circa 39 and entered into a franchise agreement with IHG Hotels and Resorts to rebrand the property under IHG’s Vignette CollectionAimbridge Hospitality will manage Circa 39.

Over the next decade, Comcast Spectacor hopes to re-imagine part of the South Philly sports complex into a year-round destination for work and play. Plans call for new retail and restaurants, a music venue and a hotel to start. If the full dream is realized, executives will also bring office buildings and new residential housing to the area. The work is set to unfold over multiple phases and is expected to cost $2.5 billion. The first phase of the master plan represents a $700 million investment. It’s slated to start soon and wrap up by 2028. It begins with upgrades to Xfinity Live! but will also include the construction of a 250-room hotel, a 5,000-6,000-seat concert venue, restaurant and retail spaces, and a new outdoor plaza. Xfinity Live! will undergo a $12 million renovation. Construction on the music venue is expected to start next year.

RobertDouglas has successfully refinanced the 16-story, 63-key Ivy Hotel Chicago, located in the heart of Chicago’s famed Magnificent MileRobertDouglas secured $12,000,000 of floating-rate bridge loan financing at highly attractive pricing from an institutional lender.

An affiliate of Sotherly Hotels Inc. entered into a loan amendment to extend the maturity date on the existing mortgage on the DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia Airport hotel with the existing lender, TD Bank, N.A. Pursuant to the Loan Amendment, the maturity date was extended from February 29, 2024 to April 29, 2024. The affiliate also agreed to a non-binding term sheet with the Lender to further modify and extend the mortgage for approximately two additional years.

Ennismore is seeking to raise several hundred million dollars for expansion in the U.S. and is talking to potential strategic partners. The operator of The Hoxtonand Mama Shelter hotel chains aims to raise an amount that could value it at about $3 billion or more. Accor will retain majority ownership in the company.

Personnel Moves

Rami Zeidan, founder and CEO of Life House, has resigned from the hotel startup, according to a letter to shareholders which was seen by Skift. Out of the roughly 50 hotels that are actively using Life House to manage their operations, at least a third have attempted to terminate their contracts with the startup in recent months. Life House responded that it has another 70 clients that use a software product to help manage their revenues and that customer satisfaction is high for that product. A look at Life House’s Glassdoor reviews from about a dozen employees in the past year shows several anonymously complaining about internal turmoil and citing complaints by hotel owners. Christopher Cave will be the interim CEO. Marc Ghobriel was named the new interim chief financial officer. Life House is confident this new leadership will steer the Company towards a bright, customer-centric future. It notes that a revised strategic plan will be coming.

Marriott Hotels announced the opening of Santo Domingo Marriott Hotel Piantini, marking the flagship brand’s debut in the Dominican Republic’s bustling and vibrant metropolis. The hotel offers 207 guest rooms and suites, an all-day dining restaurant, Lobby Bar, M Club, nearly 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and five breakout rooms, a 21st floor rooftop pool and a fitness center.

Europe Highlight

The iconic Hard Rock Hotel Budapest bids farewell to Hungary. However, the hotel is being rebranded as Pullman Budapest Hotel. On February 29, Pullman Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of its first hotel in the country. The grand opening of the Pullman Budapest Hotel is scheduled for March 27th. The seven-story property boasts 136 elegant and comfortable rooms, two conference rooms and fitness facilities. The food, beverage and entertainment concept is being developed by Paris Society.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

March 5th, 2024

Companies: AC Hotels by Marriott, Accor, Aimbridge Hospitality, Ashford Hospitality Trust, Choice Hotels International, DoubleTree by Hilton, Ennismore, Hard Rock International, Hilton Grand Vacations, Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., Mama Shelter, Marriott Hotels, Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, Noble House Hotels & Resorts Ltd., Omni Hotels & Resorts, p, Pullman Hotel Group, Red Roof, RLJ Lodging Trust, Service Properties Trust, Sonder Holdings Inc., Sotherly Hotels Inc., The Hoxton, Travel + Leisure Co., Vignette Collection, Welcome Group, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia

Photo credit: Exterior rendering of the Wyndham Garden Inn Wyndham Garden Orlando Universal.  Wyndham

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