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North America

Blackwells Withdraws Offer to Purchase Braemar Hotels

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

March 25th, 2024

Skift Take

Blackwells Capital attempted to buy Braemar Hotels & Resorts, failed, and is now trying to elect four directors to BHR’s board despite owning a minimal amount of shares, facing opposition and legal action from BHR.

The DJIA fell 162 points while Nasdaq was down 44, the S&P 500 fell 16 points and the 10 year treasury yield was up .04 to 4.25%. Lodging stocks were mixed on the day. TNL and H traded up to new highs while SOND was down -14%.

Blackwells Capital had offered to buy Braemar Hotels & Resorts but did not get the answer they were looking for. They withdrew the offer on March 11, 2024. Today BHR said Blackwells, which only owns 10,100 shares of which 10,000 were purchased on March 4, said they are filing a proxy statement and wants four people elected to BHR’s Board of Directors. We don’t know much about Michael Cricenti, Jennifer Hill, Betsy McCoy and Steven Pully. It is doubtful Blackwells is going to be successful with this little skin in the game, even though BHR is small potatoes compared to their proxy fight with DisneyBHR rejected the director nominations and filed a complaint to prevent Blackwells from launching an illegal proxy solicitation and spreading confusion and misinformation among BHR’s shareholdersBHR said Blackwells, who spent $20,000 acquiring BHR stock, wants to take control of the board so they can buy the company below its intrinsic value.

Bradford Allen Hospitality Investments has picked up a 100-room hotel outside Phoenix, Arizona for nearly $24 million. The investor bought the Aloft Glendale at Westgate hotel, located in the Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, from HCW Development. The Aloft has business conference rooms, a gym, pool, live-music dining bar and a gift shop. This is Bradford Allen’s second acquisition in the District.

The hotel planned for the former Hamilton municipal building, in Hamilton, Ohio, will be a Marriott Tribute brand. The 20 High Street project is being developed by Spectrum Investment Group and Acumen Development, with plans to restore the building and preserve its history. Construction of the 150- to 160-room hotel could begin in 2025. The majority of the hotel rooms will be in a four- to five-story tower addition. The upscale hotel will feature a covered valet at the riverfront entrance, rooftop outdoor and enclosed event spaces, and corporate-style suites. It will also allow Municipal Brew Works to expand.

Napa’s Cambria hotel, and its sister property in Sonoma County, have a new name and have become part of the Hilton hotel group. The 90-room Napa hotel is now called The Knoll Hotel Napa Valley, Tapestry by Hilton and is accepting reservations starting March 27. The former 135-room Cambria in Rohnert Parkhas been rebranded Hotel Centro Sonoma Wine Country, Tapestry by Hilton, and is taking reservations starting April 16. In July the Napa and Sonoma Cambria hotels were lost in an $80 million foreclosure. Then in October, Ohana Real Estate Investors bought the two hotels from the bank that had taken them back after the default.

Ellicott Development has finished a $3.5 million update at its 105-room Staybridge Suites Buffalo property in West Seneca, New York. The refresh included a full interior renovation with furniture and operating supplies in guest rooms and public spaces. The property includes a dining area, fitness center, indoor pool, meeting facilities, and a communal living room.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts announced the Summer 2024 opening of InterContinental San Antonio Riverwalk, in San Antonio, Texas. Owned by Trailbreak Partners in conjunction with Scarlett Hotel Group, the 21-story property features 290 rooms with 20 suites, 18,000 square feet of meeting space, a Club InterContinental lounge, a fitness center, and onsite parking. In conjunction with Heartwood HospitalityInterContinental San Antonio Riverwalk will house four unique on-property restaurant and bar concepts. The anticipated opening will be part of IHG Hotels & Resorts’ robust 2024 development pipeline in Texas, with 15 new properties opening across eight brands in all stay categories.

Aperture Hotels added 12 hotels to its portfolio over the past 12 months. The 12 new properties are comprised of Hilton-Marriott-, and IHG-branded hotels, as well as some independent flags, expanding the company’s geographic reach, with a half dozen in Tennessee, two in Texas, two in California, and one each in Florida and Wisconsin. To accommodate its growth and drive operational execution, Aperture added multiple corporate executives over the past year including: Sarah Garcia, Senior Vice President of Commercial StrategyAlyssa Quezada, Vice President of Commercial StrategyTaylor Hall, Vice President of OperationsAndrew Reichert, Senior Vice President of Hotel Accounting; and Christina Hollis, Regional Director of Operations.

Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Co. is delaying the opening of its indoor waterpark and hotel in Canton, Ohio, until 2025, mostly because of construction financing challenges. The resort and entertainment company initially planned to open its Gameday Bay indoor waterpark and Hilton Tapestry hotel by early 2024. While some work continues inside the waterpark, the hotel has not progressed past its foundation and site work as the resort company lines up the financing it needs to finish the construction.

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost, of Saturday Night Live, have big plans for the decommissioned Staten Island Ferry that they purchased in January 2022 for $280,000. Architect Ron Castellano, one of the partners in the venture, shared an update with Curbed, confirming that renovations on the vessel will begin soon. They are working on designs to transform the ferry into a $34 million venue complete with 24 hotel rooms on the ship’s fifth level, complete with private sundecks; two restaurants, six bars, and event space.

The new owners of The Carlton Hotel, in Atascadero, California, have ideas to spruce it up, and the ground level will soon be seeing new additions. Since the purchase of the hotel by Capricorn Property Group, the City of Atascadero Planning Commission has approved nine-floor guestrooms, converting the existing restaurant spaces into a market distillery. The existing café is set to become a bar/restaurant and bakery. The existing conference space will become a speakeasy and three guest rooms will be added to the second floor as well, taking over the existing fitness room.

Europe Hightlights

Accor is set to open the second UK property under its midscale lifestyle TRIBE brand in the coming months. The 412-room hotel will be located within the Airport City Manchester development, around 400 meters from Manchester airport’s Terminal 2. The nine-story property will be unveiled in the spring. Facilities will include a fitness center, crew lounge for airport staff, and an all-day dining restaurant.

Accor is adding to its presence in Germany with the opening of Novotel Hamburg Central Station. Set to open today, the hotel features 227 rooms and suites, a bar & lounge, restaurant, five meeting and event rooms and a fitness center. Accor has ambitious plans for 2024, with three hotels scheduled to open in Hamburg, offering a combined capacity of 793 rooms. Following the opening of Novotel Hamburg Central StationAccor will welcome the ibis Styles HafenCity and Novotel Hamburg HafenCity to the group’s portfolio in the second half of 2024. Including this latest opening, Accor currently operates 21 hotels in Hamburg.

Redevco and Swiss Finance & Property Group have formed an Iberian hotel Joint Venture. Following a first close, a fund managed by SFP has indirectly taken a majority stake in “Next Gen Stays”, currently comprising a seed portfolio of six assets in Portugal and Spain in LisbonPortoBilbaoMalaga, and Seville. The strategy is targeting a new levered IRR of 15%+ over a five-year period and aims to build up a portfolio of around €300 million. The SFP fund will look to increase its stake in the joint venture through further capital raises to acquire additional pipeline assets.

Creditors at Signa have agreed to a plan to transfer assets held by its divisions Signa Prime Selection and Signa Development Selection, which include the 146-room Park Hyatt Vienna, into receivership. CoStar News UK reports this process, which would avoid a fire sale, would then result in the sale of assets within two to five years. Hyatt Hotels Corp, which operates the hotel, also has a 50/50 joint venture with Signa in respect to the Andaz am Belvedere Vienna, a Concept by Hyatt, which opened in 2019 with 303 rooms. Signa filed for bankruptcy in a German court in November 2023. Among other Signa owned assets are the Chrysler Building in New York City and a 50% stake in London’s Selfridges department store. Signa Prime creditors have filed €12.8 billion of claims, while Signa Development creditors have filed for €2.3 billion.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski

March 25th, 2024

Companies: Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc., Accor, Aloft Hotels, Andaz, Aperture Hotels, Blackwells Capital, Cambria Hotels, Capricorn Property Group, Disney Parks, Ellicott Development, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, ibis Styles, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Novotel, Park Hyatt, Redevco, Staybridge Suites, Travel + Leisure Co., TRIBE, Tribute Portfolio

Locations: Buffalo, California, Florida, Hamburg, Manchester, Napa Valley, New York City, Ohio, Phoenix, Portugal, San Antonio, Spain, Tennessee, Texas, Vienna, Wisconsin

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