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North America

Las Vegas Saw 20% Increase in Convention Attendees in 2023

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
April 10th, 2024 at 5:35 PM EDT

Skift Take

Las Vegas saw a significant tourism and economic boost in 2023, highlighted by a surge in convention attendance, international visitors, and major events like the Las Vegas Grand Prix and the Super Bowl.

The DJIA fell 422 points, Nasdaq was down 136, the S&P 500 was down 49 but the real action was in treasuries. The 10 year treasury yield surged .19 today to 4.56%. Obviously lodging stocks were down, led by REITs. SVC was the only real mover of note, down -5% on the day. The amazing thing is the 422 point drop in the DJIA was well off the session lows.

STR gave US lodging data for the week ended 4/6. The Easter shift went in the other direction as US hotel RevPAR was up 6.9% led by occupancy rising 4.7%. Group RevPAR was up 43.5%.

According to a report by Applied Analysis for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors AuthorityLas Vegas welcomed 6 million conventioneers last year, a 19.9% increase from 2022. The report, which looked at the economic impact of Southern Nevada tourism, noted total visitation increased by 5.2% to 40.8 million in 2023, surpassing 40 million for the first time since 2019. International visitation also enjoyed its best year since 2019, with a 39% increase to 4.7 million visitors. Visitation last year was aided by the opening of two resorts, Durango Resort and the Fontainebleau, and the maiden Las Vegas Grand Prix in November. Applied Analysis said F1 visitors spent a combined $500.6 million, with the race packing a total economic impact of $1.5 billion. The Super Bowl, which was played at Allegiant Stadium in February, had net visitor spending of $606.3 million, with a total economic impact of $1 billion. Convention attendees combined to spend $9.1 billion. Overall spending by visitors grew 14.7% from 2022 to an all-time high of $51.5 billion. 

Driftwood Capital announced its hotel development pipeline has now exceeded $1 billion in projected value, including $800 million worth of planned projects underway in 2024. These projects include: Element by Westin Melbourne, Florida, a $54 million development nearing completion and expected to open in June 2024. Element by Westin Mission Valley San Diego, California, a $74 million development underway in March 2024, with completion projected in 2026. Westin Resort & Spa Cocoa Beach, Florida, an approximately $410 million luxury resort development expected to break ground in Q3 2024. Riverside Wharf Miami, Florida, a $267 million, transformative mixed-use development located on downtown Miami’s riverfront, featuring a Dream Hotel. Ground is expected to break in the latter half of 2024. 

The St. Joe Company and InterMountain Management, LLC announced the opening of the Residence Inn by Marriott Panama City Beach Pier Park located in Panama City Beach, Florida. Managed by InterMountain, the 121-suite hotel features onsite parking, an outdoor pool and a fitness center. The Residence Inn is the second extended-stay hotel in Panama City Beach owned by a partnership of St. Joe and InterMountain, preceded by the 124-suite TownePlace Suites by Marriott Panama City Beach Pier Park. 

The 84-room Fairfield by Marriott in Shelbyville, Kentucky is now open and will operate as a Marriott franchise, managed by General Hotels Corporation.

Certares announced it twelfth hotel acquisition. The firm purchased the 390-room Hilton Boston Back Bay, inclusive of a 209-space parking garage, for $171 million. The acquisition was made in partnership with Belcourt Capital Partners. Together, Cetares and Belcourt have plans to modernize the hotel’s facilities through a comprehensive capital expenditure program. 

Commonwealth Hotels announced opening of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at the Greensboro Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina. Formerly a Holiday Inn, the 196-room hotel underwent a complete renovation, including all guestrooms and guest corridors, the lobby, restaurants and bar, meeting room, and pre-function space. The hotel is owned by SMP Greensboro LLC.

LBA Hospitality and 3H Group announced the grand opening of The Hiatus Clearwater Beach, Curio Collection by Hilton in Clearwater Beach, Florida. The 88-room beachfront hotel boasts valet parking, a rooftop pool, two dining and three bar outlets and a fitness center.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation broke ground on the Caption by Hyatt Chattanooga, set to open in early 2026 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Developed by 3H Group, Inc. under a franchise agreement with Hyatt, the hotel is the first Hyatt hotel in Chattanooga. The property will feature 123 guestrooms, an all-day food and beverage concept, a rooftop bar, meeting space, market, and dedicated spaces for work, relaxation, and dining. Financing is being provided by Southeast Bank.

DiNapoli Capital Partners has handed the keys to the Kimpton Alton Fisherman’s Wharf to the lender on its $85 million mortgage. The San Francisco Business Times said the 248 room hotel has been given back to the lender, a Minneapolis-based affiliate of AB CarVal Investors, who joined Ramsfield Hospitality Finance in March 2022 to provide the $85 million loan. The amount of unpaid debt and associated costs is more than $88.1 million. The DiNapoli affilate bought the hotel in 2018 for $44.8 million. It completed a renovation and then changed the hotel to a Kimpton property, with IHG’s Kimpton unit as manager, in spring 2021.

Specialized Real Estate announced a planned development atop Markham Hill in Fayetteville, Arkansas will be called Stonebreaker, and will include a 78-room hotel, a restaurant, a members’ club, and an events venue on the hilltop property just west of the University of Arkansas campus. Stonebreaker also includes a land conservation deal and a new neighborhood. The new hotel will be operated by Hay Creek Hotels. The Stonebreaker restaurant and event space are set to open in August, with the new hotel opening sometime in December. 

Best Western Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of the Executive Residency by Best Western Philadelphia-Willow Grove in Horsham, Pennsylvania. The all-suite hotel has begun a renovation, starting with guest bathrooms. Once the full renovation is complete, guests can look forward to guestrooms featuring a sleek design and updated amenities. The property offers a fitness room, guest laundry facilities, a business center and an outdoor multi-functional patio, including a grill and picnic tables. Following the renovation, visitors will also have access to a sundry shop and an expanded patio area with a firepit and upgraded seating. 

Fontana Village Resort & Marina, in Fontana Dam, North Carolina, revealed the first phase of a property-wide renovation plan that includes floor-to-ceiling transformations for The Main Lodge, lodge guestrooms and cabins, operational enhancements to the Fontana Village Marina and the Fontana General Store, improved digital infrastructure, modernized recreational amenities and a refurbished riverside campground. The renovation is led by managing partners Robin and DeAnn Turner, who acquired the property in early 2023. All 42 lodge guestrooms and 14 cabins were substantially upgraded and redesigned. More recently, the resort’s dining concept has rebranded to a fast-casual, counter-service style restaurant set to open in early to mid-April. Phase Two restoration efforts are currently underway, featuring the modification of event spaces and enhancements to the remaining guestrooms, suites and cabins. The Turners have invested approximately $10 million in the restoration of Fontana Village and estimate the full scope of the project to be completed by 2028. 

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions gave a recent update on their newest location in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, expected to open in 2026. The resort will feature over 175,000 square feet of indoor waterpark fun, 907 guestrooms and suites, 12 onsite food and beverage outlets and a massive convention center. 

Personnel Moves

Loews Hotels & Co named Dan Flannery Chief Operating Officer. As COO, Flannery is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to enhance operational efficiency, improve guest experiences and drive overall business growth. Most recently, Flannery was the CEO of Cape Resorts

OKU Hotels appointed Michael Vance as Vice President of Sales. Michael’s focus will be to build on the existing success that OKU Hotels has enjoyed in recent years while also elevating the brand’s positioning through the development of new partnerships, markets and affiliations. Michael will also be instrumental in the commercial strategy and launch phases of the new projects. 

Europe Highlights

Proprium Capital Partners sold its 35% stake in Motel One Group for €1.25 billion to the hotel firm’s majority partner One Hotels & Resorts GmbH. The deal closed on April 2nd and values Motel One at €4.17 billion. Motel One currently has 94 hotels and 26,470 rooms open, along with a pipeline of 23 hotels with approximately another 5,500 rooms. In January, Motel One said it planned to open an additional 13 hotels before 2026. If all open, Motel One will have a presence in 56 European cities.

Paddy McKillen, Jr. and Matt Ryan have completed the sale of the Dean Hotel Group to Lifestyle Hospitality Capital and Elliott Investment Management. According to The Irish Times, the deal values the hotels at about €355 million and gives LHC and Elliott a stake of more than 70% and comprises eight hotels and the businesses of a further two under development in Belfast and Birmingham. Ownership of the properties themselves is set to be retained by Oakmount. 

Ace Hotel & Swim Club Athens, a new Ace project in Glyfada, on the Athens River, is projected to open in the summer of 2024. Developed in partnership with Brook Lane Capital, the 120-room hotel will feature all the hallmarks of the Ace brand. The Glyfada project will be the second resort-style property in the brand portfolio, following the success of the Ace Hotels & Swim Club Palm Springs. The Swim Club brand extension will be a focus of Ace in the years to come, with additional resort properties on the horizon. 

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
April 10th, 2024 at 5:35 PM EDT

Companies: Westin Hotels & Resorts, Ace Hotel, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Caption by Hyatt, Certares, Commonwealth Hotels, Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Driftwood Capital, Element, Elliott Investment Management, Executive Residency by Best Western, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Kimpton, Loews Hotels & Co, One Hotels and Resorts, Service Properties Trust, Specialized Real Estate Group

Locations: Athens, Boston, Florida, Kentucky, Las Vegas, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, San Diego, San Francisco, Tennessee, Virginia

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