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Disney Vacation Club’s New Island Tower

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 13th, 2024 at 4:52 PM EDT

a two-story hotel lobby with natural light

Skift Take

Disney’s Island Tower at Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, opening December 2024, says it will be an eco-friendly addition to Walt Disney World.

The DJIA fell 81 points but Nasdaq was up 47 while the S&P 500 was down a point and the 10-year treasury yield was down .02 to 4.48%. Lodging stocks were mixed. VCSA traded down another 5% to another new low while SHCO was up 8% on the day.

Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. announced the celebration of the topping out of Virginia’s first-ever JW Marriott Hotel and Residences in Reston, Virginia. The 243-room hotel will feature fine dining venues and approximately 25,000 square feet of event and meeting space. The residences will consist of 94 condominium homes, a rooftop dog park, private fitness center, and garage parking with valet service and electric charging stations. JW Marriott Hotel and Residences is located at The Row at Reston Station, a $1.3 billion project spanning approximately 1.5 million square feet adjacent to the fully developed Metro Plaza District of Reston Station.

CoStar said London-based private equity real estate manager Henderson Park bought the 705 key Arizona Biltmore, LXR Hotels & Resorts for $705 million. CoStar cited a special warranty deed dated May 8 in NY County and an affidavit of property value in Maricopa County, AZ. The seller is Blackstone’s BRE Hotels & ResortsBRE had bought it in April 2018 as part of a three-property portfolio from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC Real Estate with a total value of $1.64 billion.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of a newly rebranded and converted Holiday Inn Express hotel in Elyria, Ohio. Featuring 75 rooms, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Elyria operates under the ownership and management of Bindu Associates, LLC.

Sonesta International Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Sonesta Essential Fairmont. The 62-room, upper-midscale property is located in Fairmont, West Virginia.

The dual-branded Red Roof Inn/HomeTowne Studios in Augusta, Georgia, is being put up for sale. The 138-room hotel’s asking price is $4.9 million.

Aptitude Development is planning to build a new long-term stay hotel in State College, Pennsylvania. The four-story, 96-room hotel is part of phase 2 of the 60-acre Nittany Valley Sports Centre Master Plan. Phase 1 includes the Centre itself, as well as the Kingston Village townhomes. Plans include 112 parking spaces at the rear of the hotel and a porte-cochere drop-off area in the front. Phase 2 also shows pads for restaurant, office, and warehouse uses.

The hotels division of Ellicott Development has taken over operation of The Hotel at the Lafayette. The 34-room hotel is inside the Hotel Lafayette building which is in Buffalo, New York. The deal with Ellicott Development follows the end of a contract with Pearl Street Family of Cos., which also closed its Lafayette Brewing Co. restaurant in mid-December and ended its banquet contract. Termini’s Tappo Restaurant has taken over the banquet operations and a new operator has not yet been announced for the restaurant space.

The Algonquin Resort is seeking approval from Saint Andrews, NB, Canada, to add a spa to its grounds as well as employee housing. The resort wants to add a two-story, Usva Nordik spa connected by a walkway to the hotel. The employee housing proposal involves 10 two-level townhomes as well as 10 ground-floor apartments. InnVest is the majority owner of Algonquin Resort LP after acquiring the hotel last year.

Disney Vacation Club revealed details about the Island Tower set to grace Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Scheduled to debut in December 2024, construction is underway. The forthcoming 10-story tower heralds a fresh chapter at the resort, commencing with a breathtaking ceiling art installation in the tower’s lobby. The enchantment unfolds as guests traverse the lobby, encountering larger-than-life artwork that embodies the spirit of the islands. The Island Tower at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows is designed to meet Disney’s 2030 environmental objectives. Anticipated to consume approximately 30% less energy than a typical resort its size, the tower employs various strategies such as optimized heating and cooling systems, energy-efficient lighting, and the pioneering use of an all-electric kitchen in its restaurant. Additionally, a significant portion of the tower was prefabricated off-site, minimizing construction waste.

JLL’s Hotel & Hospitality group arranged a new $735 million, five-year, floating-rate SASB CMBS term loan to refinance The Walt Disney World SwanWalt Disney World Dolphin, and Walt Disney World Swan Reserve, a 2,619-key resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. JLL represented a joint venture between Tishman Hotel & Realty and MetLife Investment ManagementWells FargoBank of America, and Goldman Sachs were the lenders. The Swan & Dolphin Resort is the only non-Disney owned hotel located on the grounds of Walt Disney World. The resort’s amenities include 16 restaurants, seven bars, three fitness centers, six outdoor pools, and a spa.

Driftwood Capital, through its lending fund Driftwood Lending Partners, LP, has provided $30 million in mezzanine financing for the refinancing of the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, a 1,841-key hotel and convention center serving as the largest hotel in Texas and which is sponsored by Chartres Lodging Group. The mezzanine financing will accompany a $270 million senior loan originated by Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Securities. The two-year, floating-rate loan includes three one-year extension options. Recently, Driftwood announced that its hotel development pipeline has exceeded $1 billion in project value and includes: Element by Westin Melbourne, Florida, a $54 million development expected to open in June 2024. Element by Westin Mission Valley San Diego, California, a $74 million development expected to be completed in 2026. Westin Resort & Spa Cocoa Beach, Florida, a $410 million luxury resort development expected to break ground in Q3 of 2024. Riverside Wharf Miami, Florida, a $267 million, transformative mixed-use development featuring a Dream Hotel. Ground is expected to break in the latter half of 2024.

VICI Properties Inc. has originated a $250 million mezzanine loan as part of a $1.55 billion financing that also includes a single borrower group CMBS securitization for Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. through its VICI Experiential Credit Solutions strategy. The Great Wolf Loan will be collateralized by a portfolio of nine Great Wolf Lodge resorts with over 4,000 keys, approximately 695,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor waterpark space, 59 F&B outlets, and nearly 80,000 square feet of meeting space. The Mezzanine Loan will have an annual fixed rate and an initial term of two years with three 12-month extension options, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. In connection with the Great Wolf Loan origination, Great Wolf repaid VICI’s $79.5 million mezzanine loan for Great Wolf Lodge Maryland. The remaining $170.5 million capital commitment was funded with cash.

According to Caribbean JournalGrand Hyatt will be debuting the new Grand Hyatt Cancun, in the Mexican Caribbean, next year. The new resort will have 500 rooms, 11 dining concepts, six bars and lounges, a wellness center, gym, and 16,000 feet of flexible meeting space. It’s one of two Grand Hyatts in development in the wider Caribbean right now, along with the Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman, which is planning a 2025 debut as well.

Personnel Move

RIU Hotels & Resorts announced Carmen Riu, CEO, is set to retire before summer of this year, when she will leave her executive and institutional representation roles. She currently shares her position with her brother Luis Riu, who will now continue as the company’s sole CEO. Moreover, Carmen Riu is now Chair of the Group’s Governing Board in order to strengthen corporate governance. All members of the fourth generation of the Riu family have now also joined this body. This marks the beginning of generational handover at RIU Hotels, a process that will be led by the family through the Groups governing bodies.

Europe Highlights

Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, in Montreux, Switzerland, announced the successful completion of the first phase of its extensive renovation project. This phase, featuring the refurbishment of 60 lake-view rooms and enhancements to a third of its lake-facing façade, marks a significant milestone in the hotel’s journey towards redefining luxury hospitality. In collaboration with heritage authorities, the façade renovation carefully preserves the building’s historical significance. Looking ahead, the second phase of renovations, scheduled from October 2024 to April 2025, will transform an additional 70 rooms and the rest of the main façade. The final phase, from October 2025 to April 2026, will focus on the restoration of the remaining north façade.

The new Melia Ibiza opened its doors on May 1 after an exquisite repositioning process that has transformed the former Sol Beach House Ibiza. The hotel offers 285 rooms, four restaurants, and a spa managed by Thai Room.


Hotel and Lodging Performance

Daily Lodging Report subscribers get full access to insights from ST200 as part of their subscription.

The Skift Travel 200, a tool from Skift Research, makes it easy to track travel industry performance as a whole, as well as within specific sectors. The Accommodations sector includes public companies in these sub-sectors: 

  • Global Hotel Brands
  • Hotel Management and Operations
  • Hotel REITs
  • Regional Hotel Brands
  • Time Shares
  • Alternate Accommodations
Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
May 13th, 2024 at 4:52 PM EDT

Companies: Disney Parks, Blackstone, Dream Hotels, Driftwood Capital, Element, Ellicott Development, Fairmont, GIC, Grand Hyatt, Great Wolf Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, HomeTowne Studios, IHG Hotels & Resorts, JLL, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, LXR Hotels & Resorts, Melia Hotels & Resorts, Red Roof Inn, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, Soho House and Co Inc., Sonesta Essential, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Tishman Hotel and Realty, Vacasa, VICI Properties Inc., Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Cancun, Dallas, Georgia, Ibiza, Maryland, New Brunswick Canada, Ohio, Orlando, Pennsylvania, Phoenix, Switzerland, Washington DC

Photo credit: A rendering of the lobby of the Island Tower at Walt Disney World in Florida.  Disney Parks

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