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North America

NYU, NAREIT, and Investor Conferences Special

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
June 5th, 2024 at 2:25 PM EDT

Skift Take

The NYU Conference had mixed opinions on its tone and mood, with Barclays finding it muted and Truist noting a lack of extreme bullishness, while discussions on hotel REITs highlighted concerns about investment strategies and the influence of hedge funds.

The Daily Lodging Report had not planned to publish between Monday June 3 to Thursday, June 6. But with the NYU, NAREIT, and investor conferences this week, we decided to do a mid-week summary of some of the consultant, analyst and the company-wide announcements rather than break readers’ inboxes on Sunday. We will get to non-conference news this weekend.

Opinions varied on the tone and mood at the NYU Conference. Barclays described it as uncharacteristically muted while Truist said they did not find anyone coming out swinging with the over the top bullishness they have seen in conferences in years past. If you discussed the high end you came away from the NYU show saying things are bullish, not so much on the low end. Some felt Hilton sounded a lot more confident than Marriott. The reality is if you took the mood at ALIS and compared it to NYU each year, you rarely found it the same.

Truist had an interesting view on the REITs, even before NAREIT. They said the comments at NYU suggest hotel REITs and private owners that compare their performance/valuation to the public companies believe many long-only REIT investment funds have given up on the sub-sector and hedge funds have filled the vacuum. The problem is that hedge funds are short termers and long-only usually are for the long term. Truist said hotel REITs and their partners may be partly to blame as they say hotel REITs are a tremendous value but still choose to purchase dilutive high-multiple assets instead of purchasing their own stock. Truist said they were disappointed to hear companies discuss this strategy as not being to increase shareholder returns/value but to elevate one’s EBITDA growth profile.

NAREIT commentary included that Memorial Day Weekend was solid from a RevPAR standpoint, as was May, yet they remain conservative in terms of summer demand trends.

STR and Tourism Economics made significant downward adjustments to the 2024-25 U.S. hotel forecast that was just released at the Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference. The latest revision reflects lower-than-expected performance thus far in 2024 as well as lessened growth projections for the remainder of the year. For 2024, projected gains in ADR and RevPAR were downgraded 1.0 percentage points and 2.1 ppts, respectively. Occupancy for the year is now expected to decline after the previous forecast projected year-over-year growth in the metric. For 2025, an occupancy growth projection was kept in place, but downward adjustments were once again made to ADR (-0.8 ppts) and RevPAR (-0.9ppts).

The Q1 2024 Global Hotel Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics highlights a significant increase in full-service projects at the close of the first quarter. Here are the numbers:

Total Global Hotel Construction Pipeline Q1 2024

DescriptionQ1 2024
Total Projects15366
Total Rooms2382195
Year-over-Year % Increase in Projects6
Year-over-Year % Increase in Rooms3

Global Hotel Pipeline by Project Stage Q1 2024

Project StageProjectsRooms
Currently Under Construction6,1951,101,602
Scheduled to Start Construction in Next 12 Months3,840528,251
Early Planning Stage5,331752,342

Countries with Greatest Number of Full-Service Projects Q1 2024

United States2,272341,854
Saudi Arabia27062,744

Cities with Greatest Number of Full-Service Projects Q1 2024

Chengdu, China8021,130
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia7515,025
Dallas, Texas7510,434
Los Angeles, California6813,188
Shanghai, China6716,569

New Full-Service Hotels Pipeline

Opened in Q1 202417732,611
Forecasted in Next 3 Quarters952181,148
Forecasted by Year-End1,129213,759
Forecasted in 20251,260244,275

Recent acquisitions of Graduate Hotels and NoMad brands and appointment of new global lifestyle president affirm Hilton’s focus on lifestyle category expansion. After adding more than 50 new lifestyle hotels and approving another 100 in 2023, Hilton anticipates opening more than 100 new hotels this year across its lifestyle brands. This year will also mark the debut of Hilton’s 400th property in the category. The accelerated growth will be supported by the addition of the Graduate and NoMad brands. NoMad’s flagship London hotel and more than 30 existing Graduate locations with be available on Hilton’s booking channels later this summer, in addition to new Graduate hotels that will open this year in Princeton, New Jersey and Auburn, Alabama. Hilton has appointed Kevin Osterhaus as president, global lifestyle brands to steward the growth, design and development of the Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, Graduate by Hilton, Motto by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, and Tempo by Hilton brands. Osterhaus joins Hilton from Graduate Hotels, where he most recently served as president.

Marriott International revealed details to Skift about its newest hotel brand, temporarily named Project Mid-T, in the midscale hotel category. The new Project Mid-T is a conversion brand aimed at transient leisure and business travelers staying an average of 1.8 nights. To encourage developers to sign up, Marriott has created a bundled fee, in this case 10.5%, for the first time for a new brand. It ordinarily breaks out a series of fees, such as a franchise royalty fee, a loyalty fee, a marketing fee, and others. Packaging upfront can make it clearer to owners what their true and final cost will be. The properties will feature modern guest rooms, a business-friendly lounge, and a basic gym. The company has created the conversion brand because the recent run-up in interest rates had created “challenges in the debt markets” for those developers seeking to build hotels from scratch. Marriott’s new brand is part of the hotel operator’s broader push into the “affordable midscale space’, or hotels that are somewhat cheaper for owners to operate and guests to book than Marriott’s more premium flagship brands.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation highlighted that its pipeline has grown by nearly 85% since 2017, reaching a record 129,000 rooms. Additionally, the World of Hyatt loyalty program has quadrupled its membership since 2017 and is up 22% as of the end of the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year, reaching 46 million members globally. Lifestyle brands are fueling growth, introducing Hyatt to new markets and new guests in the Americas; Europe, Africa and Middle East; and Asia Pacific. Hyatt Studios brand accelerated growth with more than 250 deals and the groundbreaking of its second location in Huntsville, Alabama. With over 3,000 rooms in the pipeline, Hyatt Studios hotels represent several new submarkets for Hyatt. Grand Hyatt is expected to expand by more than 10 locations over the next two years through rebrands & renovations and new builds. Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection creates more travel opportunities for leisure guests, groups, and World of Hyatt members in new markets. As of the end of Q1, Hyatt’s Inclusive Collection resorts grew to approximately 41,412 rooms across 124 properties. With 10 distinct brands providing personalized hospitality through exceptional service, immersive dining, and more, the collection continues to expand in new and exciting destinations.

Europe Highlights

sbe and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts signed the first Project HQ Hotels & Residences with planned conversions of The Royal Plaza & Villa Toscane in Montreux, Switzerland, and The Park Avenue House in Detroit, Michigan. Construction will begin for both properties later this year with reopening anticipated for late 2025. The Royal Plaza & Villa Toscane will be transformed into the first international hotel for the new brand and rebrand as The HQ Monteux Hotel & Spa. A major renovation will create a 360-room hotel with two restaurants from sbe’s Disruptive Restaurant Group and a bespoke cocktail bar. The transformation of the 174-room Park Avenue House in Detroit will include a specialty restaurant from sbe’s Disruptive Restaurant Group, as well as a café and quick-service delivery from sbe’s Everbody East platform. Both hotels will sit under Wyndham’s Registry Collection Hotels brand and participate in the Wyndham Rewards program.

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
June 5th, 2024 at 2:25 PM EDT

Companies: Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, Graduate Hotels, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Motto by Hilton, Nomad Hotel Group, Project HQ Hotels and Residences, sbe, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Tempo by Hilton, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Alabama, Detroit, New Jersey, Switzerland

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