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IHG Opposes Marriott’s City Express Trademark Bid

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
June 16th, 2024 at 12:31 PM EDT

Skift Take

InterContinental Hotels Group is challenging Marriott International’s attempt to trademark City Express by Marriott, citing potential confusion with its Holiday Inn Express brand.

The DJIA fell 58 points on Friday but Nasdaq was up 21, the S&P 500 was down 2 points and the 10 year treasury yield was down .03 to 4.21%. Lodging stocks were mixed.

Mizuho Securities lowed their target price on Marriott Vacations to $126 from $128. They maintained their Buy rating.

InterContinental Hotels Group is opposing Marriott International’s bid to trademark City Express by Marriott. Last month, IHG petitioned the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the trademark for Marriott’s newest hotel brand. According to a Skift, IHG was concerned that the word “Express” in City Express, combined with the brand’s affordable midscale positioning, would be confusingly similar to Holiday Inn Express, which has a large U.S. footprint. Marriott has until near the end of June to file an answer responding to IHG’s allegations. The next step would be for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to set a trial calendar. IHG and Marriott declined to comment for this story.

According to CoStar, U.S. April 2024 vs. April 2023 metrics are as follows: Top-Line Metrics (April 2024 vs. April 2023): Occupancy: 65.2% (+1.2%) ADR: $157.31 (+0.8%) and RevPAR: $102.51 (+2.0%). Bottom-Line Metrics (April 2024 vs. April 2023): TRevPAR: $230.13 (+3.7%) GOPPAR: $87.54 (+0.8%) EBITDA PAR: $64.72 (+1.7%) and LPAR: $75.15 (+7.0%). Key Points are: April’s RevPAR gain offset March’s decline. Top 25 Markets driving TYD growth. Six of the Top 25 Markets saw RevPAR growth above 10% led by PhiladelphiaPhoenix, and Detroit while Los AngelesOrlando, and San Francisco/San Mateo lagged. Bifurcated chain scale performance: Upper tier up, lower tier down.

MetricApril 2024 ValueChange from April 2023
Occupancy65.20%1.20%
ADR$157.31 0.80%
RevPAR$102.51 2.00%
TRevPAR$230.13 3.70%
GOPPAR$87.54 0.80%
EBITDA PAR$64.72 1.70%
LPAR$75.15 7.00%

Data recently released by the National Travel and Tourism Office show that in March 2024, total non-U.S. resident international visitor volume to the United States of 5,893,360 increased +12.6% compared to March 2023. Overseas visitor volume to the United States of 2,706,146 increased +25.4% from March 2023. March 2024 was the 36th consecutive month that total non-U.S. resident international arrivals to the United States increased on a year-over-year basis. March 2024 was the 13th consecutive month that overseas visitors totaled over 2 million. Of the top 20 tourist-generating countries to the United States, Canada, with 2,030,842, was the only country that reported a decrease in visitor volume in March 2024 compared to March 2023. The largest number of international visitor arrivals was from Canada 2,030,842; Mexico 1,156,372; the United Kingdom 330,937; Germany 193,337; and Japan 159,079. Total U.S. citizen international visitor departures from the United States of 9,009,439 decreased 15.4% compared to March 2023. March 2024 was the 36th consecutive month that total U.S. citizen international visitor departures from the United States increased on a YOY basis. The market share for North America was 49.1% and overseas was 50.9%. Mexico recorded the largest outbound visitor volume of 3,620,485. Combined YTD, Mexico 9,832,941 and the Caribbean 3,024,258 accounted for 55.9% of total U.S. citizen international visitor departures. Europe was the second largest market for outbound U.S. visitors with 1,500,310 departures, accounting for 16.7% of all departures in March. Outbound visitation to the Caribbean in March 2024 increased by 15% compared to March 2023.

Hilton, with a brand value of $11.6 billion, has retained its title as the world’s most valuable hotel brand for the 9th consecutive year, according to new data from Brand FinanceHyatt, with a brand value of $6 billion, secured the second spot again. Hilton and Hyatt are the only two hotel brands to feature in the Brand Finance Global 500 2024 ranking. Eight of the top 10 bands included in the ranking decreased in brand value, and more than 60% of the U.S. bands featured in the ranking also decreased. India’s Taj is the world’s second-fastest-growing brand, up 45% to $545 million. Brand Finance data also revealed a significant boost in brand values of Spain’s top hotel brands, propelling them higher in this year’s ranking. New entrant Occidental debuts at 42nd with a brand value of $318 million, while Melia joins in 43rd rank at $312 million. NH Hotels, Spain’s most valuable hotel brand, noted an 18% increase to $770 million. Barcelo, ranked 21st, experienced a 12% rise to $683 million. For the first time, Brand Finance unveiled the world’s top 25 strongest and most valuable leisure and tourism (L&T) brands, with an aggregate brand value of $59.1 billion. booking.comAirbnb and Trip.com Group secured the top three positions, each noting double-digit brand value growth. Royal Caribbean, with a 58% increase to $4.1 billion, has climbed to 4th place. Tokyo Disneyland debuts in sixth place with a brand value of $2.7 billion and has emerged as the world’s strongest L&T brand.

The Hilton hotel is downtown Seattle has been sold to Japanese hotel company APA Group, which announced it will rebrand the property as the Coast Seattle Downtown Hotel by APA. The 256-room hotel was purchased for $68.8 million from Westbrook PartnersStonebridge Hospitality Management will continue to manage the property. In addition to the new branding, the 24-story hotel will get a lobby refresh and next year will see guest room upgrades.

Singerman Real Estate is planning to demolish the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Park City – The Yarrow and then redevelop the land with another lodging property. The Singerman Real Estate concept for the New York City property involves: five distinct “building pods” that would connect through a first floor that would be common to them all. An outdoor pool would be at the center. Four of the pods would offer rooms in a condominium hotel and conference space. One of the pods would be the location of restricted workforce housing. An underground parking garage, a restaurant with a rooftop bar, a plaza, and retailers and restaurant space on the ground floor of the new building’s southern side.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts announced the grand opening of the Sandbourne Santa Monica, Autograph Collection. The property will join the Latitudes: Lifestyles by Crescent portfolio. Located in Santa MonicaCalifornia, the 175-room property offers a heated pool with cabanas, private onsite dog park, 10,000 square feet of event space, an onsite restaurant and bar, and an indoor/outdoor fitness center. 2025 will bring the addition of a full-service wellness spa.

Hotel Effie, the 250-room boutique hotel located at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, in Miramar BeachFlorida, has become a part of Marriott Bonvoy’s Autograph Collection. The 250-room property features multiple food and beverage outlets, a rooftop pool and Spa Lilliana. Guests at Hotel Effie have access to the full complement of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort amenities including more than seven miles of pristine beaches, four golf courses, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, a 226-slip marina and 65,000 square feet of meeting space.

Courtyard by Marriott announced the opening of Courtyard by Marriott La PazBaja California SurMexico, the first Courtyard by Marriott in the Southern California territory. The 151-room hotel will operate within the Marriott franchise, property of the company Operadora Hotelera Mar de Cortes. La Paz, B.C.S. offers multiple food and beverage venues, a fitness center, 3 meeting rooms and an outdoor pool.

HHM Hotels announced The Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town has concluded an extensive property renovation. The property features 314 refreshed guestrooms, suites and lobby, a communal area with a focal fireplace, a resort-like pool and hot tub, and a fitness center.

In Florida, the St. Augustine Beach Planning and Zoning Board will consider the plan to build an eight-room hotel, called the Selva Hotel, on three lots in the Coquina Gables subdivision. Plans show a pair of two-story buildings for the hotel with a pool, parking and required landscaping.

Great Wolf Lodge Mashantucket, in Mashantucket, Connecticut, celebrated its topping out ceremony. Now the focus will be on completing the elaborately themed interior portions of the resort, including all 549 guest suites, the indoor water park, Great Wolf Adventure Park, more than 7,500 square feet of conference space, along with various eateries and retail outlets. With this milestone reached, Great Wolf Lodge is able to better forecast a timetable for opening and announced it would begin accepting reservations for stays June 15, 2025, or later. Great Wolf Lodge Mashantucket represents an investment of more than $300 million by Great Wolf Lodge’s shareholders, Blackstone and Centerbridge Partners.

Personnel Move

Dreamscape Hospitality announced the appointment of Ron Phifer as Vice President of Business Development. In his new role, Phifer will identify new management opportunities for the organization, foster relationships with key stakeholders and drive the company’s growth initiatives. Phifer joins the Dreamscape Hospitality team from Aimbridge Hospitality where he most recently served as Vice President of Business Development.

Europe Highlight

The City of London has granted planning permission to Mactaggart Family & Partners for The Resident Farringdon. The 128-room hotel will comprise a third-party-operated restaurant, café and retail spaces at ground level, a pocket garden and library lounge. The hotel is due to open in 2027 and will be the fifth London site for the brand, taking the portfolio to a total of seven properties across the UKResident Hotels is due to open its sixth location in August, The Resident Edinburgh. The brands has plans to add rooms of a total target of 1,500 to 2,000 rooms over the next five years.

Alan Woinski and Kim Woinski
June 16th, 2024 at 12:31 PM EDT

Companies: IHG Hotels & Resorts, Aimbridge Hospitality, Airbnb, Autograph Collection, Courtyard by Marriott, Crescent Hotels & Resorts, Disney Parks, DoubleTree by Hilton, Great Wolf Resorts, HHM Hospitality, Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Marriott International, Marriott Vacations Worldwide, NH Collection, Taj

Locations: Baja California Sur, Connecticut, Edinburgh, Florida, London, Los Angeles, Park City, Seattle

Up Next

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Hilton Beefs Up Its Luxury Portfolio

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Braemar and Blackwells Come to an Agreement

Braemar Hotels and Blackwells Capital have reached an agreement ending their proxy battle, with Blackwells withdrawing nominations, supporting BHR proposals, buying more shares, and BHR adding an independent director with Blackwells’ input.

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