Americas Hotel Pulse: Hoteliers Have Mixed Views Around Recovery of Business Travel

Hotel Executives Detail Disposition Plans; OTO Development CEO Dies; and More

Pebblebrook Hotel Trust is among the publicly traded traded real estate investment trusts and hotel companies that is making progress on its disposition plans. The company closed on the sale of The Marker San Francisco for $77 million in June. (CoStar)
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust is among the publicly traded traded real estate investment trusts and hotel companies that is making progress on its disposition plans. The company closed on the sale of The Marker San Francisco for $77 million in June. (CoStar)

Hoteliers Express Mixed Views Around Business Travel Recovery

The topic of leisure demand strength and the return of group demand has been top of mind for hoteliers and industry analysts speaking during the Hotel Data Conference. These conversations came with varying levels of optimism.

“The tussle facing the industry, though, is how the new demand must be catered to, priced and satisfied. The leisure part might be easier resolved, but group travel and new and existing employees might be a sterner task to get the strategy right on,” writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

Noble Investment Group Acquires 14-Hotel Portfolio

Hotel investment group Noble Investment Group purchased a portfolio of 14 hotels consisting of Marriott International, Hilton and Hyatt Hotels Corp. brands, according to a news release.

“Since the second quarter of last year, Noble has invested more than $1.5 billion across the United States in 40 hotels with approximately 6,000 rooms as we continue to capitalize on the thematic opportunity in travel and hospitality,” Mit Shah, CEO of Noble, said in the news release.

Hotel Executives Lean Toward Selling Assets in Second Half of 2022

HNN’s Trevor Simpson reports that executives speaking during publicly traded hotel brand company and real estate investment trust second-quarter earnings calls are expressing more interest in selling assets due to inflationary pressures and the rising price of debt.

“Moving to real estate transactions, as previously disclosed, we’ve had a very active first half of the year which resulted in gross proceeds from asset sales of $812 million. We’re currently marketing two owned hotels for sale and are pleased with the progress we are making,” said Hyatt Hotels Corp. President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian.

California Hotel Transactions Set New Record for Median Price Per Room

Though hotel sales in California slowed from their highs in 2021, transactions during the first two quarters of this year set a new median-price-per-room record, according to Atlas Hospitality Group’s California Hotel Sales Survey 2022 Mid-Year.

The report states that California had 263 individual hotel sales during the first half of the year, a 9.9% decline year over year. Total dollar volume came in at $3.49 billion, a 33.59% year-over-year decline. But, California’s new record in median price per key increased 12.7% year over year to $143,443, HNN’s Bryan Wroten reports.

OTO Development CEO Dies

OTO Development co-founder and CEO Corry Oakes died unexpectedly on Aug. 7.

Oakes helped found the hotel development and hospitality management company in 2004. He took on the role of CEO during that year, reports HNN’s Trevor Simpson.

“Corry was a beloved leader and a dear friend to so many in our community and our industry,” Todd Turner, co-founder and vice president of real estate at OTO Development, said in a news release. “His impact on our lives is as immeasurable as the grief we feel and the love for him and his family.”

On Aug. 17, OTO named Turner as CEO. Turner and Oakes had worked alongside each other for 18 years.

Deals, Developments, People on the Move

  • Pebblebrook Hotel Trust closed on the sale of its 306-room Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square for $80 million to a third party.
  • Electra America Hospitality Group acquired the 225-room Loews Boston Hotel. According to CoStar data, the property sold for $116.65 million.
  • Proper Hospitality added the Culver Hotel to The Collective, its growing portfolio of independent, design-driven boutique hotels managed and operated by Proper.
  • The Leta Hotel in Santa Barbara, California, has converted to a Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Earlier this year, the hotel was purchased by AWH Partners. Spire Hospitality assumed management.
  • Main Street Hospitality named Joe Gallo as president and Terry Coughlin as hospitality leadership coach.
  • Noble House Hotels & Resorts and The Portofino Hotel & Marina named Drew Berry as general manager of the Redondo Beach, California, property.
  • The Gwen Hotel in Chicago named Nadeem Siddiqui as general manager.
  • Charlestowne Hotels added the 93-room Hotel One75 in Hamilton, New York, to its list of college-town properties it manages. The hotel opened on Aug. 15, 2022.
  • Dino Simoncelli has been named general manager of The Forester Hotel in Lake Forest, Illinois.
  • Commonwealth Hotels named Alison Mitchell general manager of The Art Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in Denver.
  • Dart purchased the 181-room Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla from Starwood Capital Group.

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