Americas Hotel Pulse: IHG’s Newest Midscale Brand

Americas Hotel Pulse: IHG’s Newest Midscale Brand

Hotel Performance in Hawaii; Insights from Hotel Data Conference; and More

By Dana Miller
Hotel News Now

August 23, 2023 | 5:31 AM

IHG’s New Midscale Brand

IHG Hotels & Resorts unveiled its newest and 19th brand, Garner, which will initially be focused in the U.S. and be positioned as a midscale conversion brand, reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

CEO Elie Maalouf said during IHG’s 2023 earnings call that the new brand will be launched later in the year, and there’s already 100 hotels involved in contract negotiations. In the next 10 years, the brand is expected to have roughly 500 U.S. hotels rolled out, then increasing to 1,000 by 2043.

Hawaii Wildfires’ Impact on Hotels

Deadly wildfires began on Hawaii’s Maui Island on Aug. 8, killing more than 100 people and billions of dollars in damage. It’s also had a noticeable impact on hotels, reports STR analysts Isaac Collazo, Chris Klauda and William Anns. STR is CoStar’s hospitality analytics division.

“For the week ending Aug. 12, occupancy declined in two Hawaiian hotel markets, according to CoStar data. Maui, where at least two hotels are included in the destruction toll, recorded a weekly occupancy of 57.1%, down 14 percentage points from the previous week. Occupancy was also down, by 5.1 percentage points, in the Hawaii/Kauai Islands market to 76%. Compared to the same week last year, occupancy in the Maui and Hawaii/Kauai markets was down 16.7 percentage points and 6.9 percentage points, respectively.

“Meanwhile, evacuations from Maui to Oahu boosted hotel occupancy in that market — up 5.7 percentage points week over week to 88.6%. Oahu’s hotel occupancy was the third highest of U.S. markets for the week,” according to the analysts.

Insights from Hotel Data Conference

Attendees of the 2023 Hotel Data Conference shared that a mild recession is top of mind, but will not necessarily alter the path for average daily rates and leisure demand.

Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, and Oxford Economics company, said there’s an economic slowdown expected to hit later this year despite unemployment levels being at a 50-year low. As for consumers, the biggest problem they face is inflation hindering their disposable income, he added.

Hoteliers advise that the main priority is staying focused.

Nicole Young, senior corporate director for commercial and revenue at Rosewood Hotel Group, said the hotel industry has been “drunk off these incredible leisure rates,” but that’s beginning to normalize.

“It’s not a surprise to anybody. I don’t think it’s a reflection of clouds in the sky, it’s just a part of the cycle that we’re in,” she said. “What we need to do is stay focused; I wouldn’t say necessarily on holding rate and preserving rate, we need to stay focused on the customer, their satisfaction and inspiring them to want to invest with us and spend more. That’s what this short-term trend tells us about where we’re going to find our optimism next year.”

California Hotel Transaction Volume Declines

The latest transaction data from Atlas Hospitality Group’s California Hotel Sales Survey 2023 Mid-Year shows the number of trades dropped from 263 in 2022 to 124 this year, reports Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten.

The average sales price increased 33.6% year over year, though the median price dropped by 9.4% to $6.88 million.

The number of transactions exceeding $5 million declined from 175 in the first half of 2022 to 79 in the first half of this year.

Deals, Development, People on the Move

  • The DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley — Scottsdale sold for $115.5 million by Global Hospitality Investment Group to Southwest Value Partners.
  • Global Entertainment completed the sale of Rocky Gap Casino Resort for roughly $56.1 million to Century Casinos. The buyer also purchased the land and buildings associated with Rocky Gap for $203.9 million.
  • Chico Hot Springs Resort in Paradise Valley, Montana, sold for $33 million.
  • Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa named Michelle Mathews as executive chef.
  • The Hotel Group and Hogback Development celebrated the topping off of the 74-room Tru by Hilton Takima, Washington. The hotel is expected to open in spring 2024.
  • Aimee King has been appointed director of sales and marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco.
  • The InterContinental Dominica Cabrits Resort & Spa has appointed Ernesto Luna as its new general manager.
  • The Dagny Boston, managed by Aimbridge Hospitality, officially opened its doors after a multimillion-dollar renovation investment by DiamondRock Hospitality Company.
  • Concord Summit Capital and Vista Development sourced the last round of construction financing for the $165 million Andaz Hotel and Residences development on Grace Bay Beach in Turks & Caicos at Grace Bay. The project will consist of two towers, totaling 59 hotel rooms and 73 branded residences.

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