News briefs: Deals tumble in Cali; meet Ella Hotels; Danziger retires

News briefs: Deals tumble in Cali; meet Ella Hotels; Danziger retires


Breaking news about development, M&A, data and more.

Deals tumble in California. California Hotel Sales Survey for end of year 2023 showed that statewide, hotel deals plunged 56.3% (48.3% in Northern California; 60.2% in Southern California), Atlas Hospitality Group reported. Northern California deals hotel totaled $1.45 billion, down from the 2022 total of nearly $2.8 billion. Southern California purchases had a value of $2.31 billion in 2023, down from $5.8 billion in 2022. California hotel purchases totaled a combined $3.76 billion, compared with nearly $8.6 billion in 2022, according to the Atlas Hospitality survey.

Meet Ella Hotels. London-based alternative investment firm H.I.G. Capital has combined their hotel assets to create Ella Hotels & Resorts, a luxury, lifestyle and hotel group operating a collection of sustainable “eco-chic” resorts across Southern Europe. Following a phased development and refurbishment plan, Ella’s portfolio will be comprised of 13 hotels wit 4,500 rooms in five of Greece’s key tourist destinations. The group projects that Ella’s current portfolio will command a value in excess of €1 billion. Ella plans to expand further into additional, established Mediterranean holiday destinations, focusing on opportunities in Spain, Portugal, and Italy, with a target of reaching 10,000 total rooms in its portfolio. The firm’s current portfolio includes more than 100 companies with combined sales in excess of $53 billion.

Danziger retires. Eric Danziger, CEO of Braintree Group and Resolute Road Hospitality, has announced his retirement after a more than 50-year career that started as a bellman at The Fairmont San Francisco. Danziger will remain active on the Braintree Board of Directors to ensure a seamless transition and to provide further insights. His hospitality journey included notable roles such as CEO of Trump Hotel Group, president and CEO of Starwood Hotels, president and COO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, and president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group. Danziger’s first executive role was with DoubleTree Hotels, where he was part of the team that created the iconic DoubleTree cookie. “After five decades in the hospitality industry, I reflect on a journey that embodies the very essence of the American dream. From starting out as a bellman with humble beginnings to reaching the top as a CEO, each chapter has been a testament to the power of hard work, resilience, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Here’s to the dreams realized, challenges conquered, and cherished memories of a life dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences.”

Paris 50% booked for Olympics. Paris’ hotel occupancy on the books is already topping 50% for the 2024 Summer Olympics, according to CoStar. Paris’ highest booking levels fall during the weekend of August 2-3, with both nights at 59.2%. At this time last year, the comparable levels for those nights were 5% and 4.5%, respectively. The only Olympics date currently below 50% is Sunday, August 11 (46.4%), the night of the closing ceremony. Also of note, the Olympics impact is reflected in hotel bookings across the entire Ile-de-France region. The highest levels are seen on Saturday, August 3 (44.9%) and Sunday, July 28 (43.5%). When looking at the same time last year, bookings for those nights were at just 5.3% and 3.9%, respectively. Paris room rates are forecasted to jump significantly in July and August, especially across the luxury (+8.7%) and upper upscale (+72.7%) classes. In terms of monthly occupancy levels, August is currently forecasted to surpass last year’s comparables by 9.1%, whereas July is projected to fall 0.5% year over year.

New brand from the Taj. Indian Hotels Co. Ltd. (IHCL) will introduce an asset-light, full-service brand within the next six months, primarily targeting Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India. The goal is to reach at least 50 hotels in the near term with a concept that is similar to its Vivanta brand with an ADR expected to range from INR 8,000 to INR 9,000 ($100 to $110), CEO Puneet Chhatwal said. In the current fiscal year, IHCL has already signed 28 hotels with 16 hotels open. For 2024-2025, IHCL has a pipeline of 85 hotels.

Peachtree closes third DST. Investment firm Peachtree Group said it has closed its third hotel property structured as a Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) with the completed acquisition of its 98-key Hilton Garden Inn in Jackson, Tennessee. Since forming its DST program in August 2022, Peachtree has become a top-15 sponsor in the securitized 1031 exchange marketplace, according to a year-end market equity update from Mountain Dell Consulting. The other two DST acquisitions included the 100-key Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Kennesaw and the 126-key Home2 Suites by Hilton Chandler in Arizona. All three acquisitions, totaling more than $83.8 million in real estate-related transactions, were acquired debt-free.

MCR sells in Philly. New York-based owner-operator MCR has completed the sale of the 100-room Residence Inn by Marriott Philadelphia Langhorne located in Langhorne, Pennsylvania for $22.1 million, or $221,000 per key. MCR stated that it doubled the hotel’s net operating income over the course of its ownership. The firm purchased the hotel for $13.2 million, or $132,000 per key, in November 2018 and completed a $3 million upgrade of the guest rooms and public spaces in June 2020. Since the beginning of 2023, MCR has completed a series of dispositions totaling seven hotels for gross proceeds of $174 million, or $210,000 per key.

Crescent refi. Crescent Real Estate has closed on an $85 million refinancing package for its renowned Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Autograph Collection, and Holiday Inn Express Denver Downtown, both located in Denver, Colorado. Private real estate investor The LCP Group, New York City, facilitated the package that includes a senior loan from Benefit Street Partners and a mezz loan from a partnership between LCP and Ares Management.

Fund acquires HGI in Texas. Partners Capital, the investment platform of Partners Real Estate, has acquired the 107-room Hilton Garden Inn San Marcos in Texas. This hotel is the first acquisition by Partners Capital’s Hospitality Fund I, which launched in June 2023, and is focused on the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio, Texas. Partners Hospitality Fund I is focused on assembling a portfolio of Marriott-, Hilton-, Hyatt-, and IHG-branded limited-service, select-service, and extended-stay hotels in high-growth markets throughout the Sunbelt. During the last eight years, Partners Capital has sponsored seven investment funds across three investment strategies and completed more than $500 million in transaction volume.

Choice-Tesla deal. Choice Hotels International has agreed with Tesla to offer Tesla Universal Wall Connectors to participating Radisson, Cambria, Comfort, Country Inn & Suites, Quality Inn and other Choice-branded hotels across the U.S. Through this agreement, Choice-branded properties can add four or more charging stations for guests. Choice said 41% of its Cambria hotels offer EV charging, and by the end of 2024, all are expected to be outfitted with at least one charging station.

Seibu Prince rebranding. Seibu Prince Hotels Worldwide, Tokyo, has announced a brand refresh to strengthen its global operations and enrich the end-to-end guest journey. Seibu Prince Hotels Worldwide currently operates four hotel brands: The Prince, Grand Prince Hotel, Prince Hotel and Prince Smart Inn. It operates six additional brands through its international subsidiary StayWell Holdings, as well as hotels and golf courses through Prince Resorts Hawaii. Starting April 2024, the company’s entire family of properties will come together under a single brand: Seibu Prince Hotels & Resorts. It will also merge its current membership offerings into a united loyalty program – Seibu Prince Global Rewards. Seibu Prince Hotels & Resorts will launch a new website and a mobile app.


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