RockBridge closes out 2012 on high note with Dallas hotel purchase

28 Dec, 2012 By: David Eisen

Ohio-based RockBridge Capital capped off 2012 by purchasing one of the older, more prestigious hotels in the U.S., Dallas' Adolphus Hotel, which just celebrated its century mark in October, The Dallas Morning News reports.

No purchase price was disclosed, neither were RockBridge's intentions on what to do with the hotel, such as whether or not to flag it in order to better compete with the likes of the Omni Dallas Hotel and The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas.

If history plays any role, the hotel could become a Le Méridien. This year alone, RockBridge acquired two hotels, then subsequently reflagged them under the Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide brand.

If not a Le Méridien, is it possible the hotel could be converted into another Starwood brand, perhaps a St. Regis? Starwood's luxury brand is not represented, yet, in Dallas. It's W brand is.

Hotel Management put a call into RockBridge, but as of Friday morning had yet to receive word on further plans for the hotel, which was acquired from a New England partnership.

"I knew they were getting close on a deal," John Crawford, who heads the economic development group Downtown Dallas Inc., told The Dallas Morning News. "RockBridge purchasing the Adolphus is huge news. Obviously they are going to make a big investment in the Adolphus and downtown Dallas."

The grand dame 440-room hotel has a lustrous heritage; it was built by St. Louis beer baron Adolphus Busch and opened in 1912. The hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, which was around the last time it had a major renovation.

It is likely that RockBridge will pour money into the hotel, giving the 20-story beaux arts style building a makeover. "[RockBridge] wouldn’t be stepping up to make this major investment without seeing what it takes to put it in the condition it needs to be," Crawford said.

Buying in Dallas appears to be a smart move. According to PKF Hospitality, Dallas should see a steady climb in revenue per available room growth, at around 6.9 percent year over year between 2012 and 2016. The average for the entire U.S., predicts PKF, is 6.3 percent.

Busy Year
RockBridge was quite active in 2012. At the beginning of the year, it acquired the Hampton Inn at 59 W. 35th St. in New York from Magna Hospitality for $69.5 million, or roughly $476,027 per key for the 146-room hotel. Later, in March, it bought the 304-room University Hotel Minneapolis for a reported $18.5 million. Then, in April, RockBridge acquired the 275-room Atlanta Perimeter Hotel & Suites from Starwood with the intent to rebrand the hotel under Starwood's Le Méridien brand.

RockBridge's most recent acquisition prior to the Adolphus was in October when it bought a Renaissance hotel just outside Chicago. Like the Atlanta Perimeter Hotel & Suites, RockBridge plans to reflag the hotel as a Le Méridien after a $21-million renovation that should wrap by fall 2013.


Topic : RockBridge Capital, Adolphus Hotel, Dallas
External Source : The Dallas Morning News

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