Hotel Brokers International forms Distressed Assets Task Force

A new task force aims to help hotels through the recovery. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / sorsillo

Hotel Brokers International has created a Distressed Assets Task Force. The group will focus on helping hotel owners and lenders solve "an unprecedented tsunami of challenges" in the lodging industry across the country, according to the group.

Hotel Brokers International members are independent, hospitality focused real estate firms from around the country. The members of this organization have significant experience in lodging operations, ownership, finance and brokerage.

Click here for all of Hotel Management's COVID-19 coverage

The Distressed Assets Task Force is being structured to leverage the collective talent within HBI to be part of the solution for communities around the country. HBI wants to help small business owners, community lenders and national institutions work through the issues and find solutions. Edward Denton, an HBI member from Virginia Beach, Va., will chair the new task force. His experience includes consulting for nearly $1 billion worth of distressed assets during the aftermath of the Great Recession. Denton also is a member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Turnaround Management Association.

“This isn’t like the post 2008 situation, it’s much worse. There are more hotels with bigger problems, and nobody’s to blame,” Denton said. “In 2010 when a hotel was distressed, the playbook was pretty simple—I think it’s going to be very different in 2021. This isn’t about brokering a fire sale; we are going to be looking for creative, cooperative, long-term resolutions that are asset-specific and work for the owner and lender, because foreclosing on 25 percent of the nation’s inns is not an option.”

Each situation is unique, according to Denton.

“Beyond a lack of revenue, each distressed asset has one-off issues related to the property, market, ownership, staffing, lender, note structure, etc.,” he said. “Sometimes the answer may be a transaction, but I don’t think it’s going to be that simple in most circumstances.”

The HBI Distressed Assets Task Force includes members with operational, franchising and finance expertise, in addition to brokerage. The task force members are:

  • Edward C. Denton, Denton Realty Company (Virginia Beach, Va.)
  • Joseph P. Kennedy, Crystal Investment Property (Vancouver, Wa.)
  • Edward P. Walsh, Alpine Realty Capital (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Ford C. Barton, Lodging Partners (Charlotte, N.C.)