The Loews Regency in New York reopened in January after a $100-million renovation.
Los Angeles – Beyond being in a warm winter locale, the Americas Lodging Investment Summit provides a platform for various companies—from hotel operators to lenders—to disseminate their top and most recent news. Hotel Management sat down with many of these companies, all of which gave us a snapshot of where their business is and where they hope it is headed.
Choice Hotels and Maplewood Partnership
Going into ALIS, one of the bigger development threads was the announcement of the partnership between Choice Hotels and a joint venture composed of Driftwood Hospitality and Pacrim Hospitality called Maplewood. The aim is to develop 125-key Cambria Suites throughout Canada in secondary cities and major cities, Glenn Squires, CEO of Pacrim, told us. “The market is wide open,” he said, adding they expect to have a minimum of five Cambria Suites under construction in 2014, with openings starting in spring 2015.
Doubletree by Hilton
John Greenleaf, global head of DoubleTree by Hilton, clued us in on the brand’s new design direction and key new openings. “2013 was a big year, we opened 53 hotels,” he said. “The brand continues to grow.” It opened in 17 countries in 2013, including an opening in Bangalore, India, and announced it will open a property in Santiago, Chile, in mid-2014.
Loews Hotels & Resorts
Paul Whetsell, CEO of Loews Hotels & Resorts, was buoyant over the company’s $100-million renovation of the Loews Regency in New York. “It was about 60 years old,” he said. “There were lots of changes.” This included the addition of a salon and spa, and taking the room count up to 375 keys from 359 keys. At its Hollywood, Calif., property, the company is finishing off a $33-million renovation of guestrooms, F&B, the lobby and meeting space. In total, Loews has invested some $250 million in its portfolio.
The 172-room DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Bangalore opened in January. It is owned by Mantri Developers Pvt Ltd.
Stonehill Strategic Capital
Stonehill Strategic Capital, an affiliate of Peachtree Hotel Group focused on hotel financing, said it plans to deploy $200 million for hotel assets and development over the next 12 months. Mat Crosswy, president of Stonehill, said that as the industry fights back to normalcy and fundamentals strengthen, hotel owners are looking to sell assets, but buyers are sometimes shut out due to a shortfall in the capital stack due to banks’ reluctance and conservative nature when underwriting hospitality credits. “We have the ability to stretch on leverage because of our understanding and comfort level,” the company added.
Concord Hospitality Enterprises
Bullish can describe the feeling at Concord Hospitality. The company’s president and CEO, Mark Laport, said lending markets have returned, which should help the company’s most aggressive development pipeline to date. Concord currently has 93 hotels open with 10 currently under construction. Laport also said the company currently has 15 hotels on the market, and that it sold four hotels in Canada in 2013. Concord spent more than $10 million on development in 2013.