Eagle Hospitality, the owner of 13 upscale U.S. hotels, has hired a chief restructuring officer to help it study its options in advance of its $606 million of debt coming due in September, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The looming debt maturity is particularly challenging for Eagle and its owner, Area Property Partners, because private-equity titan Blackstone Group bought Eagle’s mortgage at a discount last month, the WSJ reports. Given that Eagle’s hotels most likely are worth less than the mortgage amount, it is possible that Blackstone will seek to take over the hotels if Eagle defaults, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper.
Eagle, in the meantime, hired Marc Beilinson as chief restructuring officer to lead its efforts to study four options: Refinancing the debt, restructuring it with Blackstone, forfeiting the hotels to Blackstone or seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection before the debt’s 9 September due date.
“At this point, all options are being considered,” Beilinson told the newspaper. “The board will have to make a decision at some point prior to the maturity date.”
STR Global, sister company of HotelNewsNow.com, released monthly hotel pipeline reports Tuesday for three key regions of the world.
In the Middle East/Africa region, the hotel development pipeline comprises 492 hotels totaling 125,235 rooms. Among the countries in the region, the United Arab Emirates reported the largest number of rooms in the total active pipeline with 35,683. Five other countries ended the month with more than 5,000 rooms in the total active pipeline: Saudi Arabia (26,594 rooms); Egypt (8,931 rooms); Qatar (6,863 rooms); Morocco (5,928); and Oman (5,331 rooms).
In the Asia/Pacific region, the hotel development pipeline comprises 1,613 hotels totaling 372,451 rooms. Year-to-date 2012, 149 properties opened in the region with 29,667 rooms. For the remainder of the year, 359 more properties with 91,281 rooms are expected to open. In 2013, the region is planning to open 526 properties with 116,632 rooms.
In Europe, the hotel development pipeline comprises 895 hotels totaling 143,998 rooms. Among the chain-scale segments, the upscale segment accounted for the largest portion of rooms in the total active pipeline with 20.8% and 29,996 rooms, followed by the unaffiliated segment, representing 20.6% with 29,701 rooms.
B Hotels & Resorts is flexing its flexibility to reach an all-important guest demographic and, in the process, put its imprint on top 25 markets throughout the United States, writes HotelNewsNow.com’s Jeff Higley.
“We are looking at top 25 markets. Our goal by 2016 is to have 25 hotels,” said Chris Tompkins, the company’s senior VP of marketing and brand programs.
Tompkins said the interest in the B concept has been phenomenal: “We have been approached by 50 different ownership groups to brand—four of them have been new builds; the rest conversions.”
The company has one hotel open: the B Ocean Fort Lauderdale in Florida. It will open its next hotel in the Downtown Disney Resort area of Lake Buena Vista, Florida, in the fall of 2013. InSite Group and Cube Capital, which acquired the property in December, will reflag the 394-room Royal Plaza Hotel to the B Resort. It also announced plans to open the B South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, during the first quarter of 2013.
To expedite the growth, the company is launching a second brand called b2, which will be geared toward attracting guests in a younger demographic. Located in downtown Miami, the b2 hotel will have 243 rooms when it opens during the first quarter of 2013.
Average prices for business travel increased in the first quarter of 2012, according to the American Express Business Travel Monitor, released Tuesday. Driving the increases are companies continuing to invest in travel to support growth while travel suppliers carefully manage supply.
Highlights from the Q1 2012 business travel monitoring include:
- Average domestic airfares increased 6% in Q1 2012 vs. Q1 2011 to $261
- Average international airfares increased 4% in Q1 2012 vs. Q1 2011 to $1,933
- Average domestic hotel rates increased 5% in Q1 2012 vs. Q1 2011 to $157
- Average international hotel rates increased 1% in Q1 2012 vs. Q1 2011 to $240
“Prices rose in the first quarter as companies put travelers on the road to jumpstart 2012 business goals while supply remained relatively tight,” Christa Degnan Manning, director of Expert Insights Research for American Express Global Business Travel, said in a news release. “To optimize travel budgets in this environment, companies should look at how they are encouraging compliance with corporate travel policies with positive motivators, instead of punishments for non-compliance. Travelers should be rewarded for booking with preferred suppliers and taking cost-saving measures such as advance purchasing in ways that they appreciate. Strategies like these can demonstrate support to travelers throughout their journeys.”
Sage Hospitality will take over management of a portfolio of 12 select-service Marriott International hotels in Ohio, according to a news release.
The 12 hotels to be managed by Sage Hospitality are part of a 17-hotel Marriott select-service portfolio.
The breakdown of the 1,208 rooms across the state of Ohio consists of four in the Cleveland area, four in the Columbus area, three in the Cincinnati area and one property in the Toledo/Findlay area.
Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.