In this week’s roundup of news from the Americas region: RLH Corporation and Extended Stay America make CEO changes; a look at who is investing in the Caribbean; U.S. hotel performance growth downgraded for 2020; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s review covers the Americas.
RLHC, ESA make CEO changes
During the third quarter, RLH Corporation announced on its earnings call that Greg Mount, president and CEO, had resigned from his role, which he held since 2014, effective immediately. RLHC officials said shareholder frustration was tied to the resignation, reports Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller.
“Acknowledging and sharing our shareholders’ frustration regarding the lack of progress growing the core franchise business along with elevated franchise terminations and weak performance of owned hotels, the board understands the need for action to be taken,” Bob Wolfe, chairman of the company’s board of directors, said on the call. “That starts with a change in the company’s leadership.”
Shortly after that announcement, Extended Stay America replaced former ESA president and CEO Jonathan Halkyard with Bruce Haase as of 22 November.
In the release, Douglas Geoga, chairman of the company’s board, said “over the past several years the Extended Stay Boards, together with our outside advisors, have carefully considered a wide range of transactional strategic alternatives to drive shareholder value. Through this process, which was only recently discontinued, the Boards determined that none of the terms upon which alternatives were available would provide an acceptable outcome, or superior value compared to improved execution of the Company’s business strategy.”
Caribbean investment supported by local capital
Although a majority of inbound travel to the Caribbean comes from the U.S., the same can’t be said about where investment is coming from, writes HNN’s Stephanie Ricca, which is mostly within the region.
“There’s no shortage of liquidity in the region; it’s just coming from local banks, local (pension funds) and high-net-worth individuals,” said Nicholas Hecker, executive managing director and chief investment officer of Sculptor Real Estate. “There hasn’t been a rush of liquidity from U.S. institutions into the region.”
US hotel performance growth expected to dip below 1%
According to STR and Tourism Economics, growth projections for U.S. hotel revenue per available room have been downgraded to less than 1% for the remainder of 2019 and 2020, the news release states. (STR is the parent company of HNN.)
“U.S. hotels have posted nine straight years with RevPAR increases of basically 3% or higher, so growth levels below 1% will clearly represent the industry’s worst years since the recession,” Amanda Hite, STR’s president, said in the release.
Deals, developments, people on the move
- Pebblebrook Hotel Trust closed on the sale of the 99-room Topaz Hotel in Washington, D.C., for $33.1 million.
- Stonebridge Companies opened the 382-room dual-brand Tru by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center and Home2 Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center, welcoming guests on 1 November.
- The Marigold Hotel in Pendleton, Oregon, sold for an undisclosed price.
- Hunter Hotel Advisors announced the sale of the TownePlace Suites Fort Lauderdale Weston to GB Companies.
- Hard Rock International announced a partnership with Bristol Resort & Casino to create Hard Rock Casino Bristol in Bristol, Virginia.
- Hospitality Management Corporation announced the opening of the newly rebranded SunCoast Park Hotel Anaheim, Tapestry Collection.
- Accor opened the 275-room Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, which is the first Sofitel property to open in Mexico.
- Diego Stefan has been appointed executive chef as Las Ventanas al Paraiso, a Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico.
- The Grand Summit Hotel in New Jersey appointed Adam Scott as executive chef.
Compiled by Dana Miller.