Global hotel pulse: Americas news
Global hotel pulse: Americas news
05 MAY 2015 8:03 AM
In this week's roundup of news from the Americas region: STR and STR Global share March performance, pipeline data; Red Roof to add 40 hotels in Canada; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s review covers the Americas.
STR, STR Global share March performance data
United States: In year-over-year results, the U.S. hotel industry’s occupancy was up 2.3% to 66.8%; its average daily rate rose 5% to $120.50; and its revenue per available room increased 7.4% to $80.53, according to March data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now. 
Americas: Compared to March 2014, the Americas region reported a 2.2% increase in occupancy to 66.6%, a 4.1% increase in ADR to $122.35 and a 6.3% increase in RevPAR to $81.44, according to data from STR Global, HNN’s sister company.
… and March pipeline data
U.S.: There are 3,566 projects totaling 433,589 rooms under contract in the U.S., according to the March 2015 STR Pipeline Report. This represents a 13.7% increase in the number of rooms under contract compared with March 2014 and a 22.7% increase in rooms under construction.
Caribbean/Mexico: There are 165 hotels totaling 29,233 rooms under contract in the Caribbean/Mexico region, according to the March 2015 STR Construction Pipeline Report. This represents a 9.7% increase in rooms under contract compared with March 2014 and a 9% decrease in rooms under construction. 
Central/South America: There are 439 hotels totaling 69,820 rooms under contract in the Central/South America region, according to the March 2015 STR Global Construction Pipeline Report. This represents a 9.5% year-over-year increase in rooms under contract compared with March 2014 and a 19.9% increase in rooms under construction.
Why investors are lured to Central America
Central America’s hotel industry is getting a lot of attention from investors who are willing to look past infrastructure and security issues in the region, according to a report from HNN columnist Jonathan Kracer.
During the past decade, multinational corporations and cash-rich buyers seeking entry into these closely-knit markets have engaged in significant merger-and-acquisitions activity, resulting in company buyouts and extensive liquidity.
Following in the footsteps of El Salvador’s influential Poma family, these Central American power players are investing in hotels and diverse real estate platforms in their home countries—a strategy intended to preserve family wealth and further develop their region’s hospitality market, the report details.
Red Roof inks 40-hotel deal in Canada
Red Roof signed a 20-year deal with developer Glenn Squires to build and brand 40 hotels across Canada with the support of Pacrim Hospitality Services, according to a news release. /Article/15698/Red-Roof-inks-40-hotel-deal-in-Canada
The first four hotels will be up and running by 2016. These will be new-builds, with most built as Red Roof Plus properties, the company’s enhanced and upgraded offering. The four properties will be located in the Eastern and Atlantic regions of Canada opening in Grand Falls and Bay Roberts in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Wolfville and Antigonish in Nova Scotia. 
Luxury, beach resorts give Mexico a boost
Mexico's hotel industry has recorded steady, sustained growth during the past five years, driven in part by strength in a large share of 5-star and beach resorts, according to a report from HNN contributors Maria José Gutiérrez and Sergio Giorgetti.
The hotel rooms supply in Mexico has increased more than 60% since 2000, reaching a 4% compound-annual-growth rate. Grupo Posadas leads the top 10 ranking national hotel chains with 120 hotels counting 20,195 rooms. InterContinental Hotels Group leads the top 10 international hotel chains in the market with 126 hotels counting 20,000 rooms.
Slow road for US hotel companies eyeing Cuba
The door for U.S. companies to enter Cuba is ajar, but it won’t be thrust open any time soon. 
That doesn’t mean there isn’t opportunity for those companies in the island nation located 90 miles from Florida’s shores, according to speakers at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit.
“This is not the end; this is not even the beginning of the end,” said Pedro Freyre, partner with Akerman and a Cuban American. “It may be the end of the beginning.” 
Waterpark hotels on the rise in US
Hoteliers are making waves (the good kind) with guests by adding waterparks on property, according to research from Hotel & Leisure Advisors. The amenities have proven fun, safe and desirable for families with children, and are sparking demand to boot. 
A total of 24 waterparks (including municipally owned, standalone parks) were added in the U.S. during the past year. More than 400,000 square feet of indoor waterpark space and more than 1,400 rooms are planned for 2015. The two largest indoor waterpark resorts, Camelback Lodge and Kalahari Resort, are opening in the Poconos region of Pennsylvania.
Deals and developments
  • Chesapeake Lodging Trust acquired the Ace Hotel Downtown and The Theater at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles for a purchase price of $103 million, or approximately $566,000 per key.
  • Strategic Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement to sell a 100% interest in the 417-room Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego, California, for $118 million. The buyer was not disclosed.
  • Onex Corporation agreed to sell Tropicana Las Vegas to Penn National Gaming for approximately $360 million.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide signed an agreement with Inmobiliaria Punta Tormentos S.A. de C.V. to introduce the Sheraton brand to Cozumel, Mexico. The resort, scheduled to open in early 2018, will bring the brand’s presence to six hotels in Mexico and 37 in the region.
  • DoubleTree by Hilton opened its first property in Chile —the 226-room DoubleTree by Hilton Santiago-Vitacura —and the first full-service Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ hotel brand in the country. 
  • Best Western International signed its first two deals in North America to develop its new urban boutique concept. The 200-room Vib Miami will break ground in November 2015 and the 74-room Vib Chicago is expected to break ground mid-to-late summer.
Compiled by Samantha Worgull.

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