Features

How Ripe Is Colombia For Hotel Development? 

This one-time haven for drug cartels is trying to shed its dangerous image and promote tourism and resort development...

Hotel Borrowers Caught In ‘No Man’s Land’ 

Some hotel borrowers are venting their frustration over special servicers’ unavailability for advice at the same time the hoteliers face the threat of default. “I’m in no-man’s land,” fumed Nitin Shah, president of Imperial Investments Group in Norcross, Ga. at the 23rd annual Hunter Hotel Investment Conference held recently in Atlanta....

New Leadership in the Wings for Marriott Technology  

When Marriott’s long-time Chief Information Officer Carl Wilson retires next week, Bruce Hoffmeister, also a seasoned technology executive at the lodging giant, will succeed him as global chief information officer. During his tenure, Wilson oversaw the development of the company’s technology infrastructure, the rollout of Marriott.com and the introduction of the industry’s first high-speed Internet access to guestrooms....

Hotel Distress Buys: ‘There’s Something for Everyone Right Now’ 

The Ashford Hospitality Trust joint-venture acquisition of Highland Hospitality’s 28-hotel portfolio earlier this month reveals how far the hotel transaction market has come. The $1.28 billon deal alone was more than half the $2.1 billion transacted in the Americas through all of 2009, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, which tracks asset sales $10 million and higher....

Hotels Opt For Edginess in Restaurant Concepts 

A decade or two ago, hotels were not the first place you might expect to find a cool restaurant. In fact, many people wouldn't be caught dead in a hotel restaurant. The restaurant was considered an amenity for the hotel guests, a loss leader....

Holiday Inn Relaunch Drives Revenues, Satisfaction 

Costing $1 billion and involving nearly 3,400 hotels and 430,000 rooms, the recently completed relaunch of the Holiday Inn brand family was the most ambitious, wide-ranging hotel industry initiative ever undertaken. Nearly six years since its inception, the program is substantially complete, with 91% of the portfolio refreshed and the remaining hotels in the process of renovating to meet the new standards....

‘Bright Light in a Long Tunnel’ 

The Americas Lodging Investment Summit is the annual bellwether of the industry, setting the tone for the year in lodging. To get an even better understanding of where the hotel world is heading, Lodging Hospitality gathered a roundtable of industry leaders immediately following the conference to discuss their takeaways and to get their thoughts on the year ahead. ...

Why This Recovery Is So Hard to Gauge  

After having been beaten upside down over the last three years, the commercial real estate industry is getting up off the mat. Signs of stabilization are occurring across most property types as demand drives absorption. The real laggard is the office sector, which is suffering because of tepid job growth and dynamic structural changes. ...

One Developer Masterminds Albuquerque’s Two Boutique Hotels 

If he were still alive, Conrad Hilton would have no trouble recognizing the expansive lobby of the Hotel Andaluz in downtown Albuquerque. When the New Mexico native built the 10-story property in 1939, it was the city’s tallest building and Hilton’s fourth hotel project following three in neighboring Texas. More than 70 years later, the design and the feel both remain that of a Moorish Riad, or palace, exactly as Hilton envisioned back in the 1930s....

Trophy Hotel Assets Appealing to Asian Investors 

Lynn Cadwalader, the lawyer who worked with Chinese real estate firm Shenzhen New World Group on its January acquisition of the Sheraton Universal Hotel and last year’s purchase of the Los Angeles Marriott Downtown, says her client and other Asian investors are looking to buy trophy hotel assets in the U.S....

Tax Credits Fuel Philly Homewood Suites Project 

When the Homewood Suites University City broke ground in December, it was a first to many people for many reasons. For the developer, Campus Apartments, it marks the company’s first hotel project. For the City of Philadelphia, it is the first recipient of an EnergyWorks loan ...

11 Meeting Trends For 2011 

Houston-based Benchmark Hospitality International, which operates 30 hotels, resorts and conference centers in the U.S. and Japan, recently revealed its annual list of top meeting trends for 2011, as observed by its properties....

Hotel Receivers Talk Turnaround Strategies 

Working as a hotel receiver isn’t for the faint of heart. The assignment often comes on short notice, sometimes includes a surprised and hostile borrower and a property whose physical structure, staff and cash flow have deteriorated. ...

Marriott Vice Chairman Shaw to Retire 

Bill Shaw has seen a lot in his 37 years in the hospitality industry. When he joined Marriott in 1974, the company was a mid-size conglomerate. Today, it is the most-respected lodging-focused company in the world, and Shaw is a big reason why. He retires as vice chairman of the hotel giant on Mar. 31....

Digital Signage Expo Offers Track for Hoteliers 

More than 4,000 attendees and 180 exhibitors are expected at the 8th annual Digital Signage Expo that returns to Sin City Feb. 22-25 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It is the world’s largest trade show and conference covering digital signage, interactive technology and out-of-home networks. Multiple panels and sessions will appeal to hotel owners and operators, including several with moderators and panelists who work in the hospitality industry....

Two Texas Omnis Host Super Bowl Teams 

The teams are set for Super Bowl XLV—the Packers and the Steelers—and now the real work starts for Dan Piotrowski and Andrew Casperson, general managers of the two Omni Hotels in the Dallas-Fort Worth area hosting the teams for the game on Feb. 6. As far as anyone can determine, this Super Bowl is the first in which the two teams are staying in hotels from the same brand. The task of accommodating the teams, their families and friends and club officials started nearly a year ago for both hotels and the Omni organization....

Delaware North Strikes Gold With Special Places 

It may be the most successful hotel company you probably never heard of. It’s Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, the Buffalo, NY-based operator of 20 lodging properties with about 4,000 units mostly in or near national and state parks in the U.S. and Canada. The firm also owns five resorts in Australia and is concessionaire at a number of national parks (Grand Canyon, Sequoia, Yosemite), two New York State parks and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. ...

Hotel Consultant Turns Resort GM 

In a classic example of one thing leading to another, respected hotel industry consultant Mark Ozawa last fall found himself as the new managing director of the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, a 60-acre, 350-room property on the picturesque Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The story of how he got there is a fascinating one....

Wave of ‘Physical Distress’ Still to Come 

While hotel transactions have increased from a trickle to a steady stream in recent months, not everyone is feeling the flow. Trophy assets in gateway cities are trading at pre-recession prices, while many distressed assets continue to languish. ...

Hotel Industry Is Ready to Rebound 

2011 will be a pivotal year for the U.S. hotel industry as owners and operators strive to keep last year’s momentum intact. While operational performance should continue to improve, questions remain on how robust the transactions market will be and when new hotel development will return. ...

Radisson Revival Well On Its Way 

As Carlson CEO Hubert Joly said during the company’s global conference in March, it’s easy to announce ambitious plans for growth. It’s an altogether different thing to execute such plans. But according to Thorsten Kirschke, Carlson is well on its way. ...

Omni Creates Success at Historic Resort 

They don’t build resorts like the Omni Bedford Springs Resort & Spa anymore, and probably with good reason. Large, sprawling properties with lots of public spaces and recreational amenities and typically a mishmash of guestroom types can be a nightmare to operate and produce profits. Omni, which last year assumed management of the 214-year-old property in south central Pennsylvania, seems up to the task....

Leo Wells: Excessive Debt Is the Enemy  

Leverage is like cocaine, theorizes Leo Wells, founder and president of Wells Real Estate Funds, which has invested more than $12 billion in real estate since its inception in 1984. “Everybody is going to start off as a social user, and debt is that way,” he observes. “Pretty soon they've snorted their whole life up their nose.”...

Great Year for Belz, Peabody Orlando 

It’s been a pretty good year for Marty Belz, the president and CEO of Peabody Hotel Group. On Saturday, Dec. 11, the Peabody Orlando hosted the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association annual gala while celebrating its grand reopening after a $450-million expansion. ...

InterContinental Suites Gets Healthy Makeover 

Leaving a hospital in good spirits isn’t always possible. That’s why the InterContinental Suites Hotel in Cleveland is undergoing a massive renovation to become a center of wellness and tranquility. ...

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