July 2, 2022

Briefs: Elger CEO at Forbes Travel; KSL, Arcade acquire Silverado Resort

Elger new Forbes Travel Guide CEO: Forbes Travel Guide has appointed Herman Elger as chief executive officer to lead the company into a new phase of strategic growth in global travel. Elger will be succeeding Filip Boyen, who will remain as ambassador after serving his position for three-and-a-half years. Prior to joining Forbes Travel Guide, Elger was executive vice president of travel, entertainment and health security at Sharecare, leading the launch of Sharecare’s health security verification program in partnership with Forbes Travel Guide. Prior to Sharecare, Elger was the managing director of Baccarat Hotel New York and chief operating officer of Baccarat Hotels and Resorts. He has also worked at numerous luxury hotels, including the St. Regis in New York City and the Montage in Beverly Hills.

YOTEL grows in the U.K.: YOTEL has announced the addition of the 161-key YOTEL London Shoreditch. The former East London Hotel will be rebranded as a YOTEL and open this April. This marks the company’s fifth city center property in the U.K., the fourth franchise property, the second hotel conversion in the U.K. and the 19th property in operation globally. Owned by Crestline Investors and Avelios Investors, the hotel will be managed by Michels & Taylor. The next YOTEL will open in Miami this spring, followed by one in Geneva, Switzerland, later in the year.

Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa Valley

KSL, Arcade acquire Silverado Resort: KSL Capital Partners and Arcade Capital have acquired for an undisclosed amount through their affiliates the 449-room Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa Valley, California’s wine country. The luxury resort includes three dining venues, three swimming pools, 10 outdoor tennis courts, two Robert Trent Jones, Jr. designed championship golf courses, a 16,000 square foot spa and fitness center and 70,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

TUI’s €500 million fund for expansion: TUI AG, the German travel and tourism company, has announced plans to launch a €500 million (US$562.54 million) global hotel fund to grow its hotel division outside of Europe. The company said the fund is primarily targeted at institutional investors and added that one of Germany’s largest pension funds had already made a capital commitment for a significant share of the fund’s planned equity volume. TUI will hold a 10% stake in the fund’s equity. This fund is likely to be followed by more funds focusing on Europe.

Richard Caring to acquire Corbin & King?: Richard Caring, the London-based restaurant tycoon, is considering acquiring the Corbin & King group, which is in the middle of a dispute with its majority stakeholder Minor International. Caring, the owner of Caprice Holdings and shareholder of the Soho House Group, is reportedly an early frontrunner to take over Corbin & King, which has been accused of not meeting its financial obligations. Caring is believed to be meeting representatives of Minor this week.

HotStats 2021 overview: Despite a lack of corporate and group travel, the global hotel industry ended 2021 almost back to 2019 levels, the recognized baseline of recovery, according to a trend report by HotStats. While December 2021 profit was lower than that of December 2019, Q4 was more in line with the past years. December hotel profitability in the U.S. was higher than November and closer to its December 2019 comparable. GOPPAR was US$58.59, which was 12.5% off of the December 2019 level. GOPPAR for 2021 was 53% lower than 2019, but 520% higher than 2020. ADR in 2021 was at its highest level since October 2018 and US$20 higher on a nominal basis than its October 2019 comparable. December TRevPAR in the U.S. was US$30 lower than the December 2019 level. Payroll cost of PAR basis was US$16 lower in December than the December 2019, but rose since the beginning of 2021 to end the year US$38 higher.

WTTC predicts big rebound: The World Travel & Tourism Council has reported that the global Travel & Tourism sector’s contribution to the global economy could reach US$8.6 trillion this year, just 6.4% behind pre-pandemic levels of US$9.2 trillion In 2020, the pandemic brought the sector to an almost complete standstill, causing a massive 49.1% drop, representing a loss of nearly US$4.5 trillion. The WTTC also reported that the sector could create 58 million jobs in 2022, to reach more than 330 million, just 1% below pre-pandemic levels and up 21.5% up on 2020.

Santa Barbara Four Seasons workers sue Ty Warner: Around 425 hotel employees have filed a class-action lawsuit against Ty Warner, the owner of Santa Barbara’s Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore in California. The staff worked at the hotel till March 20, 2020, and have been placed on an indefinite furlough due to the pandemic, although hotel managers reportedly told Warner that the hotel could start operating again from May 1, 2020. The employees claim that they have been denied US$6 million in compensation contractually as employees who were terminated for no fault of their own and claimed that Warner has refused to reopen the hotel. According to two lead plaintiffs named in the legal action, the employees have had to go without wages and benefits worth millions, with one former employee committing suicide.

India earmarks additional funds for hospitality industry: India will be extending the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) for the hospitality industry till March 2023, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced during her budget speech. Acknowledging that the industry is “yet to regain their pre-pandemic level of business,” the ECLGS guarantee cover will be expanded by Rs. 50,000 crore (US$6.68 billion) to total cover of Rs. 5 lakh crore (US$66.84 billion). The additional Rs. 50,000 crore will be set aside exclusively for the hospitality and other related businesses. The government’s decision has been welcomed by hoteliers as the Omicron variant has caused room demand to crash as third wave of the pandemic swept through the country.

CoralTree to manage Sunriver Resort: CoralTree Hospitality grew its management portfolio in the Pacific Northwest with the addition of Sunriver Resort near Bend, Oregon. The resort consists of 245 rooms, 282 vacation rentals, 11 restaurants, four golf courses and more than 45,000 square feet of meeting space. The 3,300-acre residential resort features The Lodge Village and River Lodge. Along with the guest rooms, CoralTree will also manage the vacation rentals. CoralTree’s parent company, Lowe, has been involved with Sunriver since the 1990s and has been an integral part of the resort’s expansion.

TrueNorth Commons completes financing: TrueNorth Commons, the mixed-use development at the North Entrance of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, has completed financing. The 57-acre complex will feature a hotel and conference center, a new USAFA visitor center and a commercial retail and office space. Amounting to more than US$340 million, the projects were funded through a public-private partnership between the Association of Graduates and Air Force Academy Foundation, the City of Colorado Springs, Blue & Silver Development Partners and Provident Resources Group. The hotel will be owned by Provident Group — Falcon Properties and will be managed by CoralTree Hospitality. Provident accessed the municipal market through RBC Capital Markets to finance the US$250 million project. The hotel will include two in-hotel simulators, which will reproduce the flight deck of the 737 NG along with a 220-degree wraparound screen with HD imagery for a real-life experience.

Omicron rattles safety perceptions: Consumer attitudes about travel are facing some turbulence, after a marginal increase last fall, revealed the findings of Deloitte’s Global State of the Consumer Tracker. According to the study, Americans are slowing down on leisure travel. Overall spending intent has gradually reduced, with spending intentions for monthly leisure travel dropping from an average US$330 per survey respondent in September to US$240 in December. The percent of Americans planning to fly domestically for leisure travel has dipped from a two-year high of 43% to 33% since October. Consumers are reconsidering trips and looking for safer travel, with booking intentions dropping across most travel products in December, including hotel (47%), domestic air (34%), cruise (21%) and international air (19%). However, intentions for both rental cars (34%) and private accommodation rentals (34%) remained steady, indicating that consumers perceive these forms of travel as safer. Among those who travel for business, 67% expect to take a business trip in the next three months, a decrease of 80% in September.

NY AG sues for Trump DC records: New York Attorney General Letitia James has subpoenaed the General Services Administration (GSA), asking for records on how the agency chose former President Donald Trump’s business to lease the federally-owned Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D.C., for his hotel. The inquiry reportedly seeks information on whether Trump got the lease after overstating his net worth. The information mentioned in the record is likely to help James’s effort to establish Trump’s effort to present his business partners, insurers and banks with false information to obtain other deals and loans. The GSA selected Trump for the project in 2012 and opened the hotel in 2016. He didn’t sell his stake in the lease after he was elected as president, despite calls from Democrats to avoid conflicts of interest. Trump is now trying to sell his lease, which could earn his business almost US$100 million in profits.

Kasa to be AMLI’s short-term rental provider: AMLI Residential has announced that Kasa Living will be its preferred enterprise-level, short-term rental partner. Kasa, the flexible accommodations provider for institutional real estate owners, has been partnering with AMLI since 2016. AMLI, the apartment investing vehicle of Morgan Stanley’s PRIME Property Fund, partners with Kasa at nine properties and plans to grow its development pipeline. Kasa’s national footprint includes 65 properties and more than 45 U.S. destinations. AMLI currently owns and manages 72 apartment communities, including 23,000 apartment homes and has around 5,000 additional apartment homes under development and/or in lease-up at 12 locations.