Monthly Archives: May 2013

Springwood Scores Grand Slam in Ratings

Every one of Springwood’s hotels (those open at least two months) has won the coveted Certificate of Excellence from This award signifies overall guest satisfaction in the top 10% of all lodging facilities worldwide.  

 Earning these multiple awards stands as a testament to carefully-selected and highly-trained associates who take such care of our guests – every day.


2013 Certiate of Excellence Winner



TripAdvisor is delighted to recognize Springwood Hospitality with a 2013 Certificate of Excellence.

This prestigious award, which places you in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers.

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Hotel Sector Enjoys Highest First Quarter Revenue – Ever!

Adapted from a 5-20-13 article on by Rayna Katz

The hotel sector is having a golden moment.

 “It’s a good time to invest in the industry,” says Robert Mandelbaum, director of research information services at PKF Consulting. “In fact, it’s one of the better times. There’s not a lot of new competition in 2013 and 2014, which will perpetuate the growth in occupancy.  That allows hotels to drive prices, and they are benefiting from the ADR.”

 Benefitting indeed. In a March report, PKF Hospitality Research predicts domestic hotels will experience a 6.1% increase in RevPAR for the year, prompting a staggering 10.2% rise of NOI.

 An owner’s first-hand experience supports these claims. “Since the start of the year we’ve seen fairly strong operating performance in all segments of hotels across our portfolio,” says Tyler Henritze, a senior managing director in Blackstone’s real estate group. “Q1 has met or exceeded expectations.”

These positive forecasts, and first-hand experience, stem from astounding occupancy levels as well as a dearth of new supply, according to several industry analysts.

 “We’re seeing some of the most favorable operational metrics today than we have in a long time,” says Gregory LaBerge, national director of Marcus & Millichap’s national hospitality group, as previously reported in Real Estate Forum’s sister publication, Further, “This will go on for the next several years. Over the past few years, we’ve seen some of the lowest numbers of new hotels coming on line.”

Supply was muted, LaBerge explains, but demand soared, with 2012 posting record room sales of nearly 1.1 billion nights. “And we’re supposed to blow through that again this year.”

 Agrees Jan Freitag, SVP at Smith Travel Research, “In the first three months of this year, the industry made more room revenue, at $27 billion, than in any other first quarter.” This positive moment will likely continue for some time, he adds.

 “Our pipeline looks fantastic,” says Bill Fortier, SVP of Americas development at Hilton Worldwide. “We added more than 500 properties last year, we could add 600 this year and possibly 700 in 2014.”

 It’s not a bad time for those looking to break into hotels to consider building, he suggests. “It’s cheaper right now to build than to buy.”

Still, the pace of supply growth is far from rapid, Freitag notes. “The long term average is 2.1% and we’re at 0.6% for 2013. This is the lowest level of construction we’ve ever seen.” The pace is lending an assist to pricing, he adds. The slow growth “means occupancy has to go up, and that gives you pricing power. For the first quarter, occupancy was 57.7% and ADR was $108.” By contrast, according to PKF data, occupancy was 56.7% for Q1 2012, and ADR was $103.

 But if an asset class is so popular, can a buyer get in? “That’s the problem,” admits Freitag. “We’re expecting room rate and RevPAR growth in the next 24 to 36 months to be rate-growth driven and that’ll drive NOI, which should then drive real estate values.”

 Players in the market and analysts alike feel the best bang for a buck in the hotel sector right now is select-service hotels.

 “Select service is the darling of the industry right now,” declares Fortier. “Big private equity funds finally figured out that there’s more to be made in focused service than full service,” he asserts. “There’s better long-term return and less risk because there aren’t costs for food and beverage service and the like, which can be expensive to maintain.”

 At least one such brand from Hilton’s portfolio, Hampton Hotels, is a good example of the success of this hotel segment. The chain opened 22 new properties—adding 2,134 guestrooms—in the first quarter, kicking off an expected 90 openings this year. In 2012, 70 Hampton Hotels made their debut.

 “We target select-service hotels because they are a more efficient and less-complex operating model with stronger margins,” adds Greg Merage, CEO of MIG Real Estate, which recently purchased its fourth such property in the Tampa, FL area, “and they offer a much lower investment cost per room compared to their full-service counterparts. Within this category, we like the ‘power brands’—such as Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Hyatt—because of their robust marketing engines and successful loyalty programs.”

 And limited-service hotels still pack plenty of value, Mandelbaum says.  “There’s a lack of availability at full-service hotels with the high occupancy levels, so people have to seek rooms in lower priced properties.” Also, he noted, “as the top-tier hotels drive rates up, people will trade down because of price, so lower-priced properties will do better, too.”

 It’s tough to make a bad choice in the current market, notes Mandelbaum. “We don’t think there are bad segments to invest in, some just are better than others.” Agrees Merage, “The basis and cap rates for hotels, relative to other property types, remain very attractive. Financing for hotels also has become very competitive; we’re seeing terms that rival what was being done before the recession.”

 Hotel investors nationwide can expect healthy profit growth for the foreseeable future, says Mandelbaum. “The outlook is positive. Not only is revenue growth being driven by ADR at this point in the cycle, which is very profitable for investors,” he notes, “but after previous recessions we’ve seen surges in expense growth during the first few years of recovery as managers replace the services and amenities cut during recessions and bring back employees who were cut or had their wages and/or hours reduced.”

 During this recovery though, Mandelbaum contends, “We actually have seen a continuation of the austerity practices of 2008 and 2009, and expense growth has been fairly modest. It’s not surging like after past recessions, so there’s growth at the bottom line,” he says. “I think technology and efficient staffing are helping to perpetuate the limited cost spike.”

Overall, Mandelbaum predicts, the trajectory for hotels is good on a number of fronts. “We’re expecting both rate and revenue growth in 2015 and 2016. We will see a slight decline in the pace of growth in 2017, but that’s mostly due to the cyclical nature of the industry,” he contends. “The prospects are good for hotels.”

Adapted by David H. Hogg

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U.S.Hotel Revenue Growth to Continue

Adapted from a 5-20-13  article by Alissa Ponchione on

The U.S. hotel industry enjoyed first quarter 2013 revenue growth that will continue into 2014, according to a Market Forecast & Hotel Industry Outlook Webinar co-hosted by STR and Tourism Economics.

 Even though the U.S. is in a period of austerity, gross-domestic-product growth will be just over 2% this year and accelerate to 3% during the next year, Adam Sacks, founder and managing director of Tourism Economics, said.  Sacks said additional factors have helped the U.S. economy, as well.

“The worst of the fiscal cliff has been avoided, the Main Street economy has not been dramatically affected and even though tax increases and spending cutbacks have taken hold, there is no noticeable effect on macroeconomics,” he said.

During the first quarter of 2013, the hotel industry’s 6.4% increase in revenue per available room (“RevPAR”) was fueled by a 4.5% uptick in average daily rate (“ADR”), said Bobby Bowers, senior VP of STR.  “What’s driving RevPAR now is rate,” Bowers said.

Supply and demand
Rate recovery is a positive sign, and the favorable supply-demand balance that has persisted for more than a year is showing some initial signs of evening out.

“What you can see with this is the demand part is coming down to sustainable levels after a snap back from the downturn,” Bowers said. However, the “very low” room supply growth over the last two years is “beginning to creep up” around 0.6%.

 More room supply will put a drag on occupancy, he added.  Occupancy growth is solid, according to Sacks, and it will flatten going into 2014 and 2015 as supply begins to increase.

 RevPAR growth is up 6.5% for first the quarter of 2013. Historical patterns show that RevPAR growth extends for long periods of time, followed by a downturn.  Bowers is hopeful that the industry will see more years of RevPAR growth as we continue the multi-year trend.

 “The RevPAR potential for the industry is real,” Sacks said.

Construction pipeline
Moving into the rest of 2013, room supply will grow slowly.  73,000 rooms are under construction in April 2013, a 20% increase of rooms under construction compared to April 2012.

 Overall, Bowers said, “We had a really good start to 2013.” Although room supply growth is creeping higher, it’s still not a huge threat. The focus going forward will be on ADR driving RevPAR, he added.

Adapted by Dave Hogg

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