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July 2021: Leisure Travel Roars Back

People are tired of lockdowns. It’s clear from looking at Springwood’s July 2021 room revenues among its hotels open a year or more on July 1, 2019. Looking at room revenue in that set:

  • Three quarters of these hotels posted July 2021 revenue better than that of July 2019
  • Every property in the set came in at 97% or more of setting a new July revenue record. One actually beat its previous July record.

What does this foretell for the future? We’re through making predictions until Covid-19 is vanquished, but our investors are certainly enjoying life at the moment.

Commercial travel is gradually recovering. If that continues (and if there are no further lockdowns), we look forward to a profitable few years ahead.

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Pent-Up Demand – Squared – This July 4th Weekend

In a Wall Street Journal article today, a University of Central Florida economist described the pandemic-recovery tourism demand this way: “What we have is pent-up demand squared. You have this traditional concept of pent-up demand, but it’s coupled with the fact that people were literally pent-up in their homes. Those two types of pent-up demand are being unleashed.”

Pent-up demand squared. It’s a fascinating construct that helps explain why Springwood’s portfolio-wide revenue last month beat June 2019 revenue by a whopping 25%, yet our room count only grew by 11% over the same period. And the demand is getting stronger as we look at forward reservations for July and August.

The Journal article goes on to describe, “The scene unfolding on the ground is akin to what might happen if every guest at a giant wedding showed up days early.” This is happening against a backdrop of a severe labor shortage.

The article goes on to say, “Hotels with staffing gaps are having to make tricky decisions: Sell as many rooms as possible and figure things out on the fly, or purposely drop occupancy to preserve quality – and avoid bad reviews.” Springwood is aware of hotels in our markets that are shutting down entire floors because there is simply no one to clean the rooms.

The strangest 16 months in the history of the hospitality industry are quickly turning into the strangest 18 months… It’s a credit to the amazing Springwood team that we’ve missed very few opportunities to sell rooms due to lack of labor.

When you travel this summer, please tip your housekeeper. They made the decision to show up to clean your room, while some of their friends opted to stay home. These folks – the ones who show up to serve you – are champions who should be celebrated this Fourth of July as an important part of what makes America great.

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Trader Joe’s is coming to Central PA!

This week, we can FINALLY tell you that Trader Joe’s is under construction directly beside where we’re developing the Springhill Suites by Marriott this year. This luxury, Marriott branded hotel will benefit from being in leisurely walking distance to Bonefish Grille, Texas Roadhouse, and now Trader Joe’s.

The Springhill investment offering comes out on July 6th, so check your email for it.

Here’s the text of today’s article on the new Trader Joe’s, from Central Penn Business Journal online:

Trader Joe’s is coming to the Lower Allen Common Shopping Center

By: Ioannis Pashakis June 28, 2021 1:53 pm

Trader Joe’s is coming to Central Pennsylvania.

The Lower Allen Township Development Authority confirmed last week that the Monrovia, California-based grocery chain will open a 12,500-square-foot store in Lower Allen Commons. The new Trader Joe’s, the ninth in Pennsylvania but the first in this region, will be at the site of the former Camp Hill Bon-Ton.

The store, off Route 15 at Lower Allen Drive, is expected to open early next year; construction is already underway.

The development authority bought the Bon-Ton parcel in 2019, with the intent to redevelop it, after the retailer filed for bankruptcy. Max Stoner, development authority chairman, said in a release: “We are glad to bring retail back to the site to strengthen our business community and create a bustling gateway for Lower Allen.”

Trader Joe’s has more than 500 stores in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Its other Pennsylvania locations, according to traderjoes.com, are in Ardmore, Jenkintown, Media, Wayne, Philadelphia, North Wales, Pittsburgh and State College.

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Springwood Hospitality Honored with 2019 Hilton Legacy Award

York, PA  December 17, 2020  Springwood Hospitality today announced it has been honored with yet another Hilton Legacy Award, the 2019 Focused Service Brands Developer of the Year award. The annual awards program celebrates development partners in the Americas for contributions toward brand excellence and development efforts. This year Hilton recognized more than 50 high-performing owners and developers across 15 different categories. Springwood is the sole 2019 Focused Service Brands Developer of the Year honoree in North America.

Hilton’s development team was particularly impressed with Springwood’s performance on the Tru by Hilton Hershey Chocolate Avenue. Early in the development process, Springwood voluntarily met with community groups to modify the exterior appearance of the planned hotel to give it more of a “Hershey flavor”. Community input completely changed the hotel’s exterior color palate, resulting in the only “Chocolate Tru” in the world.

Springwood’s team meticulously prepared the hotel for a successful opening at the peak of the Hershey tourist season. “We knew that every guest room had to be 100% guest-ready,” says Justin Shelton, President of Springwood Hospitality. “When Hilton’s pre-opening inspection team arrived they were shocked. The hotel was spotless and ready to open, so their job was fast and easy. They’re not used to seeing that.”

Springwood also participated in a second 2019 Hilton Legacy Award. It opened and manages The Wilbur Lititz, a Hilton Tapestry Collection Hotel, for owner Oak Tree Development of Lancaster. Hilton honored this hotel as the 2019 Tapestry by Hilton New Build of the Year for North America.

The leadership of Hilton’s development and brand teams select the Legacy Award winners based on strict criteria including, but not limited to, hotel quality and commitment to guest experience. To see the full list of Hilton’s 2019 Legacy Award winners click here.

“Our relationship with Hilton is mutually beneficial, and their brands have been consistently successful for us,” says David Hogg, Springwood CEO. In 2019 Springwood opened three Hilton focused-service hotels and began construction on four more, all of which opened this year.

Springwood and its affiliates have profitably developed 31 projects worth more than $300 million in central Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland. They have helped high-net-worth entities and individuals invest $90 million of private capital in these projects. Just three years ago Springwood won Hilton’s Multi-Brand Developer of the Year award for North America. It has been honored with two other national development (and many other) awards from Hilton and Marriott, plus numerous other awards from Central Penn Business Journal, United Way and other organizations.

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THIS is what America Looks Like

Dinner for snowbound Tru neighbors from Longhorn Steakhouse Lancaster East

The night of December 16, 2020, with snow falling at a rate of 2″ per hour and 18″ total in the forecast, the Tru by Hilton Lancaster East overnight team and their guests were snowbound. Folks wondered who would be bold enough to venture out for dinner with the roads all but impassable.

Then what to their wondering eyes did appear but a crew from next door, the place with the steer. Yes, our Longhorn neighbors brought dinner for everyone holed up at the hotel that night. Not DoorDash. Not curbside. Not even ordered. Just neighbors helping neighbors in need.

Thank you so much Longhorn Lancaster East for demonstrating that we live in the best place on earth. You serve a darned good steak, too.

Friends, this is what America looks like. Merry Christmas!

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David Hogg 2020 Central Penn Business Journal Icon Awards Winner

Springwood is pleased to announce that David Hogg is being recognized with a 2020 Icon Honors award from the Central Penn Business Journal. The publication says, “The Icon Honors awards recognize business leaders over the age of 60 who have left an indelible mark in their fields, and whose integrity, vision and selfless service have lifted up the Central PA community.”

For more than thirty years Dave has fashioned his life to be the pinnacle of what this award recognizes. His leadership at Springwood first positioned the firm as the market leader in affordable housing for seniors in York and Cumberland Counties. When the organization left that industry it became an undisputed leader in the development and management of Hilton- and Marriott- branded hotels in Central Pennsylvania.

Today Springwood manages14 hotels totaling more than 800,000 square feet and more than 1,400 guestrooms.

“We play the game of business with our cards face-up,’” Dave says. “Nothing hidden, even when bad news happens.”

A leader within the community, Dave has served as Vice President of the Logos Academy school board, President of the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau, chaired the Charitable Endowment Fund Committee of the Rotary Club of York, and served on the York County Room Tax Grant Committee. Among many other volunteer roles, he was also a founding member of New Life Presbyterian Church in York and he has been a multiple Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor. In 2020 he also rolled off of the Young Life York County Committee after 10 years of service.

Hogg has studied the apparent contradictions faced by Christians growing successful businesses. He says, “Dollars define the scoreboard for successful businesses. It’s what we do with those dollars that personally define us for eternity. We must be wise stewards.”

Dave and his wife, Barbara, recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. Springwood’s successful hotel business and his personal service to the community aside, Hogg sees family as his greatest achievement.

“Our two sons have grown into young men of faith and integrity, each successful in his chosen field of endeavor. That’s the most significant accomplishment for which Barb and I enjoy being recognized,” he says.

Hogg adds, “I consider it a true privilege to help our talented Springwood team succeed. As that happens, our trusted investors also succeed. Every day I’m excited to see what new opportunity comes our way. I look forward to helping Springwood tackle those opportunities for years to come.”

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Hilton launches Home2 Suites Brand in China

In a June 30 interview with CNBC, lan Watts, group president with Hilton for the Asia-Pacific region, announced that this organic growth was a perfect fit for the economic activity he sees in China today.

The expansion of superhighways in the country, paired with more and more workers taking jobs farther from home, make Home2 a perfect product right now. He’s also seeing “more long-term project-based work in tier 3 and tier 4 cities” in China.

Springwood’s experience with the Home2 Suites brand within our footprint has been excellent. We see no reason why the experience in China would be any less.

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Record New Openings!

June 17, 2020

Springwood now enters our busiest opening season in history. The four new hotels coming online between now and October 30 will set a new opening record for us; we’re also reopening five hotels in the next few weeks.
Here’s the rundown on these upcoming openings and re-openings:

  • June 29 – Reopening Hampton Inn & Suites by HIlton York South
  • July 2 – Reopening Tru by Hilton Hershey Chocolate Avenue
  • July 6 – Reopening Tru by Hilton York
  • July 9 – Reopening Tru by Hilton Lancaster East
  • July 29 – Opening Tru & Home2 Suites by Hilton Easton
  • August 28 – Opening Home2 Suites by Hilton Ephrata
  • October 30 – Opening Home2 Suites by Hilton Martinsburg

Easton’s pre-sold business looks strong, and it could open a week or two early depending on local market activity. As it turns out, the winter construction delay and the Wolf shutdown we experienced at this property were blessings that kept us from opening this pair of hotels just as Covid-19 was about to begin.

Wolf’s shutdown will delay opening of the Home2 Ephrata by 44 days, and the virus itself will delay the Home2 Martinsburg by two weeks (two workers on site contracted Covid-19, then all others quarantined at home for two weeks). 

We’re excited to get about the business of safely serving guests and beating our competition with pure, unadulterated hospitality. Let the good times resume!

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Justice from Relationships

Springwood Hospitality is happy to be based in York County, PA, where law enforcement and local clergy have been engaged in helpful, respectful, and relationship-building dialogue since 2016. Does it solve everything that must be solved? Absolutely not.

What it does do is bring about a cooperative effort, born of mutual respect, between leaders in law enforcement county-wide and pastors of diverse congregations county-wide. This group meets monthly to dialogue, learn from each other, and drive each other to improve.

From relationships comes trust. It helps not only when you have the police chief’s mobile number, but also when you know he’ll actually listen to you if you call it. The feedback that chiefs have received from this dialogue has helped them clean up some unacceptable behavior on the part of a few officers who were not adhering to policy. Mutually beneficial dialogue is always – well – mutually beneficial.

Why were York County’s recent racial protests peaceful and powerful? It all started with the dialogue that began years ago and continues today. This group recently published its official position on the events surrounding the George Floyd incident. We at Springwood wholeheartedly add our corporate signature to their statement, which we’ve printed in its entirety below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

YORK COUNTY CHIEFS OF POLICE AND CLERGY STAND TOGETHER FOR JUSTICE

We offer our deepest sympathies, condolences, and prayers to the family and friends of Mr. George Floyd.

The York County Association of Chiefs of Police and local clergy, including the Black Ministers Association of York County, stand united in our outrage and condemnation of the reprehensible use of deadly force by police officers in Minneapolis, MN that led to the senseless and tragic death of Mr. George Floyd. There can be no allowance in law enforcement for officers who commit such heinous acts, or for officers who fail to intervene and stop the commission of these acts. We hold faith that the criminal actions of the officers will be charged appropriately as a result of a thorough investigation.

The policing of our community is a high and noble calling that requires our community’s police officers to possess the highest integrity and fairness. The York County Association of Chiefs of Police continues to uphold our commitment that law enforcement officers treat all individuals, whether they are a complainant, suspect, or defendant, with the full dignity and respect they deserve as human beings. It is our commitment to hold our own law enforcement officers to the highest standards of accountability when they fail to abide by these standards. We hold these principles as the bedrock upon which procedural justice and police legitimacy stand.

As Chiefs of Police and Clergy, we stand united in the pursuit of a thriving and just York County.

About Our Partnership

It was our joint concern over unrest in our nation surrounding the fair policing of our communities that led us to begin meeting together in 2016. Since 2016, our vision has been that York develop a reputation as One York: a peaceful and thriving community whereas:

  • Mutual respect, trust, transparency, and cooperation exist between law enforcement and community
  • Our community is policed with fairness and justice resulting in safety and peace

Signed in unity together,

Chief Timothy Damon, York Area Regional Police

Pastor Bill Kerney, President, Black Ministers Association

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Free Rooms for Medical Professionals

Capture of Masks

As the world navigates the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response, Springwood Hospitality is committed to doing our part to positively impact the communities where we operate.

We are joining Hilton and American Express to donate hotel rooms to frontline medical professionals who need a place to sleep, recharge, or isolate from their families.

Springwood’s properties that are extending hospitality to healthcare heroes fighting COVID-19 include the Homewood Suites by Hilton York, and the Home2 Suites by Hilton hotels in York, Lancaster and Harrisburg North.

Hilton’s press release is below:

Hilton and American Express to Donate Up to 1 Million Rooms To Frontline Medical Professionals During COVID-19 Crisis

McLean, Va. and New York, N.Y. (April 6, 2020) – Hilton (NYSE:HLT) and American Express (NYSE:AXP) today announced that the companies, in partnership with Hilton’s ownership community, will donate up to 1 million hotel room nights across the United States to frontline medical professionals leading the fight against COVID-19.

Hilton and American Express are making rooms available without charge to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other frontline medical staff who need a place to sleep, recharge or isolate from their families through the end of May.

Hilton is initially working with 11 associations who collectively represent more than 1 million healthcare workers to provide access to the program, designed to support individuals who would otherwise have to spend their own money on accommodations.

“During this crisis, we have seen so many examples of medical professionals working in the most challenging circumstances, sacrificing their own needs for the greater good. They truly are heroes,” said Hilton President and CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta. “We are honored to extend our Hilton hospitality to them during this difficult time.”

American Express, Hilton’s long-standing strategic partner, is investing alongside Hilton in the donation of the hotel rooms, which will be provided at or below cost by Hilton’s network of independent owners and franchisees.

“Our medical workers who are courageously and selflessly serving on the frontlines in the coronavirus crisis represent the best of who we are,” said American Express Chairman and CEO, Stephen J. Squeri.

“We’re honored to support this initiative with our longtime partner, Hilton, to provide the heroes in our communities a place to rest, recharge and help keep their loved ones safe during this time.”

William Jaquis, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said the room donation will be welcome relief for the thousands of medical staff enduring long hours under challenging circumstances.

“Knowing that there is a safe, clean and comfortable hotel room waiting for you at the end of a long shift can make all the difference in the world right now,” Dr. Jaquis said. “The kind of compassion and caring that Hilton and American Express are offering has never been more welcome.”

Rooms will be available across a variety of Hilton brands, including Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton and others. Hotels will be staffed by Team Members who have received additional training on relevant health and safety measures to safeguard their own and their guests’ well-being. Hotel rooms and common areas will continue to be sanitized using industrial-grade cleaners and updated cleaning protocols. In some high-demand locations, room availability may be limited at times.

Nassetta credited owners from Hilton’s portfolio for joining the effort. “Across the United States, owners of Hilton hotels of every brand are eager to support their communities and be part of the solution. They have been instrumental in making this response possible.”

The following organizations will provide their networks with further details about booking rooms through this program, which is currently planned to cover stays from April 13 through May 31. To ensure availability, individual reservations can be made up four weeks in advance from the time of booking.

  • American Association of Critical Care Nurses
  • American Association of Respiratory Care
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American Hospital Association
  • American Nurses Association
  • Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association
  • Emergency Nurses Association
  • National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants
  • Society of Hospital Medicine

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