By

Marissa Turrubiates

2023 End of Year Hospitality Market Report and 2024 Outlook

MARKET OVERVIEW

The 2023 RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) growth of 4.9% was driven by moderate GDP growth and inflation, leading to an expected 3.1% rise in Average Daily Rate (ADR) and a 4.1% increase in RevPAR expectations. Despite predictions of a macroeconomic slowdown by Oxford Economics, the U.S. hotel industry, including corporate transient, group, and leisure travel sectors, is on a recovery path. A notable uptick in group travel, especially in Upper Upscale hotels, suggests increased meeting and convention activities for 2024, while leisure travel shows weaker performance in areas like Miami and New Orleans, and corporate transient demand is affected by the slow return to offices.

PERFORMANCE

The industry is seeing positive impacts from slight GDP growth and room rate hikes driven by approximately 3% inflation. Group travel demand remains strong, but corporate transient bookings are lagging due to delayed office re-openings, affecting downtown hotel occupancies. Leisure travel, particularly from international visitors, is still below expectations. However, limited-service hotels are performing well outside major metropolitan areas. Despite the pressure of rising operational costs on profit margins, the prospect of Federal Reserve rate cuts provides a glimmer of hope for margin improvement.

CONSTRUCTION

Hotel construction declines from its pre-pandemic peak, with challenges in securing financing due to higher interest rates. However, the final planning phase sees growth, suggesting potential future activity post-Fed rate cuts. Construction activity is concentrated in the Pacific, Mountain, and South Atlantic regions, with limited-service hotels dominating the pipeline. While full-service hotels are funded selectively, the future focus remains on limited- and select-service establishments.

SALES

Hotel sales plummeted by over 50% in 2023 due to challenging deal underwriting amid higher interest rates. However, with the Federal Reserve signaling rate cuts in 2024, market participants are expected to engage more actively. Although overall trading volume decreased, select deals were completed, while some high-profile borrowers ceased supporting their loans, raising speculation about future property trades. Despite the mixed outlook, optimism prevails for the commercial real estate sector in 2024.

 

ECONOMY

In 2023, the U.S. economy demonstrated remarkable resilience, defying early recession forecasts and the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes aimed at controlling inflation. This economic strength was supported by robust household spending on entertainment and recreational activities, a reflection of the economy’s adaptability and consumer confidence. The labor market remained sturdy, with wage growth outpacing inflation, enabling continued consumer spending despite tightening financial conditions.

As the economy transitions into 2024, inflation has shown a significant downtrend, providing room for the Federal Reserve to potentially ease its policy rates. Although certain sectors like manufacturing and housing face challenges, the services sector continues to thrive, buoyed by persistent demand. With the Federal Reserve and markets anticipating rate cuts, there’s optimism that this could further bolster economic growth and stability, presenting a hopeful outlook for the U.S. economy’s continued resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges.

Sources: CoStar Group, Hospitality National Report, all information as of February 2024. Oxford Economics.

Pivotal Partnerships: HP Hotels, Vista Host & KAJ Hospitality

In the ever-evolving world of hospitality management, Legendary Capital has forged strategic partnerships with industry stalwarts, each contributing a unique blend of expertise and commitment to excellence. Among these formidable alliances, the collaborations with HP Hotels, Vista Host, and KAJ Hospitality stand out as beacons of exemplary service and operational prowess. With a shared dedication to personalized guest experiences and an unwavering commitment to service excellence, these partnerships exemplify Legendary Capital’s unwavering pursuit of elevated hospitality management.

HP HOTELS
Elevating the Art of Hospitality Management

HP Hotels has a rich legacy of over 50 years in the hospitality industry, making them a
premier partner in Legendary Capital’s pursuit of excellence. HP Hotels is renowned for its comprehensive suite of hotel management services, which optimize operational efficiency and foster outstanding guest experiences.

Jared Bunch, Regional Director of Operations at HP Hotels, expresses their dedication to personalized service and guest loyalty, stating, “Our commitment to personalized service and guest loyalty is unwavering. Our goal is not just to provide accommodations but to create memorable experiences that keep guests coming back.”

The partnership with HP Hotels underscores Legendary Capital’s commitment to creating personalized service, positive reviews, and guest loyalty, all of which form the foundation for sustained profitability and long-term success.

By putting the guest at the center of everything we do, we build lasting relationships and ensure that HP Hotels remains a trusted name in the industry,” said Bunch.

HP Hotels’ forward-thinking approach leverages cutting-edge technology and industry best practices, enabling them to optimize daily operations and enhance the guest experience. By staying at the forefront of operational advancements, HP Hotels ensures seamless processes, efficient communication, and streamlined operations, ultimately contributing to the overall success of Legendary Capital’s properties.

VISTA HOST
A Proven Leader in Hospitality Management

Vista Host is a leading hospitality management company with expertise in hotel operations, marketing, and revenue management.

“At Vista Host, we have earned the trust of hotel owners and investors through our unwavering dedication to outstanding service and support. Our team of experienced hospitality professionals possesses a deep understanding of the industry, allowing us to navigate challenges and seize opportunities effectively.” said Robert McKinnon, Vista Host Director of Operations.

Vista Host’s operational divisions encompass all key industry verticals and geographic locations, making them a versatile and invaluable partner. Their focus on technological innovation, industry insights, and robust supplier agreements empowers Legendary Capital’s properties with streamlined operations and access to a vast network of resources.

“We prioritize long-term relationships, placing our clients’ interests at the forefront of everything we do,” said McKinnon.

Moreover, Vista Host’s commitment to attracting and retaining top talent ensures the long-term success of Legendary Capital’s properties, solidifying their reputation for exceptional guest experiences and operational excellence.

KAJ HOSPITALITY
Elevating Guest Experiences Beyond Expectations

KAJ Hospitality is synonymous with exceptional guest experiences. With a dedication to excellence and an impressive portfolio of upscale properties, KAJ Hospitality stands out as a pivotal partner in Legendary Capital’s mission to provide unparalleled service to our valued guests.

Sara Lussman, VP of Operations at KAJ Hospitality, emphasizes their commitment to excellence, stating, “At KAJ Hospitality, our focus is on fostering exceptional experiences for our guests. We understand that every guest is unique, and we take pride in tailoring our hospitality to meet their individual needs.”

KAJ Hospitality’s expertise lies here, in curating memorable experiences that resonate with guests, driving remarkable bottom-line impacts. Their specialized operational divisions, spanning various industry verticals and geographies, enable them to deliver stellar results for each property under their care.

“We believe that excellence is not just a standard but a continuous journey, and we are dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what exceptional service means in the hospitality industry,” said Lussman.

Beyond operational proficiency, KAJ Hospitality is dedicated to attracting and nurturing top talent through innovative training and recruitment strategies. This ensures a sustained commitment to service excellence, further enhancing the value of Legendary Capital properties.

 

As Legendary Capital continues to shape the landscape of the hospitality industry, its partnerships with HP Hotels, Vista Host, and KAJ Hospitality remain pivotal pillars of success. HP Hotels’ dedication to personalized service, Vista Host’s proven leadership in hotel operations, and KAJ Hospitality’s unwavering commitment to exceptional guest experiences all contribute to the realization of Legendary Capital’s mission. These partnerships not only ensure operational efficiency but also reaffirm Legendary Capital’s commitment to elevating the art of hospitality management, making each stay an unforgettable experience.

U.S. and Global Hotel Industry Performance

U.S. HOTEL INDUSTRY OVERVIEW

STRONG RECOVERY The U.S. hotel industry has exhibited notable resilience with September 2023 room demand ranking as the second-highest ever for the month. This suggests heightened consumer confidence and the hospitality industry’s resurgence post-pandemic challenges.

BUSINESS AND GROUP TRAVEL The brisk recovery of business and group travel is evident from weekday occupancy gains in the top markets. Such trends suggest that in-person meetings, conferences, and group events are on the rise.

SAN FRANCISCO’S NOTEWORTHY REBOUND From being the slowest among the top 25 markets to recover, San Francisco achieved nearly 90% weekday occupancy by September’s end, indicating a potential resurgence in tourism or business events.

PREVIOUS YEARS’ COMPARISON September 2023, while impressive, lags slightly behind 2022 in occupancy rates. This could be attributed to increased supply, pointing to the industry’s expansion.

ROOM DEMAND VS. OCCUPANCY An uptick in room demand with a marginally lower occupancy rate indicates the industry’s growth in infrastructure, possibly due to new hotel openings or capacity expansion of existing ones.

GLOBAL HOTEL INDUSTRY PERFORMANCE

GLOBAL OCCUPANCY TRENDS
There was a minor dip in global occupancy, settling at 69%. However, this decline mirrors similar fluctuations seen in 2019, hinting at possible seasonal shifts or specific global events affecting the sector.

KEY METRICS
A substantial year-over-year growth was noted in the Average Daily Rate (ADR) and Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR), emphasizing the global hotel industry’s recovery and potential for growth.

PERFORMANCE OF TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY SUPPLY
These nations collectively experienced a dip in occupancy week-over-week but showed an increase in ADR. This suggests a positive trajectory since late June of the same year.

GLOBAL OCCUPANCY TRENDS
The concept of workcations is gaining prominence due to the increasing prevalence of remote work. Workcations allow individuals to blend work and leisure, enabling them to explore new destinations while fulfilling their professional commitments. This trend aligns with the changing work dynamics brought about by remote work, offering individuals the flexibility to travel and work simultaneously.

Country-specific Highlights

  • Japan: Demonstrated the most remarkable occupancy growth among the top 10, with potential influence from the mid-autumn festival.
  • China & Indonesia: Both nations marked strong RevPAR growth rates, underscoring their market resilience.
  • United Kingdom: While it had the highest occupancy among the top 10 countries, its year-over-year growth was more modest.

UNIFIED CONCLUSION
The U.S. and global hotel industries are demonstrating remarkable resurgence post-pandemic, with areas like Japan and San Francisco leading the recovery. Influenced by local events and policies, this upward trend highlights the sector’s adaptability. Continued vigilance and strategy will be pivotal in maximizing growth.

 

Sources: US Hotel Industry Sells Near-Peak Number of Rooms in September, CoStar; STR

Legendary Capital Expands Team with Two New Wholesaling Vice Presidents

Legendary Capital, LLC, a leading Alternative Investment Sponsor, is delighted to announce the recent addition of Devon Gasparovic and Robin Boccardi to its distribution team as wholesaling vice presidents. These strategic hires mark another significant step in the company’s ongoing commitment to strengthening its distribution capabilities and providing superior partnering services to financial advisors across the country.

Robin Boccardi boasts more than 15 years of both internal and external wholesaling experience. Her proven record includes raising capital for a variety of private placement Reg D offerings, and nurturing business partnerships with financial advisors. Boccardi’s demonstrable proficiency in these areas makes her an invaluable addition to the Legendary Capital distribution team. Robin Boccardi holds FINRA series 7 and 63 licenses.

Devon Gasparovic brings a wealth of expertise in wholesaling fixed income and equity mutual funds across various channels, including BD, RIA, bank, and family office. Prior to joining Legendary Capital, he was with Kensington Investment Distributors, where he cultivated enduring advisor relationships and maintained a standard of unparalleled customer service. Devon Gasparovic holds FINRA series 7 and 63 licenses.

“We are thrilled to simultaneously welcome both Devon and Robin to the Legendary Capital Distribution Team” stated Rick Vitale, CFA, Chief Distribution Officer. “These individuals are proven performers, each possessing a “client first” centricity to their relationship building and servicing activities.  That aligns seamlessly with our company mission, Taking Care of the Capital.  We are confident both of these professionals will be exceedingly successful in their newfound roles here at Legendary Capital.”

Legendary Capital is a leading sponsor of alternative investment offerings, including REITs, qualified opportunity zone funds, and other private placement opportunities. Through its affiliated entities, Legendary Capital focuses its investment activity on hospitality assets and has acquired more than forty hotels representing more than $500 million in assets under management. Targeted hotels are primarily 80-to-200 room limited-service, select-service, full-service and extended-stay hotels located in America’s heartland. The company is headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota.

Summer 2023 Tourism Trends: A Promising Landscape

After two years of pandemic-related restrictions, the demand for travel is finally being met. As domestic and international travel levels recover and maintain balance, industry insight points to an optimistic outlook for this summer. Breaking down this return, several key trends are emerging from the landscape, including the rise of domestic travel and “workcations.”

The tourism industry as a whole is expected to benefit from these trends, and Legendary Capital is well-positioned for the upcoming market. Industry forecasting from STR, a leading provider of data benchmarking, analytics, and marketplace insights for the global hospitality industry, offers analysis. Occupancy in the U.S. hotel industry is expected to reach 67.5% in summer 2023, slightly surpassing the 65.5% of summer 2022, with ADR and RevPAR also expected to increase. This positive movement indicates healthy performance for the hospitality sector across the board, and points to a strong demand for travel.

Forecasted Tourism Trends

Increased demand for domestic travel: According to STR data, domestic travel is projected to experience a 7% rise during summer 2023 compared to the previous year.

GROWING POPULARITY OF ECO-TOURISM

Activities such as hiking, camping, and visiting national parks are growing in popularity. This trend reflects a shift towards more environmentally friendly travel choices.

AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES

Authentic experiences and cultural tourism are also on the rise. Travelers are seeking opportunities to immerse themselves in local cultures and communities, aiming to create meaningful connections during their trips.

FOCUS ON WELLNESS

The focus on wellness and relaxation is also expected to shape summer tourism in 2023. Leisure travel remains a resilient market, and travelers are increasingly seeking opportunities to unwind and rejuvenate during their vacations. This has led to a growing demand for wellness-focused experiences, such as yoga retreats, spa treatments, and access to healthy dining options.

WORKCATIONS

The concept of workcations is gaining prominence due to the increasing prevalence of remote work. Workcations allow individuals to blend work and leisure, enabling them to explore new destinations while fulfilling their professional commitments. This trend aligns with the changing work dynamics brought about by remote work, offering individuals the flexibility to travel and work simultaneously.

As summer 2023 approaches, the tourism industry is poised for a robust and promising season of travel. The projected increases in occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR indicate a strong demand for travel experiences. Additionally, the popularity of workcations has soared, enabling individuals to combine work and leisure seamlessly, drivenby the flexibility of remote work. With an emphasis on domestic travel, a focus on wellness and relaxation, and a quest for authentic experiences, the summer of 2023 is promising.

Our Powerful Partnerships: Aimbridge Hospitality + National Hospitality Services

Legendary Capital is tapping into excellence offered by National Hospitality Services (NHS) and Aimbridge Hospitality, two trusted market experts. This strategic partnership brings together three industry powerhouses, combining Legendary Capital’s investment acumen with the operational proficiency and customer-centric approaches of Aimbridge Hospitality and NHS.

“We are thrilled to partner with NHS and Aimbridge Hospitality, proven leaders in the industry,” said Linzey Erickson, President and Chief Legal Officer of Legendary Capital. “Their exceptional track records and commitment to excellence perfectly align with our vision. These partnerships not only highlight our unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional service but also reinforce and enhance our standing in the hospitality industry.”

Each management company brings unique strengths to the partnership, ensuring a comprehensive and transformative management experience for the hotels under their expert care.

Aimbridge Hospitality

Aimbridge Hospitality is a leading global hospitality management company that pairs its scale and resources with the industry’s best and brightest talent to deliver results to each property under management.

Aimbridge Hospitality creates memorable experiences for our guests and drives notable bottom-line impacts to our properties through its focused expertise, highlighted by its six operational divisions spanning all key industry verticals and geographies. This operational structure is beneficial to us through Aimbridge Hospitality’s reinforced and strengthened services, access to robust tools to streamline operations, best-in-class supplier agreements, and unparalleled partnerships with industry brands.

“We are proud to manage a collection of upscale properties owned by Legendary Capital in Texas and Michigan,” said Cody Feaster, Regional Vice President, Operations at Aimbridge Hospitality. “We have formed a strong partnership and look forward to continuing to provide best-in-class service and support as we grow together in the future.”

In addition to its implementation of cutting-edge technologies, diverse on-property expertise, and industry insights, Aimbridge Hospitality is committed to curating top talent through innovative training and recruitment strategies made to continue delivering an unparalleled level of service to properties like ours. Its dedicated team brings demonstrated operational knowledge to life to bolster the value of our portfolio for the long term.

National Hospitality Services

With over 50 years of experience and industry knowledge, NHS has earned a premier reputation for its comprehensive suite of hotel management services, delivering operational efficiency and outstanding guest experiences. Their seasoned professionals possess a deep understanding of the hospitality industry, allowing them to implement innovative operational strategies that minimize costs and maximize revenue.

“Guest satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do,” said Sarah Koustrup, Chief Strategy Officer at NHS. “We are providing personalized service, cultivating positive reviews, and stewarding guest loyalty, which has created a foundation for sustained profitability and long-term success.”

NHS leverages cutting-edge technology and best industry practices to optimize daily performance and create memorable experiences for guests. By staying at the forefront of operational advancements, they ensure seamless processes, efficient communication, and streamlined operations. This commitment to innovation enables NHS to deliver exceptional results. Their use of advanced tools and systems allows for data-driven decision-making, revenue maximization, and cost optimization, all of which contribute to the overall success of the hotels under their management.

By forging strategic partnerships with National Hospitality Services and Aimbridge Hospitality, Legendary Capital is poised to achieve a new standard of excellence in hotel management.

“We are excited about these strong partnerships, and are confident that our collaboration with National Hospitality Services and Aimbridge Hospitality will consistently yield outstanding operational excellence and create memorable guest experiences, ultimately elevating the performance and value of the hotels under their management,” said Alec Worwa, Legendary Capital’s Director of Investments.

As these partnerships come to fruition, Legendary Capital’s dedication to excellence remains unwavering. By leveraging the expertise of National Hospitality Services and Aimbridge Hospitality, Legendary Capital is well-positioned to optimize operations, maintain a competitive edge, and provide unforgettable experiences for guests.

Legendary Capital sponsors acquisition of a Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Wichita, KS

Legendary Capital has sponsored the acquisition of the 84-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Wichita Airport in a $ 7.4 million transaction. The deal utilized Legendary Capital’s proprietary Equity Preservation UPREIT (EPU) structure in which the ownership of the hotel contributed the hotel in exchange for a special class of Transition Partnership Units (T-Units), allowing for the potential preservation of the contributor’s equity as the property restabilizes.

The property sits in an ideal location next to the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. It has been a consistent top performer in its market since its opening in 2007 with steady growth in RevPAR.

The property is in the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 640,000. Wichita is the largest city in Kansas with a population of approximately 400,000 people. It is the ‘Air Capital of the World,’ boasting a large aerospace presence in both the private and government sectors. Wichita also has two large hospital systems and a children’s hospital that serves all of Kansas and northern Oklahoma, as well as a predominant college: Wichita State University. Wichita is also home to several Division I sports teams.

“Wichita is a growing city infused with vibrant energy. It checks all our boxes as a great place to invest,” said Corey Maple, Legendary Capital CEO. “We are optimistic the property will continue as a top performer in the submarket and capture new demand in the market.”

“Our experience with this hotel brand combined with the past performance of this property make the Holiday Inn Express & Suites a great investment in the market,” said Linzey Erickson, Legendary Capital president and chief legal officer. “We look forward to the opportunity to build on the success of the property and gain strides in the market with an upcoming multiyear refresh.”

First Annual Legendary Chili Bowl

Autumn brings cooler weather, cozy nights by the fire, warm apple cider, and one of our favorite things: chili competitions.

The competition was hot and so was the chili. We asked the winner if they could share their (now) award-winning chili.

All measurements are approximate!

  • 1 lb. ground beef (can also use ground pork or sausage)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1, 15 oz can pinto beans
  • 1, 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 1, 15 oz can great northern beans
  • 2, 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1, 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1, 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped jalapeno (optional)

Brown meat with salt & pepper. Add the onions about half way through browning process.  Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low and let simmer and hour, or place in a crockpot and let cook for an hour. Add jalapeno half hour before serving. For thicker chili drain the beans before adding.

 

Congratulations Chris Johnston on winning the 1st Annual Legendary Chili Bowl!

Legendary Capital sponsors acquisition of two North Carolina hotels

Charlotte and Pineville Hilton Garden Inns acquired in two transactions

Legendary Capital has sponsored the acquisition of the 113-room Hilton Garden Inn Pineville in a $10.7 million transaction, and the 112-room Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte North in a separate $15 million transaction with the same owner. These acquisitions follow two other hotels acquired by Legendary Capital earlier in August.

“The Hilton Garden Inn brand continues to be an attractive investment, and we are happy to have found two in this market,” said Legendary Capital CEO Corey Maple. “These particular properties are expected to be excellent performers after we put them through extensive renovations.”

The hotels are in the Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which has a population of 2,637,000. The Hilton Garden Inn Pineville is located near the intersection of State Highway 51 and I-485, an intersection that saw over 192,500 vehicles a day in 2019. The Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte North is located near the intersection of I-77 and I-485, which saw 148,500 a day.

Charlotte is the 15th largest city in the U.S and the fourth largest city in the southeast, with a population of 912,000. Charlotte is the second largest financial hub in the country after New York City, with banks such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America either being headquartered or having their major regional offices in the city. Charlotte is also home to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte which is home to around 30,000 students.

“The Charlotte/Pineville market has so much going for it – everything from corporate headquarters to major universities,” said director of investments Alex Worwa. “The demand generators are all there, and these Hilton Garden Inns will be great additions to the portfolio.”

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