EAHG I raises over US$500 million: Electra America Hospitality Group, a joint venture between Electra America and AKA, has closed the Electra America Hospitality Fund I (EAHG I), which exceeded its goal of raising $500 million. The fund, which launched in February 2021, focuses on the opportunistic acquisition of independent hotels in major US markets. Commitment to the fund came from foreign and domestic institutional and high net worth investors. In 2021, the group deployed US$100 million of capital to acquire seed assets including the 194-room AKA Nomad Hotel in Manhattan, the 178-room AKA Alexandria Hotel in Virginia, and the AKA Brickell Hotel. of 201 rooms in Miami.
HHM transfers 25 premium hotels: HHM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has added 25 upscale, full-service, select-service and extended-stay hotels to its portfolio of managed properties, which currently includes 185 hotels. These new properties are owned by a private equity firm and three publicly traded real estate investment trusts that had not previously worked with HHM. These new additions come with long-term stable management agreements for nearly 4,000 rooms across the Marriott and Hilton brands and are located in and around existing HHM markets like Denver, Tampa, Austin, Chicago and Ford Lauderdale and new markets like Salt Lake City, Omaha and Louisville. Over the past two years, HHM has added over 65 hotels, including 20 hotels through its investment platform.
3650 REIT issues loan for DC Partners: 3650 REIT, the Miami, Florida-based commercial real estate investment firm, issued a US$38 million loan to refinance the Thompson San Antonio – Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas to sponsor DC Partners, based in Houston, Texas. The loan has a term of 30 months and two six-month extension options. The 162-room hotel comprises 59 residential condominiums, 58 of which have already been sold. This is DC Partner’s second loan with 3650, following the US$31 million loan to build 4411 San Felipe, a mixed-use development in Houston in December 2020. The loan is part of the Bridge and Event-Driven of 3650.
Crescent adds Los Angeles Athletic Club: Crescent Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, which was acquired earlier this month by Los Angeles-based Stockdale Capital Partners. The club is the latest addition to Crescent’s Latitudes by Crescent collection. The club’s sports facilities, hotels and restaurants will undergo major renovations. The club also has a boutique hotel, which spans three floors of the 12-story private club and consists of 72 rooms and nine luxury suites.
Black representation in the hospitality industry: Only 11% of the 671 hotel company websites surveyed showed black executives (from director to CEO) prominently on their websites in 2021, representing only 2% of all hospitality industry leaders on company websites reviewed, revealed the ‘Black Representation in Hotel Leadership 2022’ report by Castell Project. For the report, analysts studied information from the websites of hotel companies listed in the “STR: Directory of Hotel & Lodging Companies”. The report also shows that black employees in the hospitality industry have been disproportionately affected during the pandemic. While in 2019, black employees made up 18.8% of the hospitality workforce, it slipped to 13.6% in 2021, a 52% drop in jobs. In all other industries, employment fell only 3.2%. Although black women are more represented than black men at the executive level, they are less likely to be advanced by black men. Black representation in management is skewed in favor of human resources, with HR employing 28% of black employees at director to CEO levels. Black employees are less likely to find opportunities in the restaurant, construction/design or investment/development sectors.
UNESCO Pledge adds new signatories: UNESCO and Expedia Group have announced new signatories to the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge, which aims to promote sustainable travel, community resilience and World Heritage conservation. Melia Hotels International signed the initiative, adding an initial portfolio of more than 136 hotels mainly under the Paradisus, Gran Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Sol by Meliá brand in 13 countries. THB Hotels, with its 3 and 4 star hotels in some of the main tourist destinations in Spain, has also signed, with Universal Hotels of Mallorca, Helios Hotels and the Mantra brands of Accor (Art Series, Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree), increasing the total number of signatories to over 130 properties across Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. UNESCO and Expedia will support the EU Ecolabel by offering the status of Certified Tourist Accommodation Signatories to the UNESCO Undertaking. The Edinburgh-based Green Tourism Accreditation, made up of over 800 accommodation members, is also committed to the UNESCO commitment.