5 things to know: 2 August 2017
 
5 things to know: 2 August 2017
02 AUGUST 2017 9:22 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Tax cuts now top legislative priority
  • Spanish real estate makes a comeback
  • Boston’s Pyramid sees opportunities in Europe
  • Blackstone sells portfolio of 45 French hotels
  • FelCor sells one of its New York hotels

Tax cuts now top legislative priority: Members of President Donald Trump’s administration and Congressional GOP members have identified tax reform as their top priority following failed attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but a report from Bloomberg claims some lawmakers are expressing frustration at the slow pace of tax legislation.

The GOP has marked the end of the year as a deadline for getting tax reform passed, but members of Congress say they don’t have anything to report back to their constituents during the August recess. Rep. Ted Yoho, a Republican from Florida, told Bloomberg he would need details on the corporate tax rate as well as whether the estate tax will be eliminated to explain to his voters what it all means for them.

“There is no detail,” Yoho told Bloomberg. “It is a problem.”


Spanish real estate makes a comeback: Faith in Spain’s economy recovery seems to be wooing real estate investors back to the European nation after a nearly decade-long slump, which The Wall Street Journal deemed “a deep and enduring recession.”

Investment in Spanish real estate hit €5 billion ($5.91 billion) for the first half of 2017, compared to €2.9 billion ($3.43 billion) for the same period in 2016.

The country saw gross domestic product grow an annualized 3.2% during the first quarter, which beats growth numbers seen during the same period over the past two years and the eurozone average of 1.8%.


Boston’s Pyramid sees opportunities in Europe: Officials with Pyramid Hotel Group told Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker they’re looking to jump from their hometown of Boston to more destinations in Europe following the establishment of a headquarters in Ireland, along with properties in that country and the U.K.

Casey Spilman, VP of new business, Europe, told HNN that he thinks his company has laid the groundwork to spur greater growth and has done so since before the founding of the company’s European headquarters in Dublin two years ago.

“Given the amount of diligence we conducted prior to our formal arrival in 2015, the learning curve was not as steep as one might think,” he said. “We did a large amount of work in understanding legal (and) labor dynamics, competitive landscape, market-by-market performance (and trajectories), customer profiles, airline lift and travel patterns.”


Blackstone sells portfolio of 45 French hotels: JLL has announced funds managed by The Blackstone Group have sold the Simply Hotels Group, which is a portfolio of economy hotels in France, to Mata Capital, according to a news release. The portfolio includes 45 hotels with 3,286 rooms under the Kyriad, Ibis Style, Campanile and Premèire Classe brands.

JLL, which advised on the sale, claims it is the largest portfolio sale in France thus far in 2017. No price was given for the transaction.

Mata Capital is planning “a significant investment program in the renovation and marketing positioning of the portfolio,” according to the release.


FelCor sells one of its New York hotels: FelCor Lodging Trust officials have announced the completed sale of one of the real estate investment trust’s New York properties, the 168-room Royalton New York, to a joint venture of Rockpoint Group and Highgate for $55 million, according to a news release.

FelCor’s investment in three New York properties, which also included the Morgans New York and The Knickerbocker, was a point of criticism among investors of late, and came up frequently during Ashford Hospitality Trust’s pursuit of a takeover of FelCor. The 117-room Morgans property already sold for $37 million in mid-July.

Proceeds for both of those deals was used to pay down FelCor’s debt.

Officials with RLJ Lodging Trust, which is moving forward with the acquisition of FelCor, said they would pause plans to sell The Knickerbocker, calling it “interesting real estate.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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