Articles Posted in Meet the Money®

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Tye Turman, Senior VP of Lodging Development at Marriott, speaks with David Sudeck, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. They discuss what’s in Marriott’s pipeline, PIPs, adaptive reuse, and Marriott’s brands, including Moxy and AC.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

David Sudeck: I’m at the 26th annual Meet the Money® Conference. I’m here with Tye Turman, Senior VP at Marriott, and I wanted to talk to you about your experience here at the conference so far. First of all, I wanted to see if you’ve ever attended before.

Tye Turman: Actually, this is my first time, David. I’ve really been looking forward to this, I’ve heard about Meet the Money® for many years. I’ve always had schedule conflicts and unfortunately couldn’t make it, so it’s a real honor to be here.

David Sudeck: We love the fact that it’s a small, intimate conference; we hope you are able to get some real activity from the conference, make some good connections. So, wanted to talk about 2016, where you think we are in the cycle. Obviously, Marriott has been in the news in a very big way and I’m sure a lot of what’s in the press you can’t speak to at all, so I’ll avoid those questions. But in terms of the market cycle, what sort of initiatives are you undertaking in 2016 versus 2015, and where do you think we are in the market cycle? CONTINUE READING →

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Alice Gao, Senior VP of ICBC USA, speaks with Bob Braun, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. Alice explains the structure of ICBC USA, discusses interest rates, and Chinese immigrant investment in U.S. gateway cities.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

Bob Braun: I’m here with Alice Gao, who’s a Senior Vice President of ICBC USA. Alice, thank you very much for coming and spending a little time with us today.

Alice Gao: Thank you very much.

Bob Braun: Alice, I’d like to ask a few questions which I think you’re very suited to in your position with ICBC. One question I’d like to ask is, what kind of projects are the bank most interested in lending to these days? Are there things that attract you more than others, or are more interested in than others these days?

Alice Gao: Well, let me just start with a brief introduction of our bank. I’m very excited that as of December 2015, the bank continues to be ranked as the number one largest bank in the world by total assets of $3.6 trillion, and also as number one on tier one capital, about $215 billion. We are also ranked number one by net profit of $44 million. So, with that, in the U.S., we have four financial institutions. So, the four together provide a full array of products and services. The first financial institution is ICBC Financial Services: it’s a broker dealer of security services. And we also have ICBC Standard Bank, which is a financial market and commodity bank based in New York. We also have ICBC New York Branch, which is a wholesale bank of ICBC Group. And lastly we have ICBC USA, a Federal Charter full licensed bank, FDIC insured.

So, ICBC USA has thirteen branches and one service center. We have three branches in New York, ten branches in California, one service center in Seattle. Together with these four financial institutions, physical locations and e-banking platform, we offer not only traditional deposits and loan services, we also offer a variety of products such as cash management, trade finance, treasury and also foreign exchange. Our strongest point to distinguish us from others is we do offer variety of services of onshore and offshore renminbi products.

Bob Braun: So most of the lending that you would do on hotels is through ICBC?

Alice Gao: Most of the lending for hotels is through ICBC New York Branch and ICBC USA.

Bob Braun: And in terms of the type of lending you’re doing, does ICBC have any current priorities or any current trends that it sees? CONTINUE READING →

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Alan Reay, President of Atlas Hospitality Group, speaks with Robert Braun, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. They discuss the California hotel market including sales and purchases, pricing, RevPAR, financing, and the impact of the Marriott/Starwood merger and Airbnb.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

Bob Braun: I’m with Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality. He’s the foremost hotel broker in California, I’d say. At least that’s what I tell my clients, and I’ve always been proved right. Alan, thanks very much for coming and talking to us today. I think you have your pulse on the market, certainly here in California, more than possibly anyone else. What do you see in the hotel market today? What kind of trends do you see?

Alan Reay: During the first quarter we’ve definitely seen a big drop off in sales in California. In the U.S., down 52%; in California, down 35%; that really has nothing to do with the economic fundamentals, because RevPARs are still increasing, profits are up and a lot of the numbers are positive throughout California. It has been a fundamental shift from a buyer’s sentiment in terms of how they’re looking at deals and how they’re pricing them. We had a lot of turmoil in the public markets, as you know, in the first few months of 2016, and a lot of REITs have pulled out of the market, and a lot of lenders have pulled out of the market. So that’s created a disconnect between what buyers and sellers expectations are on pricing, which in turn has created a big drop in hotel sales volume.

Bob Braun: Now do you think this creates an opportunity for people? Or is the lack of lending and the lack of interest something that’s just going to continue through the rest of the year? CONTINUE READING →

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Tom Corcoran, Chairman of the Board of FelCor Lodging Trust, speaks with David Sudeck, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. They discuss “rational debt,” redevelopment opportunities, and the evolution of FelCor.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

David Sudeck: I’m David Sudeck, I’m at the 26th annual Meet the Money® conference with Tom Corcoran, the founder of FelCor Lodging Trust. Thank you for joining us. You just got off your panel and you did a great job, so thank you for that. I wanted to hear about in this uncertain time, 2016, where you see us in the market at this point and how it may differ from 2015.

Tom Corcoran: Actually, I think it’s going to be a lot like ’15. I think ’16 and ’15 are going to be very similar. I think we’re going to continue to have positive RevPAR above the GDP and so I think it makes a lot of sense to me that the industry remains very strong; robust. There’s some clouds out there, people are trying to say there’s a storm coming, and I just don’t happen to believe there is. I think those clouds are artificially made up and aren’t really in the real world.

David Sudeck: My experience is some of our lender clients are pulling back in terms of the provisions, particularly of construction lending.

Tom Corcoran: Yeah, I think that’s probably good, I’m okay with that. When people go through getting nervous before things really are bad, it has the net effect of acting as a governor – which is why I call it a governor – because it kind of stops irrational lending. Most people believe supply is the worst enemy of the hotel industry and I would argue that it’s debt that creates the supply. The source, historically, of all the downturns has been where people have borrowed too much money – even in some of the worst cycles we’ve gone through – people had non-recourse, 100% financing. Then people can build hotels that make no rational, economic sense at all.

David Sudeck: So where do you see opportunities in this market given the lack of liquidity? I think that the number of hotel developers is going to shrink, supply will pull back to some extent. Do you see any specific opportunities in this marketplace? CONTINUE READING →

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Bill Blackham, President and CEO of Condor Hospitality Trust, speaks to Bob Braun, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. They discuss Condor’s transition from economy chain scale into select service, extended stay and limited service hotels,  RevPAR, and opportunities in the select service sector.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

Bob Braun: I’m with Bill Blackham of Condor Hospitality Trust. Bill, thanks very much for taking out the time to talk to us today. What are you currently working on? What’s Condor focused on these days?

Bill Blackham: Condor has been involved over the last year in a lot of different initiatives that involve the transition of the company from once being an economy chain scale-focused entity into a select service, extended stay and limited service hotel company, with a platform that is growing in that new investment strategy at the same time that we are divesting the old investment strategy hotels. Therefore, you have multiple things going on at the same time. Combined with a recent private placement of equity into the company with a new investor, it’s been a very busy time.

Bob Braun: So, what drove this shift from the economy (sector), up the ladder a little bit to the limited and select service?

Bill Blackham: I think that the potential for stock growth was far greater in the space that we’re now pursuing. One of the problems with the sector that the company had previously been in is that the average size hotel was very small. And in order to get to a very meaningful scale to justify being a public company, one would have to own four-, five-, six-hundred of those hotels, which is unwieldy from the standpoint of managing that platform.

I think that the platform that we’re going into also affords us the opportunity to have greater investor interest because it is a sector that continues to have above-industry growth in terms of demand, while at the same time is a space that has much higher margins than we are, as a company, traditionally in. So the higher margins combined with sort of a void in the space, the public company space of people that we’re going specifically after, the geographic markets that we’re pursuing, and the type of products that we’re pursuing really left an opportunity open to get highly accretive acquisitions.

Bob Braun: So this is an open space for you. Do you see yourself moving further? Do you see yourself ever developing into the full service area? CONTINUE READING →

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Jonathan Falik, CEO of JF Capital Advisors, speaks with David Sudeck, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. They discuss the current hotel market, the availability of capital, and what lenders and capital providers are looking for.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

David Sudeck: We’re at the 26th Annual Meet the Money Conference. I’m here with Jonathan Falik, CEO and Founder of JF Capital Advisors. Welcome.

Jonathan Falik: Thank you for having me.

David Sudeck: You’ve been a mainstay at Meet the Money® – we appreciate that, by the way.

Jonathan Falik: Well, it’s one of my favorite conferences.

David Sudeck: What’s the temperament like in terms of the marketplace?

Jonathan Falik: People are cautious. Most seem optimistic, but are cautious and are in a learning mode. Everyone’s trying to figure out who’s saying what and who’s thinking what – which is interesting because normally people in our industry think they know everything.

David Sudeck: What are you seeing in the marketplace in general? Let’s talk about the cycle. CONTINUE READING →

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Patrick Hogan, CEO of CMB Regional Centers, speaks with David Sudeck, senior member of JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® at JMBM’s 2016 Meet the Money® – the national hotel finance and investment conference. They discuss the evolution of the EB-5 Immigrant Investment Visa Program, indirect jobs, completion guarantees, and taking care of the investor.

A transcript follows the video. See other videos in this series on the Jeffer Mangels YouTube channel.

David Sudeck: Hi, I’m David Sudeck, I’m here at the 26th annual Meet the Money® Conference with Pat Hogan, CEO of CMB Regional Centers. Welcome Pat. And thanks again for participating this year. You were on stage earlier on the CEO panel and you did a fantastic job.

Patrick Hogan: Well thank you, I’m pretty excited to be here. It’s an interesting group of people.

David Sudeck: EB-5 is hot right now. I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about the roots of CMB, how things have changed from the 1990s to today, and what you see as your current platform.

Patrick Hogan: We started in 1994, before regional centers were ever involved.

The EB-5 program is actually a permanent program. Most people don’t know that because everybody does business with the regional center. But I started in 1997, getting my first regional center, and we actually got an approval in the year 2000. But as you know, fraud crept into that particular program and I just couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t really a business at that point in time. So I just said, “Okay, I quit, and until Congress can put some reforms through, I don’t want to do it anymore.”

David Sudeck: So you were pushing for regulation?

Patrick Hogan: Yes, even back then. So, fast forward to today – and we’ve been rocked with all kinds of scandals and things like that within EB-5 – which you would expect. Because if you go back to 2007 there were eleven regional centers, and maybe five of us doing something. And then to go to today where you have 800 regional centers – there’s bound to be some individuals that don’t have a clue.

David Sudeck: Do you have any sense as to how many of those 800 actually do business of any kind? CONTINUE READING →

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13 May 2016

Hotel industry fundamentals are good, and will continue to improve. But the hotel industry is being punished by the disconnect between the investment community of Wall Street and actual performance of the hotels on Main Street. More on the nature of this disconnect shortly, but first, here is the current situation as summarized by Vail Brown of STR last week at the 26th annual Los Angeles hotel investment conference, Meet the Money®.

Total United States Key Performance Indicator Outlook (% Change vs. Prior Year) 2016 – 2017

Note that the actual results for 2015 and the forecast for 2016 and 2017 are pretty good – not as spectacular as they have been in some recent past years, but very sound in terms of long-term trends. Notice also that the average national supply growth is still below the 2% level that raises concerns for oversupply. Demand growth is continuing at a rate greater than supply growth, and that is healthy. While occupancy growth is modest, strong ADR growth is driving RevPAR growth at good levels.

Looking beyond the averages into specific markets

National average statistics are most informative when variations from the median are relatively small. Also, averages can be misleading when there are statistical outliers or even significant variations. That seems to be the case currently, with markets like New York City and Houston struggling, and significant localized damage in oil patch markets.

This problem is illustrated by this slide from Vail Brown’s presentation at Meet the Money®. Note that the declining RevPAR growth in New York City and Houston dragged down the entire industry averages. Many industry leaders believe that New York’s problems have also overly influenced the financial community’s perspective on the hospitality industry, incorrectly assuming that industry performance in New York City is representative of the entire industry. CONTINUE READING →

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10 May 2016

One of the great breakout sessions at our recent Meet the Money® hotel conference in Los Angeles was organized by my partner Bob Braun and moderated by Jeff Higley of HotelNewsNow. I was particularly impressed by the panel’s evidence of how costly cybersecurity breaches can be, how much can be done to prevent or limit exposure, and how reasonable the cost can be for a pro-active approach.

Here is Bob Braun’s summary of this panel last week in Los Angeles. This is a compelling call for an ounce of prevention. . .

 

5 Cybersecurity takeaways from Meet the Money®
by
Bob Braun, Hotel Lawyer and Data Security Advisor

Meet the Money® changes with the times, and the 2016 conference showcased the first panel on Cybersecurity in the hospitality industry – “Who’s Knocking at Your Digital Door,” featuring Bob Braun, from JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Group; Bob Justus, of Optiv Security; Brad Maryman, from Maryman & Associates; Christian Ryan, from MARSH; and Kevin Shamoun, from Zeamster.  Jeff Higley, of STR/HotelNewsNow.com moderated the panel.

The panelists, representing technical, legal law, law enforcement, insurance and payment systems, identified key cybersecurity challenges for the hospitality industry.  Five key takeaways were:

  • Compliance does not equal security. Each of the panelists agreed that while meeting legal and business requirements is essential, compliance does not necessarily achieve real cybersecurity — completing checkboxes on a task list or questionnaire is only a first step. The panelists noted that each of the major hotel breaches in the last year, which involved every major hotel chain, implicated point of service credit card systems that complied with industry standards.  Hotels and hotel companies need to look beyond complying with standardized requirements and has to evaluate their own risk profile and apply meaningful security plans.
  • Informed response is better than instant response. Too many organizations make the mistake of reacting before they think, especially when reporting a breach. Data breaches can be complicated matters, and it is essential to understand the scope of the breach, the data and individuals involved, and how a firm can remediate the source of the problem before disclosure. There is no question that speed is important, but some breaches do not require notification, while acting without ascertaining the facts can require multiple notifications, which is damaging to reputation and sends the wrong message.
  • Credit cards are not the only risk. While much focus is placed on the theft of credit card numbers, hotels must consider other risks. Hotels and hotel companies hold massive amounts of sensitive personal information that can be used to steal a guest’s identity.  Moreover, hotels need to consider more than data; the interconnection of systems means that breaking into a financial structure can give a hacker access to door locks, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical, plumbing and other key structural and physical parts of the hotel.  What would happen if a hacker flooded a hotel, or opened the doors?  This damage can far exceed the damage from lost credit cards, and cause untold damage to the hotel, its brand and owners.

CONTINUE READING →

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07 May 2016

Meet the Money® 2016 – Deals, dialog and learning
Conference presentations now available

JMBM’s Meet the Money® 2016, completed its 26th national hotel finance and investment conference this week in Los Angeles.

While all seem to agree that hotel fundamentals remain strong and that interest rates will remain low in the immediate future, hotel industry leaders expressed more caution than in recent years. They are still doing deals – particularly those that fit into established strategies. In fact, there are a number of creative deals going on, of all sizes, and it is always exciting to hear from so many developers and capital providers who are enthusiastic about their work and the industry.

Many expressed a healthy respect for stricter underwriting and shared the lessons learned from the Great Recession. All our speakers and participants exchanged perspectives, ideas, business cards and lots of good stories.

Presentations available from Vail Brown of STR, Suzanne Mellen of HVS, Mike Cahill of LIIC and HREC, Dan Lesser of LW Hospitality Advisors, Alan Reay of Atlas Hospitality, and Bill Linehan of RLHC

Select presentations from Meet the Money® 2016 can be found on HotelLawyer.com. Individual presentations include: CONTINUE READING →