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Hotel & Resort Beat

Tishman says aloha to Ilikai Hotel New York-based Tishman Hotel Corp. (THC) Investment Banking Group has arranged the $60 million sale of the Hotel Ilikai Hotel Nikko Waikiki in Honolulu. The 783-room, mixed-used hotel and condominium complex was purchased by Forward One LLC, a wholly owned entity controlled by FIT Investments Inc. of Taiwan.

Located at the western end of Waikiki Beach, the Ilikai Hotel was built in 1964, and at the time, was one of Oahu's first luxury high-rise buildings. Over the years, the hotel has been upgraded and renovated several times, the most recent being in 1999. The property features 29,000 sq. ft. of meeting space including a 15,340 sq. ft. ballroom, two pools, two tennis courts and a fitness center.

The new owners of the hotel have re-flagged the property under the Renaissance Hotel brand, a division of Washington, D.C.-based Marriott International Inc. Interstate Hotels will operate the facility.

$500M redevelopment plan unveiled for Concord Hotel A $500 million plan to redevelop the famed Concord Hotel, located in the Catskill Mountains in New York, was recently unveiled. Major elements of the project include construction of resort housing, timeshare units, recreation and entertainment facilities, a spa ranch, and a new luxury hotel, designed by New York-based The Hillier Group.

Key components of the project include:

* The Concord Hotel & Convention Center, a full-service, internationally flagged hotel with a 60,000 sq. ft. exhibition hall, meeting and convention facilities, a dinner theater, and entertainment lounge. Construction of the hotel is slated to begin in the fall, with completion expected by 2002.

* The Kiamesha Ranch Spa will feature a full line of international spa, as well as fitness services, nutrition training and meditation therapy.

* A 100,000 sq. ft. Village Square retail and entertainment center would be located along the main entrance road to the hotel. The retail center would feature a Village Inn, restaurants, shops and a crafters' village.

The Barbizon Hotel up for sale The newly renovated, 306-room Barbizon Hotel has recently been put on the market. New York-based Carlton Advisory Services Inc. has been named the advisor by Ian Schrager Hotels, also of New York.

Located on the the border of Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side, the 23-story hotel recently underwent a $32 million renovation of its guestrooms. Additional features of the hotel include 2,500 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space, and The Equinox spa and fitness club, which occupies 34,000 sq. ft. of the building's basement, first and second floor.

Experts say the hotel has not experienced the financial benefits of the New York market, and are hoping a new owner with a focused marketing campaign could improve the hotel's average daily rate (ADR) and occupancy level.

Lions and tigers and a convention center - oh my! The Kalahari Resort Convention Center, located in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., has begun Phase two construction of a 28,000 sq. ft. convention center. Phase one of the $75 million project is slated to open in May.

Located on 130 acres, the African-themed resort also includes 272 rooms, a 105,000 sq. ft. indoor/outdoor waterpark, and 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space. In terms of investment and square footage, the Kalahari Resort is the largest single resort development in Wisconsin Dells history.

Phase three and four of the project, which include the construction of 150 additional guestrooms and possible retail and amusement space, will commence in 2001.

Olympus expands Rockresorts Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Olympus Hospitality Group, an affiliate of Olympus Real Estate Corp., has plans to expand its recently acquired Rockresorts portfolio. The new assembly of resorts includes: Cheeca Lodge in the Florida Keys; the CuisinArt Resort Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies; La Posada de Santa Fe in Santa Fe, N.M.; and the Rosario Resort in Eastsound, Wash.

Executives at Olympus say the company will continue to acquire resorts that have distinguished histories as well as "imaginative standards" for facilities, services and location.

MeriStar acquires BridgeStreet Accommodations Chicago-based MeriStar Hotels & Resorts has acquired BridgeStreet Accommodations. The $35 million projected cost of the transaction includes $24 million for the 8 million outstanding BridgeStreet shares and $11 million to retire BridgeStreet's existing debt.

BridgeStreet Accommodations offers upscale, furnished apartments, townhomes and condominiums as an alternative to traditional hotel rooms primarily for business travelers and relocating corporate executives who need lodging for several nights or months. The company currently has approximately 3,700 apartments in 26 cities in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

According to MeriStar executives, the transaction gives MeriStar a foothold in London and potential entry into other departments, as well as a leg up in the $3 billion corporate housing industry.

Hotel rooms: more expensive than ever According to a recently published report from New York-based HVS International, the average sale price per room hit its highest point in 1999 - $142,000. The report, the 1999 Hotel Transactions Survey, also reveals that in 1999, the number of hotel portfolios is also less than in previous years. The big seller in portfolios, however, continued to be the limited-service properties, while upscale and luxury hotel sales continue to be "individual property transactions."

Leading the list of major buyers of hotels (based on dollars spent on acquisitions) is Berkshire Hathaway and U.S. Realty Advisors - based purely on their one portfolio acquisition. Not too far behind were: Strategic Hotel Capital, Hospitality Properties Trust, Hilton Hotels, CNL Hospitality Group and MeriStar Investment Partners. Companies such as Host Marriott and Starwood - normally big spenders - spent the year selling properties in order to better position their portfolios, says the report.

According to the report, authored by HVS president Stephen Rushmore and Stephen Hennis, director of research for HVS, roughly $4.7 billion in major hotel transactions occurred in 1999. This is less than half of those that occurred in 1998. Additionally, the number of sales dropped in each price segment, with the exception of hotels above $200 million. This finding illustrates the "sustained willingness of investors to purchase assets in the high-end luxury sector," says the report.

So why the decline in hotel sales?

"During the buying frenzy between 1995 and 1998, REITs dominated the acquisitions market," says the report. "However, with new legislation, coupled with waning stock prices, the buying power of REITs has decreased considerably." The report adds that investors are still somewhat weary about financing hotels due to diminishing RevPAR growth, new supply outpacing demand and the fact that sellers today are asking "exorbitant prices" for many of their properties.

Those who did pay for hotels, in many instances, paid record highs. The year's highest price per room was paid by Ty Warner for the Four Seasons New York. The price? A whopping $743,000 per room, nearly $300,000 more than the next highest per room price.

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