News Briefs

Jameson Inns opens two properties in Carolinas In the space of two days, Atlanta-based Jameson Inns Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS:JAMS) opened two new motels in the Carolinas.

New Jameson Inn motels opened on March 31 in Smithfield, N.C., and on April 1 in Duncan, S.C. This brings the operating chain to 67 locations in five states: Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Tennessee.

Marcus & Millichap does Best Western deal The Best Western McCarran House, at 55 E. Nugget Avenue, Sparks, Nev., changed hands in a $5.25 million transaction. The Ontario, Calif., office of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage represented the principals in the deal.

Aries funds loans for two Comfort Inns On behalf of repeat borrowers, Aries Capital, Chicago, has funded two loans totaling $4.6 million for two Florida Comfort Inn properties. United Financial of America Inc. was correspondent for these transactions, and Daiwa Securities America Inc. purchased the loans for securitization.

The first, $3.1 million loan was funded for the 85-room Comfort Inn at 1111 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in St. Augustine. The second loan was funded for the Comfort Inn at 507 South Atlantic Ave. in Ormond Beach, which is a 30-year-old property with 47 rooms.

Trigild buys. renovates San Diego motels Citing locations in strong markets with barriers to entry and healthy cash flows, San Diego-based Trigild Corp. has purchased two former Budget Motels of America in San Diego County for a total price of $9.8 million. Trigild has operated the motels for nearly seven years.

The acquisition consists of a 125-unit motel and freestanding restaurant in Encinitas and a 224-unit motel in Mission Valley. Both are 12 years old and have never been renovated.

TheEncinitas site will be converted to a Days Inn, undergoing an $800,000 remodel. The Mission Valley motel will be remodeled into a Ramada Ltd. & Suites. Renovations are slated for completion by June 15.

With planned growth from two properties in 1996 to 560 by the end of 2000, how is Extended Stay America Inc. (NYSE:ESA) - "the fastest growing company-owned and -operated hotel chain in the U.S." - really doing?

When the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company reported the results of its operations for the three months ended March 31, 1998, net income was $4.8 million, or $0.05 per share, compared with $2.5 million, or $0.03 per share for the first quarter last year. Revenue increased by 174% to $54.2 million, as compared to $19.8 million for the first quarter last year. And earnings before depreciation, amortization and deferred taxes of $16.5 million, or $0.17 per share, for the quarter increased by 132% as compared to the first quarter last year.

The results of the first quarter reflect the opening of 24 additional Extended Stay America Efficiency Studios, eight StudioPlus Deluxe Studios and one Crossland Economy Studios during the quarter. As of March 31, the company had 218 facilities operating, working toward the goal of 300 facilities operating by the end of this year. This growth continued into the month of April, when the company opened Efficiency Studios properties in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., and a Crossland Economy Studios in Tucson, Ariz.

Can the market bear Extended Stay America's growth plans? Apparently so.

According to the 1998 Bear Stearns U.S. Lodging Almanac, released by New York-based Bear, Stearns Co. Inc., potential demand in 1997 for the United States would have supported 262,700 extended-stay rooms - approximately 2.7 times the number of extended-stay rooms that actually opened. By the end of the year 2000, Bear Stearns estimates the potential demand for extended-stay rooms will be approximately 300,000, and the supply of rooms will be approximately 270,000.

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