Concord pledges $500mn for new hotels

Concord Hospitality
Enterprises has announced plans to build $500 million in
new hotels as part of its goal to double its portfolio size to 100 owned
and managed hotels by 2010.The announcement came on the heels of the sale
by Concord of a 19-hotel portfolio of Marriott-branded properties in eight
states for $440 million.
  The purchaser, Houston-based Moody National Cos., also agreed to buy
one additional hotel in a separate transaction that is expected to close by
the end of the month. Concord will continue to manage all the properties
under long-term contracts and will oversee $16 million in renovations
across the portfolio planned by the buyer. Hodges Ward Elliott represented
Concord in the transaction.
  “We felt this was a good time to spin off these hotels to capture the
appreciated value we’ve created over the years,” said Mark Laport, Concord
Hospitality president and CEO. “The majority of our joint-venture investors
have indicated they want to re-invest the proceeds, which gives us a
significant war chest to develop and acquire hotels.
  “Our goal is to bring our managed portfolio to 100 hotels in the next
three years, in major U.S. markets and also overseas, where we see plenty
of opportunity. With our substantial cash reserves and long track record in
hotel development, ownership and management, we believe we have a
competitive edge in the current hotel real estate market. The current
uncertainty in the credit markets will not impact our plans because we have
sufficient funding to achieve our objectives. We believe the timing is
right for development and expect to have at least nine hotels under way by
year end and are in active negotiations on another 15 to 20 sites. We will
continue to focus on premium- branded hotels under such flags as Marriott,
Hilton, Starwood and Intercontinental.”