Winston Hotels, Inc. (NYSE: WXH), a real estate investment trust (REIT) and owner of premium limited-service, upscale extended-stay and full-service hotels, today announced that it has sold the 120-room Comfort Inn Executive Center in Clearwater, Fla., to a privately held company for $3.4 million.
Concurrently, the company announced the purchase of the 102-room Wingate Inn in West Des Moines, Iowa, for $4.0 million through a 50-50 joint venture with Concord Hospitality Enterprises Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The joint venture plans to convert the property to a Fairfield Inn & Suites. Concord is a well-respected, prominent Marriott franchisee and also has been engaged by the joint venture to manage the operations of the hotel.
“These two transactions perfectly exemplify our portfolio positioning strategy,” said Jim Rosenberg, president. “The sale of the Clearwater property is part of our ongoing plan to prune our portfolio selectively and reinvest the proceeds in more upscale hotels in markets with higher barriers to new competition, where we believe we can generate higher returns over the long-term.
“We are very pleased to be working with management at Concord and believe that we have created a unique combination of talents that will enable us to enhance our shareholders` value,” he said. “The West Des Moines property is one of an increasing number of attractively priced hotels for sale that we believe can benefit from aggressive asset management, which often includes renovating, repositioning and rebranding. The joint venture purchased the property, which enjoys an excellent location, at a significant discount to replacement value. The conversion from a Wingate Inn to a Fairfield Inns & Suites, a well-known Marriott brand with high top-of-mind awareness, should be completed during the third quarter of this year.
“We are stepping up our efforts to acquire premium limited-service, upscale extended-stay and mid-market full-service hotels, especially those that have turn-around and upside potential,” he said. “We believe these segments have performed very well compared to the industry over the past 12 months and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”
Raleigh, North Carolina-based Winston Hotels, Inc., is a real estate investment trust specializing in the development, acquisition, repositioning and active asset management of premium limited-service, upscale extended-stay and full-service hotels, with a portfolio increasingly weighted toward the leading brands in the lodging industry`s upscale segment. The company currently owns or is invested in 53 hotels with 7,286 rooms in 15 states, which includes: 46 wholly-owned properties with 6,456 rooms; a 49 percent ownership interest in four joint venture hotels with 453 rooms; a 50 percent ownership interest in one joint venture hotel with 102 rooms; and, a mezzanine financing interest in two hotels with 275 rooms. For more information about Winston Hotels, visit the Winston Hotels Web site www.winstonhotels.com.
In addition to historical information, this press release contains forward-looking statements. The statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about the industry and markets in which Winston Hotels operates, as well as management`s beliefs and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which may cause the company`s actual results, performance, achievements pursuant to its disposition and acquisition programs and its other activities to be materially different from the results, plans or expectations expressed or implied by such statements. For more details, please refer to the company`s SEC filings, including its most recent annual report on Form 10-K.