Ross Woods of Hotel Investment Strategies says that Americans may need to pay much more attention to the ever growing role of China in the hospitality business in particular and in the global economy generally. Perhaps this awareness began in 2009 when Keck Seng Investments of Hong Kong bought the W Hotel San Francisco. It then took center stage last March when the joint venture between Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Company Limited and Thayer Lodging Group completed its merger with Interstate Hotels & Resorts. Other significant recent transactions to drive home the point include American Pacific International Capital’s acquisition of a hotel portfolio in San Francisco’s SoMa district and two boutique hotels in its NoMa district, as well as Shenzhen New World Group Co., Ltd buying the Marriott Los Angeles Downtown and Sheraton Universal City. In 2011, so far, Cheng Yu-tung of Hong Kong has been acquiring assets such as the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan, Rosewood’s Crescent in Dallas and Little Dix Bay in the British Virgin Islands.
We see this happening around us, and like many, are seeking good opportunities for our clients. In my recent chat with Ross Woods we concluded that the trend is early in its cycle and that there will be continuing opportunities in the years ahead.