Four Points To Debut In Nashville

Zacks Investment Research
updated | Zacks.com

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:HOT) recently announced its intention to open Four Points by Sheraton brand in the Nashville metropolitan area. The hotel is slated for inauguration in August 2011.

Formerly, it was a Holiday Inn property owned by Eagle Hospitality and currently is being upgraded extensively. The hotel will be managed by Maximum Hospitality. Maximum Hospitality also manages Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House, the brand’s best performing hotel in terms of guest satisfaction for three years in a row.

Based in Clarksville, Tennessee, Eagle Hospitality is a subsidiary of Relations Group, engaged in the development, owning and operating several hotel properties. This is the first time the company is working with the Starwood brand.

The new Nashville hotel will feature 208 guest rooms, a conference room of more than 4,000 square feet along with other amenities. The project marks a milestone in the hotelier’s brand expansion policy in key markets across the U.S. not only through new-builds, but also through conversion opportunities. In fact, current expansions are being done mostly through conversions, which is a cost-effective way to reposition the property for long-term success.

In early-December, Four Points by Sheraton opened its first hotel at a commercial area in Bangkok, Thailand.  In mid-December, China saw a new Four Points (311 rooms) in Tai’an. Other Four Points, which are in the pipeline for January debut are located in Houston, Texas (79 rooms), Memphis, Tennessee (125 rooms), Tripoli, Libya (204 rooms), and Pune, India (215 rooms). 

Sheraton is spearheading Starwood’s market share growth. Hence, Starwood remains on track to beef up its Four Points under the Sheraton portfolio. Currently, Starwood has more than 150 Four Points by Sheraton hotels in 24 countries.

Available in both franchise and managed models, Four Points by Sheraton has the second largest pipeline of Starwood and is expected to grow to nearly 190 properties by 2012, an increase of 25%.  Over the last five years, Starwood and its partners have invested more than $1 billion in renovation, conversion and new build of Four Points properties.

In its third quarter f 2010, Four Points by Sheraton brand reported 12.4% growth in RevPAR, second highest after 18.9% growth experienced in W Hotels.

Following the recent revitalization program and the consequent outperformance in the brand’s results, a surge in interest has been noticed among owners and developers seeking a new brand affiliation for their properties. They are trying to capitalize on the Four Points brand’s Preferred Guest program as well as the mixed effect of the Sheraton brand with the value proposition of Four Points.

Other hoteliers, which provide competition to Starwood, are Marriott International Inc. (NYSE:MAR), Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H) and Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (NYSE:IHG). All of them are on an expansion mode.

 
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