Jim Risoleo

Jim Risoleo, president and CEO of Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc . (Nasdaq: HST), was a guest on the latest episode of the REIT Report podcast.

During the interview, Risoleo discussed the REIT’s latest results, trends in leisure and group travel, recent acquisitions in Nashville, conditions in Maui, renovation projects, sustainability targets, and more.

Commenting on the outlook for the lodging sector in general, Risoleo said it is set up for solid performance for at least the next several years, with supply growth at historically low levels.

“The international demand imbalance will right itself. That's on the upside,” Risoleo said. At the same time, Host is confident that business transient demand is going to continue to grow while the leisure traveler is still healthy, even if the short-term leisure pickup has slowed a bit. “We think the two engines on the group side and business transient side are going to more than offset any slowdown in leisure transient short-term,” he said.

Risoleo also noted that:

  • Host can acquire another $1.1 billion in acquisitions this year and still maintain an investment grade balance sheet. “We are in the unique position of being an all-cash buyer given our balance sheet, and we intend to take advantage of that.”
  • Host is interested in markets that have diverse demand generators.
  • Host’s acquisition of the 1 Hotel Nashville and the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville downtown for $530 million will generate $29 million of EBITDA in 2024.
  • Transformational renovations at 24 properties will continue to provide meaningful tailwinds for the portfolio.
  • Host is seeing lengthening booking windows for group travel.
  • The impact of wildfires on Maui had a significant impact on Host’s first quarter results but “the most important thing is finding housing for the displaced residents and getting them back on their feet.”