Rob Hays, president and CEO of Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc., participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2022 Annual Conference held in San Francisco on Nov. 15-17.
Hays described operating fundamentals for Ashford as “encouraging” across its three main customer segments of group, corporate, and leisure travel. All areas are performing better than expectations six to nine months ago, he added, with RevPAR at the best level it’s been since 2019.
As for steps Ashford is taking to shore up its balance sheet, Hays pointed to the sale of an asset in the third quarter. He noted that the REIT has half a dozen or so other assets that it would like to sell. “We’re being very conservative, building up cash balances so we can be defensive as we’re refinancing debt, or offensive if we see opportunities.”
Meanwhile, Hays said while all geographic markets are performing well, warmer markets are the definite winners. Markets that are running behind 2019 levels include San Francisco, Portland, and Chicago.