Justin Knight, president and CEO of Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE: APLE), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
Apple Hospitality listed on the NYSE in May. Knight said the feedback from investors in the wake of the move has been “very positive.”
“We have a strong platform and are listing in a time when we feel there’s going to be continued upside, both in our platform and the industry at large,” Knight said. “We felt that given the options that were available to us, this was the most attractive option to our shareholders.”
Apple Hospitality only partners with Marriott and Hilton on its hotels. Apple Hospitality’s portfolio focuses on the upscale segment of the industry, and Hilton and Marriott “represent the dominant brands,” according to Knight.
“Brands are valuable to us to the extent they deliver guests,” he said. Both Hilton and Marriott also have effective loyalty programs and reservation systems, Knight noted.
Knight pointed to “accelerating fundamentals” as the big story to watch in the second half of 2015.
“Occupancy continues to increase, but the bulk of our growth is coming in the form of rates, and a larger portion of that goes to the bottom line,” he said.