Richard Stockton, president and CEO of Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: BHR), joined Nareit in New York for a video interview at REITweek: 2019 Investor Conference.
Stockton provided an overview of conditions across the luxury hotel sector. “The industry in many ways has reached an equilibrium…I don’t feel overly concerned about supply,” he said. At the same time, he noted that banks are being disciplined in terms of the types of projects they’ll finance.
“I feel very comfortable with where we are. We’ll continue to move forward and be profitable as an industry. This isn’t a point in time where we expect extraordinary growth, but we’re also not trying to factor in any major downside scenarios,” Stockton said.
Meanwhile, although Braemar is seeking to grow through external acquisitions, the market for new hotel assets is “very challenging… we’re not seeing a great number of actionable opportunities,” Stockton said. Equity markets have also been volatile this year, causing Braemar to focus on existing opportunities within its own portfolio. Those efforts include converting two Courtyard-branded hotels to the Autograph Collection by Marriott.
Stockton also noted that Braemar will re-open the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas by the end of the year. That market has seen supply contract by 35%, he said.
Braemar will also open The Notary Hotel in Philadelphia this summer, Stockton pointed out.