Richard Stockton, president and CEO of Braemar Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: BHR), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.
Braemar has been actively involved with several renovation and conversion projects over the last two years, including the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas, where the REIT spent nearly $100 million in renovations following Hurricane Irma. Braemar has also upgraded two Courtyard-branded hotels to the Autograph Collection by Marriott.
“The combination of these major capital expenditure projects has set us up very nicely for 2020,” Stockton said, with the REIT expecting to achieve significant improvement in RevPAR and EBITDA across the renovated properties.
Stockton also said that while industry-wide RevPAR growth has slowed over the last few years, and forecasts point to continued slow or low growth environments, the luxury segment where Braemar is predominantly focused outperforms.
Meanwhile, Stockton noted that the single biggest contributor to non-room revenue, outside of food and beverages, is Braemar’s membership program at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. The REIT has attracted over 600 members, bringing in more than $4 million in revenue a year. Braemar is considering creating membership clubs at its other resort properties as well, he said.