Doug Kessler, president and CEO of Ashford Hospitality Trust (NYSE: AHT), participated in a video interview at Nareit’s REITworld: 2019 Annual Conference in Los Angeles.
Kessler said Ashford’s 17% insider ownership—about four times as much as its peers—is one of the things that drives the company to maximize the value of its assets.
“We’re constantly looking at ways to drive value and maximize the performance of the assets,” he said, noting that the REIT does so through both acquisitions and dispositions.
Kessler added that for the past five years, Ashford has been on an aggressive capital expenditure campaign, spending $207 million in 2018. He says this provides Ashford with great tailwinds.
“With refreshed assets, we’re much more competitive [and] we have less disruption in our year-over-year comparisons,” he said. “Looking ahead, we would expect in 2019 to spend around $160 million, so about $50 million less than what we spent [in 2018].”
Turning to a potentially slowing economy, Kessler said Ashford has learned over the years how to manage both upcycles as well as downcycles.