Richard Smith, president and CEO of FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. (NYSE: FCH), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview during REITWeek 2015: NAREIT’s Investor Forum, held in New York.
FelCor is currently undertaking a multiyear repositioning initiative program. Smith said the company has made “tremendous progress” on the initiative.
“We had a ton of stuff to do,” Smith said. “Everything had to change.”
In addition to selling approximately 100 properties, FelCor refined its operations and capital structure. The company has moved on to a “more offensive strategy,” according to Smith. The firm has the resources to redevelop some of its properties and buy up distressed assets should they become available during the next market cycle. Importantly, he said, FelCor has extended its debt maturities.
“The balance sheet is completely cleaned up,” he said. “The quality of the portfolio, which we needed to attack, is in fantastic shape.”
In terms of the fundamentals in the lodging market, Smith said the sector still has room to run. He pointed out that the dynamics of supply and demand remain favorable for lodging owners.