Hotel Investors 'Kick the Can' on Acquisitions as Distressed Assets haven't Materialized

Owners Expect Pace of Hotel Transactions Could Quicken in Next 18 Months

12 August 2021

Hotel owners who thought they were experienced and poised to make the most out of a crisis following the Great Recession had to learn the hard way just how bad things could get.

Speaking during the "Boardroom Outlook: Investment Strategies/Assets" panel at the 2021 Americas Lodging Investment Summit, Rick Takach, chairman and CEO of Vesta Hospitality, said he understands why the previous year and a half could scare investors away.

"2020 hit, and obviously the 2009-2010 numbers are gone. They're out the window," he said. "Anybody who would look at 2020 might not ever want to invest in the hospitality industry again. However, I think it's an asset class that's here to stay."

Both Takach's company and real estate investment trust Ashford Hospitality Trust went into the latest crisis with leverage levels around 60% to 65%. Ashford Trust CEO Rob Hays said his company's leadership team quickly learned that recipe didn't work despite yielding positive results during the previous downturn.

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