February 2, 2012
Private equity and big hotel companies create new streams of funding as US lodging industry continues its recovery into 2012… Even torrential rain and unseasonable chilly temperatures could not dampen the enthusiasm that resonated January 23 throughout the JW Marriott in Los Angeles, where the opening of the 11th annual Americas Lodging Investment Summit drew hundreds of hopeful people eager to stake a claim in the reportedly robust and recovering US hotel industry.
. . . Richard Jones, COO of Portman Holdings in Atlanta, said he predicts industry fundamentals will continue to do well as more Americans see their incomes rise. ‘People are spending money,’ he said during an interview in the Marriott lobby. The real estate investment and development company plans to acquire new properties as well as invest in existing assets, a ‘new strategy’ the firm has hatched over the past two years. Portman has its own investment capital, which it turns loose to match an buyer’s input, providing 10 percent to 20 percent of required equity. ‘We are excited about 2012,’ said Jones. ‘There is still a lot of uncertainty and risk in the industry, but the fundamentals are good, and now is the right time to position yourself.’