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Hotel Investors Attracted to Hawaii's Hotel Market as it Outperforms
the Nation and Other Exotic Island Destinations

By Allison Schaefers, The Honolulu Star-AdvertiserMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

July 26, 2012--Hawaii's hotel market, which at midyear outperformed the nation and many exotic island destinations worldwide, is attracting investors again.

"In 2009 and 2010, investing in Hawaii's hotel market was like catching a falling knife. However, since 2011, it's been very attractive to investors," said Steve McKenzie, managing partner of ChannelWest.

Hotel investors are confident that Hawaii's hotel market will not be inundated with new supply and that most assets can be bought for less than they would cost to build, McKenzie said. Strong hotel performance, particularly on Oahu and Maui, also allows for aggressive rates, he said.

Debt restructuring this year and next could trigger sales, said Joseph Toy, president and CEO of Hospitality Advisors LLC.

"Investors are scouring Hawaii for acquisitions. Product availability is still limited for now," Toy said.

"However, there are several spectacular ownership changes in the pipeline."

Hawaii's positioning relative to other destinations will continue to increase its investor appeal, he said.

Hawaii's statewide occupancy, which was 77.1 percent through June, grew 4.6 percentage points from the year-ago period, according to Hospitality Advisors and Smith Travel Research. From last midyear to this one, Hawaii hoteliers also grew their average daily rate by 7 percent to $201. Revenue per available room rose by 13.8 percent.

Hawaii's midyear occupancy beat out Los Angeles/Long Beach; however, it trailed New York, Miami and San Francisco, Toy said. New York's midyear ADR was higher than Hawaii's, but the isles were ahead of Miami, San Francisco and Boston, he said.

Hawaii's hotel market also performed well against Puerto Rico, Phuket, Bali, the Bahamas, Aruba, Costa Rica and the Maldives, Toy said.


(c)2012 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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