|By Sara K. Clarke and Jason Garcia,
Orlando SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 05, 2013--Hotel-valuation company HVS hosted its first-ever nationwide update last week -- linking hoteliers in Orlando with those in 11 other markets for a seminar on how the lodging industry is faring.
The company, which recently opened an Orlando office, projected 2013 will be a year of more transactions and refinancing deals with increasingly favorable terms. The company also expects U.S. hotel values to finally return to pre-recession highs last seen in 2006.
"We're projecting sometime in 2013 -- possibly now -- the values will return back to their peak," said Stephen Rushmore Jr., the company's president and chief executive officer.
In Florida, Orlando-area hotels ranked fourth last year in terms of average occupancy, coming in at 68.8 percent, behind Miami, the Florida Keys and Fort Lauderdale. Orlando -- largely known as a "value" market -- ranked 10th in the state in terms of average daily room rate, at $96.88 a night.
HVS said projects now on the books indicate significant growth in supply in coming years. Demand is expected to grow as well, an indication that Orlando should be able to absorb those new hotel rooms.
Alfond Inn to open in August
Developers announced last week that the 112-room Alfond Inn being built at Rollins College is scheduled to open in August.
Owned by Rollins College, the hotel is being built with a $12.5 million grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation. Net operating income from the inn will endow a scholarship fund. The hotel will include a 5,000-square-foot ballroom and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Its restaurant and lounge, Hamilton's Kitchen, was named in honor of Rollins' eighth president, Hamilton Holt.
Visit Florida's budget grows
Visit Florida will get $63.5 million to spend on travel marketing during the 2013-14 fiscal year, according to a final budget agreed to last week by the Florida Legislature. That's not quite as much as the agency had hoped to receive. Republican Gov. Rick Scott had asked lawmakers to give the agency $75 million next year. But it is still an increase of more than 15 percent from the current year. The budget heads next to Scott for approval.
CFHLA launches blood drive
The Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association kicked off its summer blood drive, led again by local hotelier Jay Leonard and his daughter, Karli, a childhood-cancer survivor. The pair have become advocates for blood donation since Karli's diagnosis with osteosarcoma. Leonard, general manager of the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort at Walt Disney World, said Karli is approaching her second anniversary with no evidence of cancer. For a list of donation opportunities, visit oneblood.org/cfhla/.
Hard Rock plans Daytona hotel
Orlando-based Hard Rock Cafe International and Canadian company Bayshore Capital are planning to build a Hard Rock Hotel in Daytona Beach. The beachfront property is to include 250 rooms, 100 condo units and a Hard Rock Cafe. It is expected to open in early 2016, about the time of the annual Daytona 500 NASCAR race.
email@example.com or 407-420-5664 firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-420-5414
(c)2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)
Visit The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.) at www.OrlandoSentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services