THE CHALLENGE

New Castle Hotels & Resorts ("NCH") targeted identifying an investment property with a premiere location in downtown New Orleans, LA. In this particular market, this meant finding an older, under performing asset that could be rebranded to achieve our desired ROI and market positioning.  Negotiating a PIP that balanced brand standards with the project budget was a top priority.  To accomplish this, we sought a historically significant renovation in line with our vision and monetized both federal and state historic tax credits to offset our investment basis.

THE SOLUTION

We identified an attractive historic building with motivated sellers in the business district near the French Quarter.  NCH completed due diligence and closed on the property with equity and debt in place within 60 days. As is customary for all projects, our team conducted a strategic evaluation for brand re-positioning. The analysis determined that Fairfield Inn & Suites would be the right fit, and that we should develop the property as an upper-midscale hotel to best serve the New Orleans market.  Under the direction of New Orleans' architect John T. Campo Associates, we executed a $10 million thoughtful transformation to maximize the value of the historic tax credits.  Our operational strategy included negotiations with the brand to address reward redemption challenges.

THE RESULTS

NCH transformed a substandard, mid-level hotel into a profitable, custom designed and historically significant, upper-midscale property.  The Fairfield Inn & Suites New Orleans Downtown has seen a 15% YOY lift in RevPAR growth (exceeding the competitive set by more than 8 points, according to STR data). *The property's gross operating profit achieved a compound annual growth rate of nearly 20% in the first two years of operations and represents a 100% flow through on increased incremental revenue.  With a focus on increased guest satisfaction, the hotel has climbed 50 positions in TripAdvisor's hotel popularity ranking. NCH has a long history of targeting high potential historic buildings and converting them into top performing, modern hotels that reflect their unique, original character.  Several other examples include the historic redevelopment of the Westin Portland Harborview in Portland, ME and the Algonquin Resort, an Autograph Collection hotel in St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick. We welcome the chance to speak to you about a project that would benefit from New Castle's approach.  Please contact Julian Buffam at+1 (203) 447-7010 or via email at julianbuffam@newcastlehotels.com.