How two Atlanta hotel sales reflect improving outlook for city’s hospitality industry

Atlanta Business Chronicle – A pair of Atlanta Central Business District hotels have sold for a combined $73 million, a sign of improving fundamentals in the hospitality sector.

RevPar Cos., a Durham, North Carolina-based investor in hotel properties, purchased Element Atlanta Buckhead for $38 million and SpringHill Suites Atlanta for $35 million, according to Fulton County property deeds. The deals closed July 22.

RevPar Cos. did not return inquiries from Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Why it matters: “The growing recovery in hospitality bolsters investors’ confidence and attracts a significant amount of capital … particularly for high-quality, premium-branded hotels,” said Peachtree Hotel Group Corporate Communications Director Charles Talbert.

From January through June, Atlanta hotel occupancy has improved 19% and is nearing 66%. It has been nearly two years since hotel occupancy reached that level. Recovery in domestic travel will also lead to rising occupancy. In 2019, there were 2.6 million U.S. air travelers, but that dropped to 700,000 in 2020 because of the pandemic, according to the Transportation Security Administration. This year, there have already been 2.1 million air travelers through July 26.

The basics: The Element Atlanta is located at 3491 Piedmont Road near Atlanta Tech Village in Buckhead, and the Spring Hill Suites Atlanta is in the heart of downtown’s tourism and entertainment district near Centennial Olympic Park. The Element Atlanta and Spring Hill Suites are extended stay hotels, which have outperformed other hotel properties during the past year, according to CoStar.

Market outlook: Through June, Buckhead occupancy improved by nearly 15% and downtown’s by 14%, according to CoStar. Developments such as Centennial Yards and the recent $145 million purchase of CNN Center reflect renewed interest in downtown projects.