RLJ Lodging Trust (the “Company”) (NYSE: RLJ) today announced that it recently completed three hotel conversions for approximately $24 million.
The three hotels that underwent conversions were the Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place, Hilton Garden Inn Durham, and Embassy Suites West Palm Beach-Central. The conversions were part of the Company’s 2011 capital improvement plan, which was largely focused on upgrading and/or repositioning 24 hotels acquired in 2010 and 2011. Including the completion of the aforementioned properties, the Company has completed five of seven planned conversions. The remaining two properties are scheduled to be completed in 2012.
“As fully renovated, premium-branded hotels, these conversions are now well positioned to gain market share, see an increase in pricing power, and capitalize on the overall positive trends that we are seeing throughout the lodging industry,” said Thomas J. Baltimore, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer. “Repositioning these hotels not only enhances the value of the assets but also serves as tangible evidence of our core investment strategy to own quality hotels with strong brand affiliations.”
All three hotels remained open while under renovation. The Company’s Design and Construction team leveraged their vast experience in conversions and major renovations to execute and successfully ensure that the transformations were a success.“The guest rooms, public spaces, and the exterior of the three hotels were transformed into exceptional products after undergoing an extensive multi-phase renovation,” said Carl Mayfield, Senior Vice President of Design and Construction. The 202-room Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh University Place was converted from a Wyndham hotel on January 1, 2012. The $9 million renovation upgraded all guestrooms, transformed the lobby, and freshened up the exterior. The public space renovation included creating a sky lobby experience, revamping the business center, and expanding the lobby bar. The 175-room Hilton Garden Inn Durham was converted from a Wyndham hotel on January 1, 2012. The $8 million renovation upgraded all guestrooms and transformed the lobby along with the building’s exterior. The public space transformation included upgraded meeting spaces, engaging lobby bar, new floating registration desk, and larger business center. A re-themed exterior included enhancements to the façade and the creation of a new porte cochere.