Interstate Hotels & Resorts becomes Aimbridge EMEA and seeks to double its European hotel portfolio
MANCHESTER, England – Interstate Hotels & Resorts, credited as the hotel management company that pioneered third-party management in Europe, officially changed its name this week to Aimbridge EMEA, for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The move comes just over three years after Interstate announced it would merge with Plano, Texas-based Aimbridge Hospitality in July 2019, which was first announced by Hotel News Now. At that time, the merger created a portfolio of approximately 1,400 branded and independent properties in 49 states and 20 countries.
The company’s division outside the United States retained the Interstate Hotels & Resorts moniker at the time.
Today, Aimbridge has over 1,600 hotels, including 114 in Europe. Aimbridge currently manages properties in Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, Ireland, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and will soon announce a hotel management agreement in Spain with a Dutch owner. The company left Russia after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
“Our goal is to double the size of our European portfolio over the next three to five years, and with new geographies,” said David Anderson, Division President of Aimbridge EMEA during a break at the hospitality conference. annual in Manchester.
Anderson said the time has come to rebrand the Interstate as Aimbridge EMEA, but no significant change in strategy is on the horizon.
“We now have a brand, shared purchases and top-notch talent,” he said. “The news greatly facilitates marketing to investors, but our structure does not change. We remain the leading third-party management company in Europe, and with the strongest growth.”
Anderson said executives formerly tied to Interstate knew the change would happen sometime after the 2019 merger. The move will allow Aimbridge to expand into new markets such as Spain, where he added that 58 % of hotel investments come from the United States.
“In the Gulf, the Aimbridge name is better known than the Interstate,” he said. “With one global brand, Aimbridge, it makes everyone’s life easier and more impactful.
“We are aligned with the owners and their strategies,” he said, adding that the company has about 55,000 employees.
Being part of Aimbridge has also brought the company’s strategies and tools to a new group of owners.
“The financial, forecasting and proprietary tools we now have access to will give owners with multinational interests the same report for all of their assets on the same day and in the language of their choice,” Anderson said.
Mark Tamis, president of global operations at Aimbridge, said the company now has significantly more global flexibility and increased IT resources and systems available to all of the brand-affiliated hotels it manages.
“Branded hotel companies first became asset light, and now they are becoming management light,” he said.
Anderson said Aimbridge now has more branded hotels than the hotel brand companies themselves.
Allison Reid, director of global growth at Aimbridge, said aligned systems “have resulted in smarter data at scale,” which enables smarter underwriting.
She said investors are better able to realize the returns they expected.
Anderson said that in the last three months of available data, occupancy has returned to 83% to 84% of 2019 levels across Aimbridge’s portfolio, while the average daily rate has exceeded that year, reaching 20% to 30% above 2019 levels.
Aimbridge EMEA has managed the 31-asset portfolio of Jupiter Hotels, which began as a third-party management company, since November 2020.
Anderson said the future of Aimbridge EMEA is bright in terms of adding unique hotel assets and portfolios in Europe. Among its recent hotel openings in Europe, Aimbridge opened the 117-room Holiday Inn Express Brussels-Grande-Place.
“We work with all the brands and they bring the deals to us,” he said.
Reid added that his biggest source of potential additions came from investors.
“Also industry influencers,” she said, “although we realize there’s more capital than there are deals, but Aimbridge has a lot of access to the flow of chords.”
Tamis said the increased scale of the business has allowed it to “bring the pieces together to create value for everyone.”
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