SoTHERLY Rebrands Florida Hotel as Hilton, Shares Up - Analyst Blog

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Shares of SoTHERLY Hotels Inc. ( SOHO ) gained a cent during the regular trading session on Aug 29, following the announcement of the company's franchise deal with Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. ( HLT ) on Aug 28.

In particular, SoTHERLY Hotels inked a 10-year franchise agreement with the hotelier for rebranding its Jacksonville-based asset as the DoubleTree by Hilton Jacksonville Riverfront. The conversion to Hilton took place on Aug 1. This Florida property, previously known as Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Riverfront, operated under the Crowne Plaza brand of Intercontinental Hotels Group plc ( IHG ).

The 292-rooms property, comprises 12,000 square feet of meeting space, is situated amid downtown Jacksonville's San Marco Historic District. The hotel also has a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse restaurant of the Ruth's Hospitality Group, Inc. ( RUTH ). Notably, this hotel is presently undergoing extensive renovation that is anticipated to complete in the third quarter of next year.

We are encouraged with rebranding of the Florida-based property. This coupled with the ongoing refurbishment efforts is expected to enhance the quality of the asset. In fact, Florida's lodging industry promises strong prospects.

According to research by the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, the state experienced a 3% year-over-year rise in tourist visitations to 24.0 million - the largest second quarter visitation ever experienced in the state. There was also a rise in visitor spending in Florida. Hence, SoTHERLY Hotels' efforts to capitalize on growth opportunities through the abovementioned moves seem justified.

SoTHERLY Hotels, a lodging real estate investment trust (REIT), acquires, refurbishes and repositions upscale and upper upscale full-service properties in the Southern region of the U.S. The company currently has investments in 12 hotels and a 25% stake in the Crowne Plaza Hollywood Beach Resort.

The company presently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).


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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: SOHO , HLT , IHG , RUTH

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