AUSTIN – (Realty News Report) – Host Hotels & Resorts has acquired the 448-room Hyatt Regency Austin in downtown Austin for $161 million in cash.
The waterfront hotel is located on 5.8 acres the south side of Lady Bird Lake adjacent to Congress Avenue and the tourist-attraction bat bridge, where a million bats reside.
Bethesda, Md.-based Host Hotels, the nation’s largest lodging REIT or real estate investment trust said the hotel will continue to fly the Hyatt flag.
“We are excited to have executed an off-market, opportunistic acquisition of a high-quality hotel in one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, which continues to be a top beneficiary of corporate and people relocation. As travel resumes, we expect the well-located Hyatt Regency Austin to benefit from a strong rebound led by Austin’s multiple leisure and business demand drivers that are anchored in world-renowned music festivals, sporting events and blue-chip corporations,” said James F. Risoleo, president and CEO of Host Hotels.
The Hyatt Regency Austin had an occupancy rate of 85.7 percent in 2019, with an average daily rate of $220. But the Covid pandemic was brutal on the hotel industry and placed extreme financial pressure on hoteliers.
A number of Austin hotels shut doors for a while during the pandemic. In April of last year, RevPAR (revenue per available room) in downtown Austin dropped to a nightmarish low of $3.62, down from revenue averages over $260 a night in 2019, STR reported. Across the nation, the hospitality sector suffered greatly during the pandemic.
The 670,000-SF Hyatt Regency Austin property had a rooms renovation in 2015 and a meeting space expansion in 2015 and renovation in 2018. The 16-story hotel offers 45,000 SF of total meeting space (including ballrooms of 14,000 and 10,000 SF), two food and beverage outlets, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
The Hyatt’s expansion of meeting space allowed the hotel capture more group business. The hotel was selected as the location of the prestigious National Association of Real Estate Editors annual conference held in 2019.
Prior to the pandemic, Austin had been the strongest hotel market in Texas. A recovery could be on the way for Austin hoteliers. A reduction in hotel construction is expected to bring the hotel market to a more balanced market.
March 19, 2021 Realty News Report Copyright 2021
Caption. Recreational boats cruise near the Hyatt Regency Austin, which sits on the banks of the Colorado River. Photo by Ralph Bivins, Realty News Report Copyright 2021.
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