Walt Disney officials said Friday they will not move forward with plans to build a 500-room resort in the Maryland mixed-use development that also houses a Gaylord Entertainment hotel and convention center. The House of Mouse spent $11 million on land in the National Harbor project two and a half years ago and would have boosted the national cachet of the development had it followed through with construction. Gaylord's property there has been hamstrung by Beltway uncertainty this year: Revenues were off 11 percent to $170 million through the first nine months of 2011.
If the Middle Tennessee economy is still sluggish, it has nothing to do with our hospitality sector. Smith Travel Research says Music City ranked at or near the top in all the major metrics for October. Year over year, local hotels saw occupancy rates jump 10 points and booked a 23.5 percent jump in revenue per available room. The reopening of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center has a lot to do with those gains, but the overall numbers suggest our important tourism industry is in more-than-decent shape heading into 2012.
Denver officials have withdrawn their support for the National Western Stock Show's proposed move to a plot in the suburb of Aurora next to land where Gaylord Entertainment plans to build a 1,500-room hotel and convention center. Gaylord has said it doesn't need the stock show to relocate to Aurora for its project to move forward but it could affect its chances of getting $85 million in state tourism subsidies.
Gaylord Hotels has announced a new strategic partnership with KODAK Event Imaging Solutions that will enable Gaylord hotel guests — as company officials glowingly note — "to depart with 'KODAK Moments' to last a lifetime."
Under the partnership, KODAK now has exclusive rights to photograph guests at Gaylord Hotels in Nashville; National Harbor, Md.; Kissimmee, Fla.; and Grapevine, Texas.
Roving photographers at the hotels will capture special moments of guests in pictures, compliments of Gaylord Hotels and KODAK Event Imaging Solutions. Guests can then purchase the photo prints and gifts as special keepsakes of their stay.
In addition, special photo opportunities will be offered exclusively to Hotel Holiday Package participants.
“Gaylord Hotels are known as the places to celebrate life’s special occasions,” said Rich Maradik, CMO of Gaylord Hotels. “Over the past few years, we have engaged in a few, selective partnerships with an eye toward enhancing those experiences to make them even more meaningful for our guests. KODAK Event Imaging Solutions is a very exciting extension of the Gaylord Hotel experience.”
Two prominent local stocks that have had forgettable 2011s caught the eye of some notable investors in the third quarter. Over at Seeking Alpha, Insider Monkey highlights Forbes columnist Ken Fisher's new $43 million interest in Gaylord Entertainment, which likely has paid off handsomely since Oct. 1. And the managers of the $3.7 billion Thornburg Value Fund thought Community Health Systems is "exactly the kind of company that the market has gotten nervous about in this environment" and thus worth buying at its lower levels. The fund's website suggests the stake also is worth almost $40 million.
SEE ALSO: Prominent hedgies jump into HCA, DG from yesterday
Two analysts covering Gaylord Entertainment have slashed their price targets on the stock but are taking decidedly different outlooks on the company following its Q3 loss. David Katz at Jefferies has slashed his price target to $20 from $27 and lowered his EBITDA outlook. He sees 2012 revenue per available room growing just 2.1 percent, which is at the low end of Gaylord's already cautious forecast. But at Avondale Partners, Fred Lowrance is still upbeat in the stock's prospects, pointing out that — despite softness at its Orlando and D.C. properties — the company is still on track to meet its original 2011 forecasts. Nevertheless, he has taken his target down to $28 from $51.
While investors are unlikely to assign a full multiple to any lodging company in this market, especially to a company like GET with market concentration issues, we still see ample upside opportunity in GET shares even after reining in multiples to historically low levels on lower 2012 earnings prospects.
Sam Margolin at Global Hunter Securities says Delek US Holdings should see its valuation rise now that it has acquired full control of Lion Oil. The deal, he says, gives the Brentwood-based company a broader platform that lowers its risk proflile and attracts more investors. He has launched coverage of Delek (Ticker: DK) with a 'buy' rating and a $20 price target.
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