ULI Philadelphia Blog

Recap: Case Study of a Deal Part 3- The Westin

The third and final installment of Case Study of a Deal was held on August 2 at Jefferson University. This educational event concluded a three-part series that brought in the professionals behind some of Philly’s recent real estate projects to highlight all phases of the real estate development process. Thursday’s event focused on the operations and dispositions phase of The Westin Hotel, a 294-key hotel in Center City managed by Hersha Hospitality Trust.

The presenters from Hersha Hospitality Trust- Christopher Doyle, Vice President of Asset Management, and Chas Hyatt Vice President of Acquisitions and Development- discussed Philadelphia’s hotel supply noting that there are 54 hotels with 12,534 rooms within in the Central Business District. Philadelphia’s unique status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its consistent volume of conventions helps to drive lodging performance for hotels. Hersha Hospitality runs 5 hotels in the city, including The Philadelphia Westin. Situated right in the heart of the city, The Westin was originally built as The Ritz-Carlton before being converted in 1999.

Audience members were curious about the increasing demand for home sharing and how companies such as Airbnb have affected business for hotels. Chris and Chas responded that The Philadelphia Westin has seen minimal to no impact because of the numerous conventions that bring in large group sizes to the city. They say with better revenue management and programming; The Philadelphia Westin can even catch up its luxury set to its competitors like The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons.

The event was a great ending to the three-part series, introducing attendees to each unique phase of real estate development. Thank you to Chris Doyle and Chas Hyatt from Hersha Hospitality Trust for creating a very informative dialogue and for Jefferson University for hosting this event.

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