Financial History Issue 125 (Spring 2018) - Page 38

Given a venue choice for an event some people and companies will always choose the chain hotel by the airport or interstate over the historic hotel or mansion downtown , for ease of access or lower cost . “ But as meeting planners , we always want to give clients options ,” said Talley . “ There is a broad appreciation of historic places and things . If the event cannot be at a historic venue , then there can be tours of museums or historic sites , or at least a local historian to give a talk at the brewpub .”
Sometimes the structures themselves do the talking . The term “ lobbyist ,” and the verb “ to lobby ,” came from the practice by advocates of different causes loitering in the lobby of the Willard Hotel in Washington , DC , waiting to plead their case with every elected and appointed official who walked through . The Willard is two blocks from the White House and still plays a role in business and politics .
“ It can be a very strong differentiator for a property to highlight its historic value ,” said Talley . “ And generally speaking , historic properties do communicate . It is incredibly helpful for them to have full details on their history as well as detailing their meeting and event capabilities .”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit organization established by President Harry S . Truman in 1949 , which is best known for preserving historic homes and mansions . In 1989 , the organization formed the Historic Hotels of America ( HHA ), which are forprofit businesses . Twenty of the original 32 hotels are still members . The total has grown to more than 300 in the United States and even more as part of the Historic Hotels Worldwide .
The outlook for the US lodging industry , particularly historic hotels , continues to be extremely strong , according to the annual forecast released in February by CBRE Hotels ’ Americas Research . CBRE Group is the largest commercial real estate services and investment firm in the world .
Through the first three quarters of 2017 , the aggregate revenue per available room for historic hotels that are members of HHA placed between the national averages for all upper-upscale and all luxury hotels in the United States . Annual occupancy levels for hotels that are members of HHA remains about eight percentage points above the national average occupancy level through 2019 .
Based on a set of information pulled from CBRE ’ s database , the daily rate for historic hotels is about $ 260 , more than 12 % higher than the $ 230 average for contemporary hotels . Since 2009 , historic resort hotels have achieved greater revenue and profit growth compared to their contemporary counterparts , CBRE found .
“ The data strongly supports the idea that many consumers favor and will pay more for the unique hotel experience historic properties can offer ,” said Mark Woodworth , senior managing director at CBRE .
HHA is a membership organization . Hotels pay a membership fee and have access to guidance on policy , publicity and tax credits . Properties must be 50 years or older and be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places . They also have to maintain their overall architectural integrity . Some hotels are part of the major commercial chains , while others are independent . The Willard is a member .
“ Hotels don ’ t have to be in continuous operation , or have always been hotels ,” said Michael DiRienzo , director of sales for HHA . “ Many of our members are adaptive-reuse of buildings built for other purposes and now turned into hotels featuring that history . The interior can be quite modern .”
It is important to look both inward and outward , DiRienzo noted . The place has to tell its own story , and in doing that often becomes an anchor to a neighborhood . “ They become the reason other things are there .” The National Trust has a program called Main Street that fosters multi-use mixed areas of historic value .
HHA also has a Performance Improvement Plan for members that helps them operationally and in communicating their story . “ Finding space to tell the story can be a challenge ,” said DiRienzo . “ We try to share best practices . I have told several members about an idea I saw at the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco . They put a mini-museum into the space that used to be pay phones . It was the perfect size and location , close to the lobby but out of direct walkways . It became a focal point .”
DiRienzo acknowledged there is “ maintenance and upkeep for a historic property , just as there would be for an older house .” That said , he cited the CBRE report that historic properties do see an average rate premium . So , indeed , history can be a viable business . “ Historic properties also attract a high level of international delegates to events ,” he added .
Jay Zelkowitz , front office manager for the Glen Cove Mansion on Long Island , concurred . The 55-acre estate was the home of John Pratt , an attorney and executive with John D . Rockefeller in Standard Oil . “ Maintenance is one of the toughest things , but our housekeeping and engineering staff work very closely on that .”
He also noted quirks , such as the restaurant on the third floor , literally under the eaves , with no elevator access . Nevertheless history is part of the business .
Aerial image of the Oheka Castle in Long Island , New York .
Stephen Turner
36 FINANCIAL HISTORY | Spring 2018 | www . MoAF . org
Based on a set of information pulled from CBRE’s database, the daily rate for historic hotels is about $260, more than 12% higher than the $230 average for contemporary hotels. Since 2009, historic resort hotels have achieved greater rev- enue and profit growth compared to their contemporary counterparts, CBRE found. “The data strongly supports the idea that many consumers favor and will pay more for the unique hotel experience historic properties can offer,” said Mark Woodworth, senior managing director at CBRE. HHA is a membership organization. Hotels pay a membership fee and have access to guidance on policy, publicity and tax credits. Properties must be 50 years or older and be eligible for the National Reg- ister of Historic Places. They also have to maintain their overall architectural integ- rity. Some hotels are part of the major commercial chains, while others are inde- pendent. The Willard is a member. “Hotels don’t have to be in continuous operation, or have always been hotels,” said Michael DiRienzo, director of sales for HHA. “Many of our members are adaptive-reuse of buildings built for other purposes and now turned into hotels fea- turing that history. The interior can be quite modern.” It is important to look both inward and outward, DiRienzo noted. The place has to tell its own story, and in doing that often becomes an anchor to a neighborhood. “They become the reason other things are 36    FINANCIAL HISTORY  |  Spring 2018  | www.MoAF.org there.” The National Trust has a program called Main Street that fosters multi-use mixed areas of historic value. HHA also has a Performance Improve- ment Plan for members that helps them operationally and in communicating their story. “Finding s XH[BܞH[HH[[K8'HZYTY[˂'HH\H\XX\ˈH]B]\[Y[X\X][YXHB]]HX\[[[[[\ˈ^H]HZ[K[]\][H[HXH]\YH^Hۙ\ˈ]\H\X^H[][ۋHHؘH]]و\X[^\ˈ]X[YHH[[ 'BTY[XۛYY\H\8'XZ[B[[H[\Y\܈H\ܚX B\K\\\H[H܈[\\K'H]ZY H]YHДB\ܝ]\ܚX\Y\YH[]\YH]H[Z][K[YY \ܞB[HHXXH\[\ˈ8'\ܚX B\Y\[]XHY][و[\KB[ۘ[[Y]\][8'HHYY ^H[]۝ٙXHX[Y\܂H[ݙHX[[ۈۈۙ\[ ۘ\Y H MKXXܙH\]H\BYHو] []ܛ^H[^XB]]H] Y[\[[\[ 8'XZ[[[H\ۙHوHY\[]\\ZY\[[[KBY\[Yܚ\H[Hۈ] 'BH[Y]Z\X\H\B]\[ۈH\܋]\[H[\HX]\][]]܈X\ˈ]B\[\\ܞH\\وH\[\˂][H[YHXH܈[][YB[H[\[Y\[[^\BHZ[[HHZ\ܝ܈[\]Bݙ\H\ܚX[܈X[[ۈۋBۋ܈X\HوX\܈\ 8']\YY][[\H[^\[™]HY[[ۜ8'HZY[^K8'\H\˜HY\XX][ۈو\ܚXX\[[ˈYH][[H]H\ܚX[YK[\H[H\و]\KB[\܈\ܚX]\܈]X\H[\ܚX[]HH[]H]X'BY][Y\HX\\[\[\H[[ˈH\H8'ؘZ\ 8'H[B\8'ؘK8'H[YHHHXXHBY]\وY\[]\\]\[[HؘHوH[\[[\[BۋZ][XYZ\\H]]\H[XY[\[YٙXX[[YY H[\\™HH]H\H[[^\HB[\[\[]X˂'][HH\HۙY\[X]܈܂H\HYY]\ܚX[YK8'BZY[^K8'[[\[HXZ[\BܚX\Y\[][X]K]\š[ܙYXH[[܈[H]H[]Z[ۈZ\\ܞH\[\]Z[[Z\YY][[][\X[]Y\˸'BH][ۘ[\܈\ܚX\\B][ۈ\Hۋ\ٚ]ܙ[^][ۈ\XB\YH\Y[\Hˈ[X[[NMKX\\ۛۈ܈\\[š\ܚXY\[X[[ۜˈ[ NNKHܙ[^][ۈܛYYH\ܚX’[و[Y\XH JKX\H܋Bٚ]\[\\ˈ[HوHܚY[[̈[\H[Y[X\ˈH[\™ܛۈ[ܙH[ [H[]Y]\[][[ܙH\\وH\BܚX[ܛYKH]܈HT[[\BK\X[\H\ܚX[۝[BY\H^[Y[HۙXܙ[H[X[ܙX\[X\Y[XKB\HHДH[&H[Y\X\\X\ ДHܛ\\H\\[Y\X[X[\]H\X\[[\Y[\B[Hܛ YH\YH]X\\و MHYܙY]H][YH\]Z[XHB܈\ܚX[]\HY[X\قHXY]Y[H][ۘ[]\BY\܈[\\]\[H[[^\B[[H[]Y]\˰[X[KB[H][܈[]\HY[X\›وH[XZ[X]ZY\[YB[XݙHH][ۘ[]\YHKB[H][Y NKY\X[[XYHوHZH\H[ۙ\[ ][ܚ