After a strong performance in 2012, with revenue and reservations up 14 percent and a 35 percent increase in website traffic, Vantage Hospitality looks ahead toward international growth.
At the company’s annual conference at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas this week, which drew approximately 1,000 attendees, President and CEO Roger Bloss said Vantage now has 1,091 properties. Of those properties, 1,061 are Americas Best Value Inns (including its affiliates in China and Canada and the Value Inn Worldwide brand) and 30 Lexingtons. In the last two years, Vantage has eliminated the bottom 5 percent—about 150 underperforming properties.
Bill Hanley, partner and group president of Lexington Collection, said there are a wealth of opportunities for growth in China, India, and South Korea. “As we come out of the recession, the time is right for Vantage’s global evolution,” Hanley said. “We’ve been laying the foundation in these countries for several years and now it’s paying off.”
In April, Vantage announced the launch of VanMYT Hospitality, a partnership with former AAHOA chairmen Tarun Patel and Mukesh Mowkji, to develop Value Inn, Value Inn Signature, and Value Hotel Worldwide brands across India.
On his first visit to India in 2007, Bloss noticed an opportunity for hotels in the two- and three-star segment. “Every [brand] is rushing there to be the poster child, or the first in the market with a four-star hotel,” he said. “I was utterly amazed how many hotels already existed in phenomenal locations that were literally two- or three-star U.S. quality.”
Bloss said VanMYT has signed one deal so far, and he hopes to see about a dozen properties come on board in 2013. “We’re not looking to go gangbuster numbers as much as we are gangbuster delivery and performance,” he said. “We know the rest will follow.” There are about 3,000 hotels that are already open and operating in India that Bloss said would fit their system.
Hanley said India is critically short of hotel supply and the solution is new development. “India right now has half the rooms it needs,” he said.
VanMYT offers an investment opportunity for Vantage members who want to buy a class of stock that will make them a part owner in the new company. Entry is $1 per share with a 10,000-share minimum. “It’s more of a personal investment, not so much a financial investment,” ” said Bernie Moyle, CFO and COO of Vantage. “It’s an opportunity to say, ‘I’m an owner. I’m a piece of this.’”