In order to beef up its Canadian portfolio, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT - Analyst Report) recently unveiled its first Four Points by Sheraton branded property in Kelowna, British Columbia. The Four Points by Sheraton brand represents mid-scale, unique, contemporary lifestyle hotels. Christened Four Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport, this new property also marks the opening of the 24th hotel under this brand in Canada.
Strategically positioned next to the Kelowna International Airport (YLW), the Four Points by Sheraton branded property is in proximity to the city of Kelowna, the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus) and Okanagan Lake. It features 120 guest rooms along with various other amenities such as outdoor pool, a bar, a fitness center and a meeting place measuring 4,500 square feet.
Owing to the property’s closeness to Kelowna’s several famous ski-resorts located near Okanagan Valley, it is expected to attract leisure travelers interested in water sports.
Launched in Jan 1995, Starwood’s third-largest brand, Four Points by Sheraton, currently owns as many as 175 properties across 30 countries worldwide. In its 20 years of operation, this brand has performed satisfactorily in terms of guest satisfaction, reflecting the brand’s strength and growing popularity.
The brand’s concept is in sync with the preference of modern travelers who seek a unique experience. Its affordable price point in the mid-market hotel category is another reason for its increasing popularity.
As per the expansion plan, of Four Points’ total development pipeline, most of the properties are based in the North American region and it also plans to develop 27 properties in the Canadian market in 2013.
In the first quarter of 2013, revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth at Four Points was 6.7% in constant dollars, the fourth highest among all the other brands. The company now expects 2013 to be the strongest year for the brand in terms of signing management and franchise deals.
Similar contemporary mid-priced brand concepts, such as Holiday Inn and Hyatt Place, have been introduced by Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (IHG - Snapshot Report) and Hyatt Hotels Corporation (H - Snapshot Report), respectively.
Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Another hotel stock worth looking into is The Marcus Corporation (MCS - Snapshot Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).