Marriott International, Inc. (MAR - Free Report) recently announced that the Atlantis, Paradise Island property will become part of its Autograph Collection this autumn. The resort which is one of the most popular in The Bahamas and Caribbean region will operate under a franchise agreement with Marriott and the hotelier will provide $100 million in debt and equity financing.
Atlantis, which will be the biggest hotel under Autograph Collection, is currently owned by Brookfield Asset Management. It will mark the brand’s entry into the Bahamas.
Atlantis is an exclusive, ocean-themed destination which offers a variety of guest accommodations, restaurants, bars, lounges, the biggest casino in The Bahamas, extensive meeting facilities and a marina for yachts. The resort is built around a 141-acre waterscape which includes fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools and habitats. Such an exclusive property will be a strategic fit for Marriott’s upscale brand – The Autograph Collection.
Marriott plans to aggressively grow The Autograph Collection and the addition of Atlantis, Paradise Island is a step in this direction. In fact, nearly 25% of the company's development pipeline focuses on the luxury and lifestyle category, with more than 200 hotels expected to be added over the next several years involving more than $15 billion investment by owners and franchisees.
With the global economy as well as the consumer sentiment gradually improving, demand for luxury and lifestyle brands is increasing rapidly. In our view, Marriot’s aggressive expansion will enable it to capitalize on the global demand for luxury hotels. Additionally, customers are viewing the positioning of lifestyle brands favorably and are willing to pay higher rates for exclusive services.
Marriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks in the same industry worth considering include Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN - Free Report) , Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT - Free Report) and Choice Hotels International Inc. (CHH - Free Report) . All these stocks have the same Zacks Rank as Marriott.