Hotel Asset Recovery Team Formed to Help Grand Strand Hotel Owners, Lenders and Special Servicers Through Worst Real Estate Crisis in More than 50 Years
A group of leading hotel and commercial real estate executives have formed a hotel asset recovery company to help Grand Strand hospitality real estate owners, lenders and special servicers work through the worst crisis in the area in more than 50 years. The firm also has the capacity and expertise to provide services regionally and nationally in support of its clients' needs.
Tradd Hospitality Resources will be the only firm in the Grand Strand market to offer owners, lenders and special servicers the full range of hotel asset recovery services, including: qualified receivership, hotel and condominium management, asset management, repositioning of assets, hospitality asset valuation services, Home Owners Association management and brokerage. The company may assist national and local investors in developing funds to acquire distressed hotel assets either wholly owned or in joint venture partnerships.
Billings' background includes more than 35 years in hotel and resort operations, acquisitions/divestments and asset management. He created and led the Hotel and Hospitality Products Marketing Division of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) in the early 1990s, the last major hospitality financial crisis. During his tenure there, he was involved in the marketing of more than 400 hotels and personal transaction activity was more than $2 billion. Billings previously was chief executive manager of Moonraker Management, a privately held company that operated hotels, condominiums and resorts in the Grand Strand market.
"I have been through four major hotel real estate cycles, and this is a once-in-a-generation situation," Billings said. "On a national basis, it is expected that this will be the largest transfer of hotel wealth in history, as bankruptcies and foreclosures escalate. A large number of hotels in the U.S., particularly those built in the last five years, are distressed. The Wall Street Journal recently estimated that more than $125 billion of commercial loans are in default. It is estimated that more than $10 billion in hotel loans are coming due in the next 18 months and there is little to no ability to refinance them as the value of hotels has dropped by as much as 30 to 50 percent in some markets. It is not fully clear if the Myrtle Beach market will be as hard hit, but it is highly likely that it will suffer significantly. We have spoken to a number of lenders with properties in the market, and they have significant concerns about the market.
"The Grand Strand hotel market is unlike any other in the U.S.," Billings noted. "For the past few years, the area has attracted approximately 14 million guests. However, with some 100,000 rooms in the market, we have the capacity to serve 20 million guests. As a market overall, we average only about 50 percent occupancy, which makes hotel ownership and management very challenging.
"We have the expertise and systems in place to take over management of single assets or portfolios immediately, asset manage and operate them, provide a value opinion, develop the appropriate buy, sell or hold strategy and offer comprehensive hotel brokerage services.
"The Grand Strand, a 60-mile string of resort towns along the Atlantic Coast of South Carolina, comprises numerous micro-markets that require substantially different marketing, positioning and operating strategies," Billings added. "In my years operating in this market, I have learned that outsiders coming into the market have an extraordinarily difficult time operating here. With significant local market experience, we are the only company that has the expertise to work with both local owners, as well as outside investors. We believe that we will be able to help bring order to the market and stabilize a substantial number of troubled hospitality assets."
Billings is a former executive vice president of CapStar Hotel Company, predecessor to what today is the nation's largest independent hotel management company, and is a former executive vice president of Chicago-based Hostmark Management Group, another major hotel management company. He is a past officer and board member of the International Association of Holiday Inns and was an inaugural member of the Advisory Board for the Resort and Tourism Management Program at Coastal Carolina University.
McNew is senior advisor for Tradd Commercial. He has been involved in more than 250 transactions during his career. Earlier in his career he was senior analyst with Horry County Assessor's Office, where he was responsible for hotel and golf course valuations, the design of a neighborhood coding scheme and the development of valuation models and procedures. He is a licensed real estate broker in South Carolina and North Carolina and a Certified General Appraiser in South Carolina.
Bethune is a senior advisor for Tradd Commercial. He has closed more than 500 transactions, including a number of hospitality real estate assets. With more than 25 years brokerage experience, he has been ranked nationally as a top producer. He is a licensed real estate broker in South Carolina. He is a former member of the City of Myrtle Beach Zoning Board of Appeals and currently serves as vice chairman of the City of Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board.
Founded in 2005, Tradd Commercial is a leading commercial real estate brokerage and advisory firm. The company's services include brokerage, property management, and the full range of real estate advisory services. Additional information about the firm may be found at .
Tradd Hospitality Resources will be located at 1039 44th Avenue North, Suite 203, Myrtle Beach. More information is available at .