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Tech-Infused Charlotte Marriott City Center Hotel Trades For $170M

Carey Watermark Investors 2 Inc. acquired the 446-room Charlotte Marriott City Center Hotel, which Marriott calls its “Beta Hotel” for its concepts, for about $170M. The prototype hotel is flush with technology and instant feedback from guests.

Charlotte Marriott City Center

CWI 2 is a non-traded REIT formed to invest in hospitality properties. The seller was Marriott International.

Marriott spent about $40M making capital improvements to the property, which were completed in 2016 to reposition it as a technologically advanced full-service property. Every part of the hotel allows for rapid prototyping, inviting guests to test and give feedback in real time.

For instance, there is no traditional front desk check-in, but personal greeters waiting for arrivals; the LG Studio features a full LG kitchen within the hotel’s meeting space so food and beverage can be tailored to any type of gathering; and there are physical Beta Buttons throughout the hotel to gauge consumer feedback with a live tally. Beta Button votes and feedback on hotel innovations are aggregated and brought to life in real time via Beta Boards, digital screens placed throughout the hotel.

The renovation also added eight guest rooms, five food and beverage outlets, a fitness center, a newly programmed M Club Lounge and lobby core.

Carey Watermark Investors 2 Inc. CEO Michael Medzigian

"We believe the property is not only well-positioned to deliver attractive current cash flow but also to benefit from the ongoing strength of the local economy," CWI 2 CEO Michael Medzigian said. "Given our own focus on continuing to develop product and service concepts to enhance the guest experience, the property’s designation as M Beta made it a strategic acquisition.”  

Medzigian cited the strength of the local hotel market as a reason for the investment. Charlotte’s Uptown market has been one of the fastest-growing lodging markets in the U.S., achieving a 5.8% RevPAR compound average growth rate since 1990, compared with the U.S. average of 3.1% for the same period. The 2016 RevPAR for the Charlotte CBD increased 5.5% year-over-year, further illustrating the strong demand in the Charlotte marketplace, he said.