Last Night On the Town
Events season is heating up as much as the temperature. (Knock on mercury wood.) Last night, we hit two big events. First up: we stopped by Penzance's Watergate building as the National Trust for Historic Preservation unveiled its gleaming new 35k SF. The Trust (CEO Stephanie Meeks, left) just moved from 1785 Mass Ave for a more open floor plan and more natural light. We snapped Stephanie with trustee Ken Woodcock, supporter John Sargent, and the Trust’s Mike Forester.
The Trust celebrated the event with Watergate cake, which includes Richard Nixon's favorite, pistachios, and "cover-up" icing. "Even preservationists have a sense of humor," Stephanie says. (Thankfully, the cake didn't have any bugs in it.)
The Trust’s Tom Cassidy and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's John Fowler flanking the Washington Monument. This is one of many jealousy-inducing views that Trust employees take in from their workspace that also includes the National Cathedral.
We also stopped by Streetsense's Bethesda HQ for a happy hour the retail gurus hosted for the hospitality side of the biz. Snapped here: Cumming's Alan Wilson and Abe Schniker with Marriott's Nick Muir, who tells us the hotel giant just purchased an African hotel chain (Protea Hospitality), which immediately makes it the largest hotel operator in Africa.
Derek Brown (second from left) of Shaw's Southern Efficiency supplied cocktails, including a cherry-infused whiskey punch. With Derek: Southern Efficiency's Jeff Jetton, Columbia Room's Angie Salame and Cory Anderson, and Streetsense's Orlando Mota.
LaSalle Hotel Properties' Ken Fuller and RLJ's Jeff Dauray tell us DC hotels were performing at peak demand last year. (99% of those were tourists trying to see the real House of Cards.)
Pebblebrook Hotel Trust's Jennifer Yager, RLJ's Emily Smith and Cartarwa Jones, Hunter Hotels' Kyle Stevenson, and American U's Steven Shapiro. Kyle tells us tertiary markets like Nashville, Charleston, and New Orleans are hotel investment hotspots, with yields up to 150 bps higher than in gateway markets. (In New Orleans, you can get extra yield if you throw some beads.)