On Jan 11, Marriott International, Inc. MAR announced the opening of its new hotel under the Aloft brand in Austin, TX. Located close to the Lakeline station on Capital MetroRail, the Aloft Austin Northwest happens to be the second Aloft property in Austin.
The hotel is under the ownership and management of Pure Lodging Hospitality and Lodgic Hospitality, respectively. It encompasses over 130 loft-style rooms, flexible meeting space and a live music bar.
Moreover, the hotel features the industry-first keyless entry system, SPG Keyless, that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key, in addition to other amenities like an indoor pool, a fitness center, along with a one-stop food & beverage area.
The Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, lively experience to the next generation of tech-savvy travelers and now has over 100 hotels across 19 countries. It is one of the 30 leading brands under Marriott’s operation.
Notably, after announcing the acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts on Sep 23, Marriott has become the world’s largest hotel company, spanning across 120 countries with over 6,000 properties. Shares of the company gained over 21% in comparison with Marriott’s peer group’s gain of 6.6% in the same time frame, depicting the positive effect of the acquisition.
Meanwhile, with the boost in the economy, and an improvement in business and leisure travel, Marriott is well poised to grow in the near as well as long term. The company’s significant international exposure and an aggressive buyback strategy add to the positives. Further, its investments in technology for hotel bookings would improve guest experience, thereby boosting occupancy.
However, revenue growth at Marriot might get restricted as lingering political uncertainty in key international markets and significant currency headwinds are affecting most of the hotel chains including Hyatt Hotels Corporation H, Hilton Worldwide Holdings HLT and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation WYN.
Nevertheless, Marriott’s efforts to expand domestically and internationally bode well for this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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