Wyndham confident in quick recovery

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts CEO Geoff Ballotti told
investors he believes the company is well-positioned for a quick recovery from
the Covid-19 pandemic with more than 90% of the group’s U.S. portfolio — about
5,900 properties — open and operating.

Ballotti credited Wyndham’s strength in part to its outsized
presence in the economy and midscale sectors as well as its high concentration
of hotels in highway, suburban and smaller metro markets, which have generally
been less impacted by the pandemic. 

The company’s 20 brands include Wyndham, Wyndham Grand, Wyndham
Garden, Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada, La Quinta, Microtel, Travelodge and Wingate.

“Our brands have been outperforming the higher-end,
full-service hotels,” said Ballotti during the company’s first-quarter earnings
call on May 5. “With over 90% of our hotels in our system in the select service
space, these hotels are less labor intensive and typically operate at higher
margins than full-service hotels.”

He added that the vast majority of Wyndham properties are
able to break even at an occupancy level of approximately 30%, without
factoring in government rescue aid. 

Wyndham reports that an estimated 95% of Wyndham franchisees
have applied for the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program
loans and/or Economic Injury Disaster Loans, with around 80% being approved for
one or both.

Meanwhile, Wyndham CFO Michele Allen said the group is
“seeing gradual signs of recovery” globally, with recent companywide occupancy
levels running in the low 20% range, up from low single-digit occupancies in
March. By region, Allen said that occupancies in Southeast Asia are running in
the low 30% range, while Europe, the Middle East and Canada are all averaging
occupancies in the low 20% range. Latin America is in the low teens.

In the U.S., Wyndham saw occupancy dip to its lowest levels
the week of April 11, averaging 22%, but performance has been steadily
improving since then, with the company reaching around 29% U.S. occupancy last

On the franchised side, Wyndham reported a global decline of
23% in revenue per available room for the first quarter. The company’s managed
portfolio saw global RevPAR dip 21% over the same period. 

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