Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Royal Hotel Investments Opens Holiday Inn Express in Covington, Georgia

COVINGTON, GA. May 10, 2017 - One of the first new-build Holiday Inn Express properties in the country to feature the brand’s recently-introduced “Formula Blue” design direction held its grand opening celebration on Friday, May 5 in Covington, Georgia, about 35 miles east of Atlanta.

The 110-room, six-floor hotel, which represents an investment of about $13 million, is owned and operated by Royal Hotel Investments. Amenities include a business center; fitness center; outdoor swimming pool; 400-sq. ft. board room; 1,000-sq. ft. flexible space meeting room; guest laundry; and an expansive outdoor patio.

“When a hotel looks special, guests feel special – and they’re eager to come back,” said Navin Shah, Chairman of Royal Hotel Investments. “That’s why we created a property that offers the comforts of home, the convenience of the office, and the luxury of a vacation.”

The “Formula Blue” concept includes features such as an open lobby and “great room” area for social, business, or dining gatherings; re-designed case goods; and a headboard for beds that minimizes noise transfer between rooms.

“Today’s travelers want a hotel experience that is comfortable, simple, and smart, so we have brought these benefits together in a very attractive way in a strong suburban market,” added Shah, who began construction of the Holiday Inn Express in June of 2015.

Covington is often referred to as “the Hollywood of the South” based on its popularity as the filming location for many well-known movies and television shows, notably “The Walking Dead,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Selma,” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.”

Atlanta-based Royal Hotel Investment, which was formed in 2002, currently owns and operates two Hampton Inn hotels in metropolitan Atlanta -- a 105-room property in Covington and a 99-room property in Conyers -- plus a 20,000 sq. ft. shopping center in Covington. The company also plans to add another two hotels within the next year.

“Our properties are important local resources for both travelers and residents – where business gets done and where memories are created by families, companies, and civic groups,” adds Shah, who also serves as Vice-Chairman of Embassy National Bank.

The bank, which was established in 2007, has grown to more than $115 million in assets and is a leading lender to small businesses in the southeastern United States, including many hoteliers.

Peter G. Mathon
P. R. Counsel for Royal Hotel Investment

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.