HVS Announces New Office in Los Angeles and publication of 2012 Market Snapshot: Southern California

“Southern California is Hot for New Hotel Development”

HVS, the leading hospitality consulting and services firm, has announced the official opening of its new consulting and valuation office in Los Angeles, California. Numerous projects are underway in Southern California that will increase lodging demand, indicating that the next wave of major hotel development is around the corner and thus an ideal time for HVS to open an office in the region. The expertise of the new HVS LA staff and their past experience in numerous Southern California markets will serve as a vital resource at the epicenter of the action.

“This is the right time for HVS to have a Los Angeles presence,,” remarked Suzanne Mellen, MAI, CRE, FRICS, senior managing director of HVS San Francisco, Las Vegas and now Los Angeles., “Los Angeles was negatively affected in the 1990s due to the decline in the aerospace and defense industries, the Northridge earthquake, increased crime rates and social upset. The 2000s were about Northern California, the dot com bubble and the growth of Silicon Valley, while the 2010s are proving to be a great time for hotels in Los Angeles and the greater Southern California area.”

Mellen, who also serves as President of HVS Gaming, has a B.S. degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and possesses the MAI, CRE, ISHC and FRICS designations ( Master of the Appraisal Institute, Counselor of Real Estate, International Society of Hospitality Consultants, and Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). She has been appraising hotels, gaming assets and related real estate for more than 35 years, has authored numerous articles, and is a frequent lecturer and expert witness on the valuation of hotels, casinos and related issues.

Running the daily operations of the office in Los Angeles is Leah Dauer Murphy, Vice President with HVS who has worked with the San Francisco office for five years, two of which were working from the Los Angeles area. Murphy is a state-certified general appraiser and in the “Candidate for Designation” program with the Appraisal Institute, working toward an MAI designation. In addition, Murphy holds two degrees with Washington State University, including an M.B.A. from the College of Business and a B.A. from the School of Hospitality Business Management, as well as a diverse background in various hospitality operational and customer service positions.

Mellen, Murphy and HVS’s office in Los Angeles have just released the 2012 Market Snapshot: Southern California, and according to this research, Southern California is poised to begin the next wave of new hotel development:

  • Spanning over 56,000 square miles and covering 10 different counties (Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Kern, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Imperial), Southern California is home to more than 22 million residents, or approximately 7% of the total United States population. However, Southern California’s supply of approximately 292,000 guestrooms only represents 6% of the total guestrooms in the United States, and could be considered an indicator that Southern California is under-served in terms of guestrooms, especially given the area’s large number of attractions which draw millions of visitors annually from all over the world.
  • The publication further investigates various developments in Southern California, including the expansion of the area’s three largest convention centers, Los Angeles International Airport and San Diego International Airport, and the improvements completed in mid-2012 to Disney’s California Adventure Park. These major developments, as well as various other projects in Southern California, are positive indicators that the economic environment in Southern California is right to begin the next wave of new hotel development.
  • Lastly, the publication discusses recent trends in major hotel transaction activity in Southern California (all transactions in the region of $10 million or higher). Although the number of transactions declined in 2012 relative to 2011, the confirmed prices on a per-room basis continue to be high and indicative of continued investor demand for hotels in the region.

Please click here to view the 2012 Market Snapshot: Southern California.

Leora Halpern Lanz
at 516-248-8828 x 278