Cahill tells GlobeSt.com that the sales indicate that activityin the $10 million and under category continues to increasesteadily "as additional buyers perceive that market fundamentalsare at or near bottom." Concurrently, he says, HREC anticipatesseeing similar activity pick-up in sales over $10 million in thelast half of 2010. "We currently have exclusive hotel listing onover 45 hotels throughout North America and believe that closingactivity in the last half of the year will exceedexpectations."

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The recent closing of the 119-room Hotel Highland was handled byBill Murney, SVP in HREC's Phoenix office. Stoneridge CapitalPartners acquired the Hotel Highland and marks their entry into thehospitality sector. "The buyer decided to pursue the acquisitionafter touring the newly renovated property and the high end marketdemand area in which the hotel is located. Stoneridge aggressivelypounced on the opportunity, and closed the transaction early, whichallows them to achieve the balance of the high season revenue fromthe property," says Murney.

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[IMGCAP(4)]Larry Kaplan, SVP in HREC's Denver office handled thesale of the Holiday Inn Express in Onalaska. "This sale is furtherproof that hotels with desirable brand affiliations, pricedappropriately for the current economic environment, can be bothfinanced and sold in today's challenging investment environment. Wecontinue to witness increased interest throughout the country amonghotel investors for high quality hotel product," says Kaplan.

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[IMGCAP(3)]The recent sale of the Best Western Lacrosse washandled by Mark Darrington, VP in HREC's Denver office. "Due to aland lease, this was a complex transaction, involving multiplestakeholders. Stable cash flow and a unique riverfront locationcontributed to a high level of interest in this property frommultiple buyer groups, which helped us drive value for ownership.This was the fourth hotel we have sold for the owner and we arecurrently working on the disposition of a fifth hotel," statesDarrington.

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[IMGCAP(2)]The sale of the 122-room Best Western in Columbia, MOwas handled by Jeff Preston, VP in HREC Investment Advisors'Chicago office. The Best Western will benefit from an onsitemanagement team that knows the local market well, owning two otherhotels in Columbia. "Home to the University of Missouri, Columbiais a stable market, but the purchase of the property representsupside potential for the new owner who has first-hand knowledge ofthe local lodging market. The property was purchased at 2.65 timesrevenue," says Preston. "The new owner plans to realize theproperty's upside potential through an extensive renovation andupgrade of the public areas."

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According to a recent GlobeSt.com hotel webinar, the hardesthit of the five major food groups by the downturn is the hotelsector, but it is showing signs of rebounding. The investmentopportunities that emerge amid the recovery will need to beapproached from a different perspective than before, said panelistsduring the webinar.

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For one thing, a great many of those opportunities have beencoming via off-market transactions, said Jon Bortz, chairman andCEO of Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, during the webinar, adding thathe's seen an increase in deal flow since late last year. Hepredicted that we'll see more opportunities from lenders sellingtheir positions "as they can afford or need to take writedowns."Kennedy Associates EVP Jack Van Hartesvelt concurred that most ofthe action is off-market, noting that when foreign banks indicatethat they want to get out of their US real estate exposure, it's agood time to be in contact with them.

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.