TUCSON-Elite Hospitality has paid $2.3 million for the Park Inn Airport, a 97-room, limited-service hotel along Valencia Road. The immediate plan is to re-brand the hotel.

Park Inn Airport is Elite Hospitality’s first hotel acquisition in the Phoenix Valley, according to Jeff Cunningham, an investment sales broker in Phoenix for CB Richard Ellis Inc., who negotiated the deal along with partner Bill Murney. Cunningham tells GlobeSt.com that the seller, Los Angeles-based AIG SunAmerica Life Insurance, took possession of the 20-year-old hotel at 2803 E. Valencia Rd. about two years ago. AIG chose not to put the property on the market and invested in some cosmetic upgrades. But, Cunningham “bird-dogged” the hotel and brought AIG an offer from Elite Hospitality, a local company headed by Mike Desai, that “was good enough for them to sell.”

Elite Hospitality intends to re-flag the property as a Quality Inn hotel, Cunningham says. “Park Inn doesn’t have a strong presence in the Valley and (Mike Desai) sees the potential for the hotel with the new flag,” he explains. “The deal doesn’t pencil out without the re-branding.”

In 2003, the hotel, located near Tucson International Airport, posted $50,000 of net operating income and 45% occupancy. Elite Hospitality’s goal is to push room revenue to $15,000 a year, according to Cunningham.

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