Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. (REIT)

Q1 2023 Earnings Conference Call


spk11: Here's a performance that features a Grand Ole Opry member since 2019. It's ACM CMA Award winner, Kelsey Ballerini. If you go down.
spk09: If you know this song, will you get like a little unhinged with us? Stand up, dance, let's go!
spk03: To all sites on hold, we appreciate your patience and ask you to continue to stand by.
spk09: We go back like Pontiac C. If I got an eye with a mess, I got to clean up. I know you'll be showing up at least. All those names that we don't ever speak of. Got a couple knives that have flipped my mind. Proof and photographs have been deleted if you ever need it. If you go down, I'm going down too. There we go. It's a good thing we're each other's kind of crazy. Ain't no judgment or keeping score. If you rob a bank, I'm your getaway Mercedes. God knows that's what friends are for. Insert on you, insert on me. And we both know our history. Can we end up on the news? If you go down, I'm going down too. If you go down, I'm going down too. Come on, friends. All right. Okay, this is where we get on hands. You ready? If you know it, scream it. I keep all your secrets by the dozen. You know where my skeleton sleeps. Hypothetically, if you ever kill your husband, hands on the Bible, I'd be lying through my teeth. Insert on you, insert on me, and we all know our hands ain't clean. If it all goes down, then we end up on the loose. So even if I wanted to, I can't sin 30 to life would go quickly to you To you, yeah So if you go down, I'm going down too If you go down If you go down, I'm going down too
spk03: Grand Ole Opry star Blake Shelton joined the family in 2010. Here's Blake.
spk16: Welcome to Ryman Hospitality Properties' first quarter 2023 earnings conference call. Hosting the call today from Ryman Hospitality Properties are Mr. Colin Reed, Executive Chairman, Mr. Mark Fioravante, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Jennifer Hutchinson, Chief Financial Officer, and Mr. Patrick Chafin, Chief Operating Officer. This call will be available for digital replay. The number is 800-757-4768 with no conference ID required. At this time, all participants have been placed on a listen-only mode. It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to Ms. Jennifer Hutchinson. Ma'am, you may begin.
spk01: Good morning. Thank you all for joining us today. This call may contain forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about the company's expected financial performance. Any statements we make today that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as believes or expects are intended to identify these statements, which may be affected by many factors, including those listed in the company's SEC filings and in today's release. The company's actual results may differ materially from the results we discuss or project today. We will not update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of any new information, future events, or any other reason. We will also discuss non-GAAP financial measures today. We reconcile each non-GAAP measure to the most comparable GAAP measure in exhibits to today's release. I'll now turn over the call over to Colin.
spk02: Thanks, Janet. Good morning, everyone. As you recall, we exited 2022 on a high note, led by a fantastic fourth quarter response to our holiday programming. Well, I'm pleased to report today that in the first quarter of 23, our momentum continued with our group business off to a tremendous start. For the quarter, our consolidated hospitality portfolio achieved 72.3% occupancy and first quarter records for group, transient, and total ADR as well as total revenue and total adjusted EBITDA RE. This is quite a feat and something the overall industry cannot yet boast. It's a testament to our differentiated group focus, the strategies we have employed, and the capital we have invested over the last three years. Whether it was strengthening our customer relationships, rebooking pandemic cancellations, capturing new group and leisure demand with expanded programming and offerings, or improving our operating efficiencies and technology. Altogether, our strategies and investments elevated our value proposition for group and leisure customers. And this is really what you're witnessing in these results. Our hotels finished the first quarter strongly, with the month of March being the best non-December month for total revenue of all time. and March adjusted EBITDA being the all-time highest of any month, including December. On that note, we're pleased to substantially increase our guidance range for the hospitality segment for the year, as Mark and Jim will detail. Our strategy over the last three years is clearly paying dividends, figuratively and literally, as I'm also happy to announce our board has authorized an increase in our quarterly dividend to $1 per share from 75 cents. In our entertainment business, we're off to an equally impressive start to the new year. Excluding our acquisition of Block 21 on a same-store basis compared to last year's first quarter, our entertainment portfolio delivered 33% revenue growth and more than doubled same-store adjusted EBITDA RE. Nashville continues to flourish as a destination for all things music and entertainment. Our assets here set a number of records of their own in the first quarter, besides simply total revenue and adjusted EBITDA RE. These include record total attendance for the Opry show and record tour attendance for the Opry House as well. The Ryman Auditorium also set a record for the number of events. And just as the groups in our hotels are spending well on property, We saw record per-cap food and beverage revenue at the Opry and the Ryman. I could go on, but I will stop here and remind you that the work is not finished for this business either. In fact, quite the contrary. We're in the early stages of new growth as illustrated by the progress we're making on building out our new and latest and biggest Old Red venue in Las Vegas. And we've begun to transform operations on the ground at Block 21 in Austin. And hopefully you'll see our latest announcement that we did a couple of weeks back when we unveiled our new partnership with Country Music's biggest sensation today and my buddy Luke Combs. Together with Luke, we will completely reinvent the Wild Horse Saloon in downtown Nashville, converted it into a multi-level multi-concept immersive entertainment experience capped by the best situated rooftop venue in Nashville, all with themes inspired by Luke's music and his passions. Fun times ahead, so stay tuned. Now, Mark, why don't you give the folks an update on the numbers for the quarter.
spk14: Thanks, Colin. The first quarter was a great way to start a new year, especially relative to the last three. The strong performance we saw across our businesses was more affirming than it was surprising for us, given the strategic investments and the work we've done over the last three years. We were pleased to see both group and transient contributed to the strong occupancy, ADR, and total rev par results we reported last night. On the group side, we traveled just over 4% more group room nights than the first quarter of 2019. The occupancy comparison to 2019 was helped by the Rockies, as it was in its first quarter of operation after opening in December of 2018. On the other hand, we also have 300 additional rooms in inventory compared to the first quarter of 2019 due to the Palms expansion opening in 2021. To reach this level of occupancy across a portfolio of our size less than a year after Omicron is impressive and something you still won't find more broadly in our industry. But to post these levels of rev par and total rev par while not yet exceeding 2019 on occupancy is remarkable. Our ADR and REVPAR posted over 18% growth compared to the first quarter of 2019, and our total REVPAR grew 24.5% against the same period. By segment, group ADR was up 12.7%, and transient ADR was up 39.3%, again compared to the first quarter of 2019, as both segments reached new all-time first quarter records for ADR. This performance came against the not-so-easy macroeconomic backdrop with record inflation and difficult wage environment compared to 2019. Yet we executed sharply on our improved operating model, delivering over $151 million of adjusted EBITDA RE in our hospitality segment, or 33% growth over the first quarter of 2019. This is over 180 basis points of margin improvement to a record first quarter adjusted EBITDA RE margin of 35.6% for this segment. Group outside-the-room spend truly shined this quarter, notably in terms of catering. Driven by a favorable mix of corporate group room nights and group spending freely on property, several hotels set individual monthly catering revenue records in March. In total, food and beverage revenue grew over $44 million, or 26%, compared to the first quarter of 2019. And the operational improvements and reconcepting we have accomplished across many of our outlets drove excellent flow through on this revenue stream of close to 47%. Excluding higher cancellation and attrition fee revenues and the lower contribution from Gaylord national bond interest, we drove a total of 79.5 million of incremental operating revenue at 40% flow through over the first quarter of 2019. This is despite being back in the incentive management fee with Marriott and the material labor expense differential compared to that year. On the strength of this quarter and as we move into the year and gain further visibility, we're pleased to increase our full year guidance ranges for REVPAR and total REVPAR growth as well as adjusted EBITDA RE for the hospitality segment. We now expect REVPAR growth on a year-over-year basis to be in the range of 11 to 13.5% and total REVPAR growth to be in the range of 8.5 to 10.5%. This is an increase of 175 and 150 basis points at the midpoint respectively. compared to our initial guidance in February. We expect full-year adjusted EBITDA RE for the hospitality segment to be in the range of $570 to $600 million, an increase of $20 million at the midpoint. By quarter, we expect the last three quarters of the year should each contribute about the same share to their three-quarter total as the last three quarters of both 2019 and 2022 did to theirs. That is, the second and fourth quarters should contribute a bit more than one-third of the total, and the third quarter a bit less. We continue to see no deterioration in the key leading indicators we track, but of course we read the same headlines as everyone else, and so we believe we have had an appropriate amount of caution in our near-term views. Looking beyond 2023, we were also pleased with the group sales production in the quarter. We booked over 348,000 growth group room nights in the quarter, which, while down compared to the first quarter of last year, was up 9% when you back out the Omicron-related rebookings in last year's first quarter. As we've frequently emphasized, we continue to prioritize ADR in our sales production to capitalize on the favorable supply-demand backdrop in our space. On that front, we were successful yet again in the first quarter with an average rate across all new group bookings of $252, an all-time high for the first quarter, and up 9% to the first quarter of 2022, and 23% to the first quarter of 2019. This ongoing strength in production continues to bolster our confidence for the remainder of 2023 as well as future years. As of April 1st, we had more net group rooms revenue on our books for the balance of the current year, as well as each of the next four calendar years from 2024 to 2027, as we did back on April 1st of 2019 for the balance of that year and for the period 2020 through 2023. In short, our hotel business is in the best position it's ever been in terms of total group rooms revenue on the books for all future years, which sets us up to continue driving the profitability of these assets in the years to come. In addition to our on-the-books revenue, we also look forward to our current and planned growth capital investments making their own contributions in the years ahead. led by our latest project, the renovation of the Gaylord Rockies Grand Lodge and the construction of a new group pavilion, which we expect to open next year. These types of investments will further differentiate our portfolio compared to the industry as we emerge in the post-pandemic era. As we finally lap the Omicron impact of the first quarter of last year, we look forward to demonstrating the full-year earnings power and growth potential of this great one-of-a-kind portfolio including the contributions to come from these high return investments. In our entertainment segment, the first quarter performance of our same score assets that Colin highlighted was another great storyline with the city of Nashville continuing to outdo itself. Adding the incremental contribution of Block 21 on a consolidated basis, the business generated $67.3 million of revenue and $14.3 million of adjusted EBITDA RE compared to 32.8 million and 8.1 million in the first quarter of 2019, respectively. Given this performance and our current pace for the remainder of the year, we're increasing our guidance for the entertainment segment profitability to a range of 94 to 104 million of adjusted EBIT.RE, an increase of $7 million at the midpoint compared to our range in February. This represents $41 million more in profitability at the midpoint than this business delivered in full year 2019. That's a significant amount of growth over a four-year period interrupted by a pandemic. And as Colin noted, we have more on tap. We're working on some truly exciting opportunities in both our hospitality and entertainment businesses, and our balance sheet and liquidity is an important element in allowing us to execute on multiple opportunities at once. So I'll turn it over to Jennifer to update you on where those stand, as well as our dividend and consolidated guidance range.
spk01: Thank you, Mark. In the first quarter, the company generated total revenue of $491.7 million and net income to common shareholders of $61.3 million, or $1.02 per fully diluted share. Note, as usual, that our fully diluted share count in the quarter reflects the put rights held by Atteros as part of their Opry Entertainment Group investment, although those rights are not yet exercisable, and we retain the option to settle any exercise of these rights in cash. Any exercise of the put rights would also result in Ateros' 30% ownership in OEG reverting back to Ryman. Total consolidated adjusted EBITDA RE for the first quarter was $157.7 million, led by the outperformance of both our hospitality and entertainment segments, while our corporate segment remained within our expectations, and we are reaffirming our corporate segment guidance with this release. Together with the operating segment guidance Mark outlined, This puts our new consolidated adjusted EBIT.RE guidance range for the year at 632 to 675 million, or an increase of 27 million at the midpoint compared to our previous guidance. The midpoint also represents a 17.6% increase over 2022 and a 28% increase over 2019 actual results. We are also increasing our guidance for adjusted funds from operations, or AFFO, for the year, to a range of 425 to 454 million, primarily reflecting the flow through of the increased adjusted EBITDA RE. At the midpoint, this represents growth of 21% over 2022, and 23% over 2019 for AFSO. Turning to the balance sheet, we ended the quarter with 318 and a half million of unrestricted cash on hand, and our 700 million revolving credit facility remained undrawn. Our pre-entertainment group's $65 million revolver had a balance of $7 million outstanding. The combined capacity of our revolving credit facilities and cash on hand give us total liquidity of approximately $1.1 billion after deducting $14 million of outstanding letters of credit. We retained an additional $95 million of restricted cash available for certain FF&E projects and other maintenance. On a trailing 12-month basis, our net leverage ratio of total consolidated net debt to adjusted EBITDA RE stood at four times. Based on the midpoint of our guidance, we anticipate we will end the year at approximately the same ratio, factoring in the resumption of the dividend at the newly declared $1 per share, which represents a 33% increase over our prior dividend level of 75 cents per share. This is a significant accomplishment looking back at the losses we sustained during the pandemic, as this leverage level is not only well within our target range, but also below our year-end 2019 level. This is another testament to the actions we took during the pandemic, rebooking lost business and investing for the recovery ahead to get us to this point. In terms of interest rate exposure and maturities, as of quarter end, approximately 90% of our outstanding debt was at fixed rates, either directly or with the benefit of swaps. with two swaps expiring in 2023 on the Gaylord Rockies term loan and our corporate term loan B. We've met all the requirements to exercise the first of our three one-year extensions on the Gaylord Rockies term loan, and we today launched the recast of our corporate credit facility and term loan B with our bank group. These actions address our maturity through 2024, and ultimately through 2026 when taking into account the remaining extension options on the Rockies. Any impact to interest expense as a result of these refinancings or extensions has been incorporated into our guidance range. Our balance sheet and liquidity continue to be in excellent shape to not only support our capital deployment opportunities, but also to continue delivering meaningful dividend growth as our business continues to reach new levels. And it remains our intention to pay 100% of our re-taxable income through dividends. And with that, I'll turn it back over to Colin.
spk02: Thanks, Jen. I think... Gretchen, we'll open up the lines for questions, please.
spk16: At this time, if you'd like to ask a question, please press the star and 1 on your touchtone phone. You may remove yourself from the queue at any time by pressing star 2. Once again, that is star and 1 to ask a question. We'll take our first question from Smith Rose from Citi.
spk04: Hi, thanks. You gave a lot of positive data on the group outlook, and it's just wondering if you could talk a little bit about group composition and maybe what you're seeing kind of from association versus corporate, and are there any areas where there's still room to make up versus maybe areas that are now back to kind of peak levels kind of as you think about your group segmentation?
spk02: Smith, good morning.
spk15: Patrick? Yeah. Good morning, Smith. It's Patrick. Great question. If you look at our mix for the remainder of this year, it's pretty similar to what we saw in 2022, a little bit heavier mix of corporate versus association. If you look at what's on the books for 2024, there's an increase, a pretty material increase in the amount of corporate on the books, which we see is a very good sign because of the opportunities that creates for us on the banquet side of the house. And I would tell you that that's Indicative of what we've seen so far, corporate has come back much faster. They're doing very well outside the room, and we are getting excellent rate growth from corporate groups. Association has been a little bit slower, as you would expect, just given the nature of that piece of the industry. But we're also getting very good rate from association as well. So good signs that association is coming back, but not quite as fast as corporate. But that bodes very well for our business going into the future. Lead volumes. Lead volumes look very, very good. Our lead volumes at the end of the first quarter were up over 22 and 2019. And on the corporate side, that was clearly the winner in terms of lead volume growth versus 2019.
spk04: Great. Thank you. I just wanted to ask you, too. I know you have to report the way you do because of Atteros' options to put its interest back to you. But I think you have about almost four quarters now with them under your belt. Can you maybe give a sense of their satisfaction with the arrangement as you have it now and kind of are they contributing from a strategic perspective or maybe just sort of update us on how that relationship looks?
spk02: I'll start and Mark, you then may want to jump in. But, you know, I can tell you from my perspective, you know, things were a little slow as we were navigating the you know, the massive organization of Comcast NBC Universal. But I would say over the last six months, we've become very, very excited about the prospects here. I would tell you these folks that we're dealing with at Ateros are really good people. And we have a very strong relationship, our company does, with them. And I really... enjoy the amount of sort of strategic thoughts that we get from this organization. But we've got a lot of good stuff that we're working on with them. We announced the People's Choice Awards.
spk14: We're producing an Opry Christmas special with NBC. So those projects are starting. But to me, to Colin's point, you know, one of the One of the important aspects of why we selected Ateros NBC Universal was cultural compatibility. I think how they viewed the business that we run currently in terms of the brands and the stewardship responsibilities there, as well as what the broader long-term growth opportunities are. We're working very closely with them a whole bunch of different, not only near-term opportunities, but longer-term strategic opportunities.
spk02: Yeah, and I would hope that over the course of the next, you know, six months, there's going to be more announcements we'll be able to make to, you know, illustrate the importance of this partnership.
spk04: Great. Thank you. Thank you, guys. Appreciate it. Thanks, Meads.
spk16: Our next question comes from Sean Kelly, Bank of America.
spk10: Hi, good morning, everyone. Colin or Mark, I just wanted to maybe start with kind of looking out to 2024 and beyond, can you just give us a sense of pricing across the portfolio, the strength of that, and also maybe a little bit of color around mix shift? And the reason I'm asking is obviously with the way that group business tends to work, you should have some, I think, continued benefits from that going forward even beyond you know, sort of all of the recovery years that are now increasingly behind us. So just trying to get a sense of magnitude of how much kind of price on the books, you know, could be up as we start to move into, you know, again, a much more normalized and in some cases, maybe a little bit of a slower, you know, operating environment, you know, how much do you have kind of locked in on that side in, you know, 24, 25 and beyond? Yeah. Yeah.
spk02: Let me make one statement, then I'm going to turn it over to Patrick, and I don't know whether you want to weigh in on this, Mark, as well. But we have been very aggressive with our manager, Marriott, as it relates to pricing of the group industry. We feel the way we have invested capital, the level of quality that our assets deliver to the consumer is We feel that there's big opportunity on pricing here. So we've been pretty aggressive on pricing. And you're quite right. As the business that we booked last year and the year before flows into our company in 24 and in 25, we are very excited about our pricing grid. So, Pat, you want to give Sean more data on this?
spk15: Sure. So just to give you a couple of data points, the first quarter of this year we booked room nights, at a 9% growth in ADR. And I would tell you that we are targeting that 7% to 10% range each quarter with the sales team. That's a pretty aggressive target, but we see a window of opportunity here, and we're having great luck with achieving that. As you look to sort of your second question as far as mix, if you think about what I was sharing with Smeeds a few minutes ago, right now we have a higher mix of corporate room nights on the books for 2024 pretty material increase of where we stood this time of year for 2023 a year ago so with that growth in corporate mix that will help us continue to push on rate as well as then expand our banquet contribution per group room night once the group actually travels so we actually see 24 and 25 and hopefully beyond but just speaking to 24 and 25 as very encouraging as we see group room rate moving in a very positive direction, getting to the upper single digits, and in some cases, some months, we're pushing into double digits growth in ADR, and then the higher mix of corporate helping us on the banquet side and audiovisual side as well.
spk02: Let me just say one more thing. Sean, you're focused on rate, but the other part of all of this that I think is so extraordinarily important is the issue of demand. When Patrick talked just a few minutes ago about what's gone on in lead volumes, as we look at our lead volumes sort of today, they are tremendous. And one of the things that we've encouraged Marriott to do is add more sales personnel into our hotels. Because demand that looks pretty robust, that should flow through in pricing. But the other side of the coin is supply is there's no new supply coming in our segment. And so we're in a pretty decent sweet spot here for group. And quite frankly, this is one of the reasons that we're able to post revenue gains and profit gains, the likes of which we have.
spk14: And the third leg of that, Sean, is that, as I mentioned in my remarks, we've been investing... capital and some enhancements, particularly around food and beverage reconcepting, both at the national, at the Palms, as well as significantly out at the Rockies. And so what that's going to drive is incremental outside-the-room spending, both leisure and group customers over the next handful of years.
spk02: Yeah, that's a very important point.
spk10: Thank you for all the color. And as my follow-up, if we could just go to entertainment for a minute. Obviously, a great result in the quarter. A year ago, we were talking a little bit about some touring schedules and things that I think impacted the business as we were kind of coming out of COVID and some noise there, and it seems like we're back to a growth cadence. So could you just talk a little bit about both the drivers and the quarter, and then I think more importantly – going forward on some of the CapEx that's going to be driving that division and pipeline moving forward?
spk14: Do you want to take it, Mark? Yeah, so if you look at the results in the quarter for the entertainment business, really across the board, we saw very strong demand in all of our venues, whether that was the number of concert nights we had at the Ryman, which was a record whether it was the number of admissions or tours that we had at the Grand Ole Opry, again, were records. So we're seeing strong demand, continued demand for the product. We set some records at Block 21 as well, both in terms of show production, but also in terms of food and beverage production. because we brought that business in-house starting January 1, as opposed to outsourcing it. So we were able to drive significantly higher profitability from food and beverage. In terms of capital, we have a number of projects currently. Colin mentioned, too, earlier with Las Vegas and the work that we're doing with Loop down at the Wildhouse, of course. But we're also in the middle right now of We've expanded our retail offering at the Ryman. We're building out a VIP lounge experience at the Ryman, which will also help drive ticket pricing as well as spending in the venue. And then we have a number of projects we're undertaking at Block 21 as we continue the evolution of that venue in terms of enhanced tour product, enhanced retail. That will open in a month or so, and enhanced food and beverage.
spk02: The last thing I'll say, Mark, is that the other thing that we're so damn blessed about is the fact that our product is in really great markets that are growing like no tomorrow. And so You know, the opportunity we have is really, really tremendous here. And the other thing is the quality of our product is really strong. It's different to a lot. Here in Nashville, the quality of our product is different from what you tend to see in this market, and that's why we're posting the numbers we're posting.
spk10: Thank you very much.
spk02: Thank you very much.
spk16: Our next question comes from Doria Keston from Wells Fargo.
spk13: Thanks. Good morning. I think if you back out the cancellation and attrition fees for last year and this year, your total REVPAR guidance backs into, you know, 9% to 10.5% growth for out-of-room spend. Can you walk through why you're thinking out-of-room spend will lag from the spend this year?
spk05: Say that question one more time. Why out of room spend will lag what?
spk13: Room spend.
spk15: Out of room spend will lag room spend. Well, I mean, in the short term, we're achieving tremendous growth rates in ADR from our transient side as well as in the year for the year group. So we're getting a much higher growth rate on that rate that we're booking in the short term. I mean, I haven't seen the calculation you're speaking to, but That is the first thing I would point to, Dori, that you're getting really good, strong growth in outside-the-room spend, but it may not be quite as strong as what you're getting in terms of room rate because the environment we're in right now, room rate is positioned to grow much faster and higher than we've seen it in the past as long as my career has existed.
spk13: Okay. And then I guess as you think through your guidance for the remainder of the year, how much conservatism, if you think there is, do you think is built in with respect to in the year for the year bookings, cancellation, attrition, or transient as you look forward to Q4's eyes?
spk02: Well, you know, look, we sit here hour by hour and we, you know, listen to all of the rhetoric coming from multiple economists, Federal Reserve you know, interest rate hikes, bank problems. And we sit here and we say to ourselves, we get no benefit from being Herculean in terms of our guidance, because if we miss it by a penny, we get hammered. So, you know, we've provided guidance here that we believe is appropriate given the business levels that we are seeing and the business that we we have on the books. And I just want to make this one statement, not only to you, Dory, but to also the other analysts that are listening. Last year, we raised guidance three times in the course of last year, and we've raised it one more time this year. And when you look at the the midpoint of our guidance for this year, and you compare it to 2019, which is the last year, you know, that we all remember pre-pandemic, we're growing profitability by almost $150 million in this period of time, between 19 and 20 and 23. And so, you know, I feel that our performance, my personal view is that this performance is extraordinary. And, you know, there's no other hospitality reposting numbers like this. So, you know, if there is a little bit of conservatism in the back three quarters, it's because, you know, we're frankly concerned by the economic environment that we're dealing with. And the other thing that folks seem to forget is that what we did last year on the second, third, and fourth quarter of last year was unprecedented. We grew profitability in the second, third, and fourth quarter last year over 19 by almost $100 million. And no other hospitality redid that. This is a spectacular number. So we're coming off the back of an incredible back end of last year. And as we sit here today, we're saying, this is decent guidance. And we'll see what happens. And Hopefully, when we do the earnings call in August, we'll be telling you that hopefully we're going to increase guidance again because that's what we've been doing here for the last year and a half.
spk15: Hey, Dory, it's Patrick. As the hotel nerd in the room at the moment, I would tell you there's probably four things that I'm kind of watching and not sure where they're going. And so this may be part of the reason that we're taking a cautious approach and just trying to wait and see what happens. You know, ICE... came back for the first time in 2022 after being gone through all of COVID. And we have been trying to figure out exactly how much of that demand that we saw was pent-up demand. Was it 5%? Was it 20%? And so not knowing exactly how much of that was pent-up demand after the show being gone for a number of years and how that impacted transient performance and admissions to the show, that makes us say we need to wait and see how Q4 builds for 2023. It could be Similar? Could be dissimilar. We don't know. The second thing I would tell you is banquet performance in the first quarter of 23 was phenomenal, March especially. We saw groups performing at levels we've just never seen them perform at. We had a great mix of corporate room nights in the first quarter, but we don't know if that trend was just specific to the first quarter or if it will carry into the rest of the year. And so with only three months under our belt, we did not want to predict the future until we have a better sense of how the remainder of year will play out. And then, you know, in your note, you talked about cancellation and attrition. Yeah, we're not going to collect anywhere near what we collected in 2022 because we don't have as much COVID remaining from Omicron and other events. But as room rates increase, our ability to collect higher levels of attrition is increasing. So could there be some upside there? Yes. We'll kind of watch that and see what materializes. And then the last thing I would point to is we're now up against a lot more incentive management fee with Marriott, which is a really good problem to have, but we have to figure that into our projections for the remainder of year as well.
spk02: But putting all of that aside, putting all of that aside, we're going to grow profitability this year at the midpoint over last year by $100 million. And putting it all aside, we're going to grow profitability over 2019 2019 at the midpoint, it's about $143 million. These are tremendous numbers. I don't know where else in our industry you're seeing this type of performance.
spk13: Thank you. I appreciate that response.
spk16: Our next question comes from Chris from Deutsche Bank.
spk12: Hey, good morning, guys. Thanks for all the details so far. I wanted to ask you about out-of-room spend looking forward as we think about, and I think Patrick just kind of touched on it, but as meeting planners agree to these higher room rate increases, how do they look at agreeing to the higher out-of-room spend as well? And I'm really just trying to get some perspective on how the meeting room planner's look at, you know, increasing the cost of meetings? Is it an all-in approach or are they kind of drilling down and saying, you know, we're going to do, we have to have rates up double digits. Do we want to do less on the out-of-room, if that makes any sense?
spk15: Yeah, a great question and something we were kind of wondering about as we were coming out of COVID and the rate environment started improving for us, allow us to start pushing rates up. The first thing I'd point to is what I've already talked about as far as the increase in corporate mix as we get into 24 and beyond. But the other thing I would say is, yes, they are paying higher rates, but the feedback we continue to get from meeting planners, from attendees, is they recognize more than ever the importance of getting together face-to-face. And so for them to bring everyone together and then go on the cheap as far as how they take care of their attendees and their employees in this big group meeting, it would not look good for them to do that because they are trying to bring everyone together and get the company moving. A lot of our meeting planners have said these meetings are becoming essential for our culture, given how spread out and disconnected our workforce is now. And so when they're getting on property, we saw it happening in 2022 and it's continuing into 2023. Their willingness to open up their wallets and spend a lot more outside the room has been very encouraging.
spk02: And the other thing, Pat, that we've got to remember is the stock market is trading at about $33,000, $34,000. Corporate profits are really good. And we're not in an 0-9 environment where sort of let's fall back, let's fall back.
spk14: They're benefiting from inflation as well.
spk02: They're exactly right. And so, you know, this is a moment in time that we have to take advantage of.
spk15: I mean, I was at one of our hotels earlier this month, and, you know, they really didn't have, if you looked at what they had in March, they had tremendous banquet performance, but they didn't have any of the marquee groups that had traveled to that hotel during the month. And so we were kind of scratching our heads and said, you know, how were you able to get such tremendous growth and outside-the-room spend? And they said, we just saw across the board mid-sized groups and large groups, none of the ones that are normally the marquee top performers, but a lot of these groups that showed up just opened up and spent a lot more than they ever have in the past. And so we were very encouraged by that.
spk12: Yeah, thanks for all the color on that, guys. It's super helpful. And then kind of a follow-up is on the go back to the entertainment business. And, look, you guys, you know, you've got the programming at the hotels nailed. You've been doing it for a long time, doing it well. Now you're kind of evolving the entertainment segment. You're growing it in different ways. And the question would be, is there at any point where you think you want to kind of integrate these? And I don't mean from a structural standpoint. I mean from a, branding standpoint or customer standpoint, is there any opportunity to kind of, you know, bring these things in house? And I know Marriott has the brand, the Ryman, the Gaylord brand. So it's, it's not really that quite, it's not really that going down that path. It's more from the customer experience. Is there anything you can do to integrate these hotels more into the entertainment businesses? If that, if that question makes any sense?
spk02: Well, where, where, where the product, sits close to one of these big hotels, we do that. We push hotel rooms through the Opry into Opry land. We divert Opry land customers into the Grand Ole Opry, into the Wild Horse. The banqueting revenue that we're generating at the Wild Horse, downtown events, from Opryland. Best ever. Best ever. We're doing that. But we've got some other ideas. Chris, your question is a real good one. We've got some other ideas that Patrick and the team are working on right now that would also potentially situate entertainment experience next to one or two of our big hotels outside of Nashville. And those are things that we're looking at. being able to maximize the worth of the customers that we have relationships with is something that's on our mind hourly.
spk12: Okay, very helpful. Thanks, guys. Thanks, Bob. Thanks, Chris.
spk16: Our next question comes from Patrick Schultz from Truist Securities.
spk05: Hey, good morning, everyone. Question for you. Do you think your taking share from urban markets and or conventions within those other urban markets?
spk02: Thank you.
spk14: I would say that the answer is yes, particularly when you look at our geographic distribution. When you think about the Sunbelt locations, markets like Florida, Texas, Nashville, Denver. We're seeing and hearing more and more from meeting planners and organizations that they're moving out of some of the more controversial and socially challenged markets, places like San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, et cetera. So we definitely think that we're seeing that opportunity geographically. And I would also argue that we're seeing that opportunity because of the investments we're making in our product, that we're finding ways to create more and more value and deliver more and more benefits to both the meeting planner and the attendee. And so on a market by market basis, I think we're superiorly positioned, but also on an asset by asset basis when you look at us compared to our competition. We just offer more to the consumer.
spk04: Okay. Thank you. That's it. Thanks, Patrick.
spk16: And our last question comes from Bill Crow from Raymond James.
spk17: Good morning. I guess I just snuck in the deadline there. The question really is two-parter. First, in Washington, D.C., can you just kind of tell us how that – how that recovery is playing out relative to the recovery you saw at the other major assets over the last year?
spk02: Yeah. Well, Mark, I mean, we're really pleased with the work that we've undertaken to improve the quality of that asset. And I think, Patrick, we're pleased with the response from the customer.
spk15: Yeah, I would point to several things. There's no doubt the D.C. market has recovered slower than the other top 25 markets, especially the ones in which we operate. There's a lot of challenges going on specific to that market. But, you know, to borrow, I'm just a southern boy, so we're kind of the tallest hog in the trough as far as the challenge market, but we're really performing well against the competition in the market. Plus, we've made a lot of change to that hotel since we went into the COVID period. And that's benefiting our employee satisfaction, our guest satisfaction, our group satisfaction. We're seeing levels of performance of that hotel that we've never seen before. So we've made some of the right changes. We did renovation of the room product. We've done a complete reconcepting and repositioning of most of the food and beverage outlets to set them up better to operate in a union environment and some of the realities of the National Harbor around that hotel. That has benefited us tremendously. We're seeing our food and beverage outlets perform at levels they've never performed in the past. And so on all fronts, we're seeing great recovery in that hotel, even though it is in a challenge market. And that's translating into really solid EBITDA growth for the hotel, given where occupancy is at. So that market will continue to recover, and we'll continue to watch that. But we feel like we're doing all the right things to get that hotel moving faster than the rest of the market.
spk14: Yeah, and as we did pre-pandemic, we dramatically over-indexed as it relates to group. The challenge that we have and the opportunity that we have in that hotel is how do we bring more transient leisure business to National Harbor and into that hotel? That's the segment where I think we have the greatest opportunity.
spk17: Yeah, that's helpful. Thanks. And then finally,
spk02: austin and and the acquisition i just wanted to see how it was penciling compared to your underwriting expectations well we've been i mean i think it's fair to say mark we've been pleasantly surprised uh uh we knew we knew this asset that that combination of assets there was world class um and And even with just a little bit of pixie dust, we've seen really improved performance there. And I think over the course of the next 12 to 18 months as we deploy capital, I think we're going to be very, very happy with that investment.
spk14: Yeah, I mean, financial performance has been better than we underwrote it. You know, the one difference from how we thought about it when we bought it was just kind of the timing of, some of the renovation work, particularly around the hotel. We've pushed that a little bit into 24, just as we've gone through the design and pricing process. And ultimately, I think we've settled on a time period that will actually reduce our disruption, because we'll get past South by Southwest, and then we'll undertake the rooms renovation. So we're very, very happy with performance thus far, and I would tell you that we feel more confident in the potential there longer term than I think when we underwrote it initially.
spk17: Okay. Thank you all.
spk02: Thanks, Bill. Gretchen, thank you. I think that is the end of this morning's earnings call, and if anyone has any other questions that they want to pose, they know how to get hold of Mark, Jen, and the team. So thank you, everyone. More to follow.
spk16: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This concludes today's conference. You may now disconnect.
spk06: Got my baby sitting by me, shining like a diamond. Only silver linings in the clouds. Yeah, and if it starts to rain, I don't worry about a thing. I pull my rose-colored Ray-Bans out. I got some nuts on my Chevy, but it's ready to roll. I got a rhinestone skyline. Yes, it is.
spk03: Up next, we have an ACM and CMA award winner, members of the Grand Ole Opry since 2014. Here's the multi-Grammy award-winning group, Little Big Town, live from the Grand Ole Opry.
spk09: You don't cross my mind I don't think about you all day No, I don't cross that line. I keep your memory at bay. All the strength is taken to know the breaking. If I'm sober, I'm safe. The moon gets to shining and I get to thinking, think how he found love. Then I start drinking, unraveling, unwinding, staring at the stone cold pool. It takes every bit of the time that I'm killing My heart hesitates but the pain's always winning There ain't no lying, baby, I'm missing you Three whiskeys and the truth I go to bed to sleep you off And I wake up feeling better Ain't too proud to push you down But I'm a terrible forgetter All the strength it's taken To numb the breaking If I'm sober I'm safe too The moon gets to shining And I get to thinking Think I'll be found But then I start drinking Unwrapping, unwinding Staring at the snow cold brew It takes every bit of The time that I'm killing My heart hasn't changed But the pain's always winning There ain't no lie Baby, I'm missing you.
spk07: Three whiskeys and the truth.
spk09: Oh, one takes the edge off, two makes me numb. Oh, oh, the third one goes down and I'm done. The moon gets to shining and I get to thinking, think I'll be fine. But then I start drinking, unraveling, unwinding, staring out the snow. It takes every bit of the time that I'm here that my heart hasn't changed. But the pain's always willing. There ain't no lying. Baby, I'm missing you. Three whiskeys and the truth.
spk11: The third one goes down and I'm done It's a Grammy and CMA Award winner. It's been a member of the Opry since 2022. I'm talking about Ashley McBride. Here she is with Light On in the Kitchen.
spk09: Always check the door before you lay down Keep a glass of water by the bed A dose of local honey Will keep your nose from running Little things like that she's always said Never back up farther than you have to And pray for those that don't have a prayer Honey, trust yourself You better love yourself Still you do, you ain't no good for anybody else. Honey, boys are dumb, but you're gonna find you one. Love him hard and bless your heart. You need someone to listen, and that's why I leave a light on in the kitchen. Pancakes just taste better after midnight. You make friends always be colorblind. Your freckles make you pretty. There's more to life than being skinny. You feel fat, it's mostly in your mind. So honey, trust yourself. You better love yourself. Till you do, you ain't no good for anybody else. And honey, boys are dumb, but you're gonna find you one. Love him hard and bless your heart. Need someone to listen. That's why I leave a light on in the kitchen. Trust yourself. Laugh at yourself. If something tries to hold you back, get up and give it hell. And for heaven's sake, always have a place. You can do some crying and searching. And always leave a light on in the kitchen.
spk11: You're listening to performances from the stage of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, a Ryman Hospitality Properties Company. Next up, we have a Grammy and CMA Award winner. She's been a member of the Opry since 2021. Here's Carly Pierce with What He Didn't Do, live from the Grand Ole Opry.
spk09: Everybody's asking what the hell happened, wondering why it all went wrong. And mama always said if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all. And I've got my side of the story, and he's got his side too. So I ain't gonna go and tell you what he did, but I'll tell you what he didn't.

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