Sale of Historical Hotel Ancora in Cortina d’Ampezzo to Renzo Rosso

Main Photo: The historical Ancora hotel, built in 1826

Date: June 2020

Location: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Name: The Hotel Ancona

No. of Keys: 49

Seller: Flavia Cusinato , 78 years old, owner of the hotel since 1984. The hotel has 4 stars and is located in the most fashionable area of ​​Cortina. Built in 1826, at the time of the Habsburgs, it is the oldest hotel in the Pearl of the Dolomites.

Buyer: Through its fund Red Circle Investments, the holding company owned by the founder of the fashion brand Diesel and the OTB (Only The Brave) Group, Renzo Rosso acquired one of the most ancient hotels in Cortina, built in 1826, investing, we believe, €20m, which may include renovation capex, expected to re-open by Xmas 2020.

In January 2020, Red Circle had purchased the headquarters of Marni Group, the company that owns the fashion brand. The property was sold by the Maguro real estate company , owned by the Castiglioni brothers. In the portfolio, Red Circle also holds the Pelican hotel in Miami Beach, overlooking the Lummus Park and the Chiltern Firehouse in London.

On the corporate front, a few days ago Red Circle Investments rose to 5% of the Veronese listed wine company Masi, famous for its Amarone, by acquiring the stake from Bac.co spa , a vehicle that is fully owned by Alcedo III managed by Alcedo sgr , and which owned approximately 6% of the share capital.

The Rosso family company had also invested in Yoox and is still one of the most important shareholders after the merger with Net-à-porter. In the portfolio there are also investments in the incubator of companies listed on Aim Italia, H-Farm, in Depop (the mobile application used by fans of purchases and sales of fashion and accessories online), in EcorNaturaSì (the main manufacturer and distributor Italian natural and biodynamic products) in U-Booker (the company that has developed a web platform dedicated to fashion professionals, where customers can choose from a wide selection of models and professional models and, in turn, models and models can present themselves), in Retrosuperfuture (cutting-edge Italian reality active in the fashion and eyewear sector).

First signs of recovery for hospitality investments are recorded the Italian Alpine region, after the forced stop induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deal is not an isolated case in the destination, which witnessed a notable increase in hospitality investments recently: the selection of Cortina D’Ampezzo as host for the World Ski Championship 2021 and Winter Olympics 2026 massively contributed to the creation of a dynamic market for tourism real estate.

Several modernisations and renovation projects have started, many of which involve some of the most ancient and important hotels in Cortina.

An example is the renovation plan regarding the Hotel Ampezzo: the structure, closed to public since 2003, was acquired two years ago by the Russian businessman Andrei Toporov, who allocated €16m for renovation. Once completed, the new upper upscale hotel will provide 95 keys and a spa covering more than 800 sqm.

Together with the Ampezzo hotel, many other hotels are getting a new look in the next months: under renovation are also, to quote some, the Hotel Impero, Hotel Regina and Hotel Italia. This latter was sold by Unicredit at the end of 2019 to Italian investors.  Completely renewed on the inside, these structures will open their doors to guests during the next seasons (2020-2021).

In the last 5 years, spurred by deals such as those involving the Hotel Bellevue (Sorgente), the previously mentioned Hotel Italia, the re-branding of Hotel Cristallo and the massive renovation plans operated by hotel owners, hotel chains naturally did not stay and watch. As of today, the number of properties managed by hotel groups in Cortina is 11, for a total amount of around 650 keys. Just last year, the purchase of the Parc Hotel Victoria by Mythos Hotels was announced, as well as the entering of the Hotel Capannina in Stayincortina Group’s portfolio. Yet in 2019, Hotel Serena, featuring 55 rooms, located in the town centre, was sold by a group based in Rome to an Italian investor for approx. €3.8m .

Moves were planned also by international groups, as confirmed by the ongoing construction project of Falkensteiner Group. The German chain has in fact started the building of its Falkensteiner Hotel Cortina, a brand new 5-star hotel featuring 110 keys. The opening is planned for summer 2021.

THPT Comment: Good to see the Region is on the up, post Covid-19 with sporting events being the catalyst. Mr Rosso appears to be on a buying spree both in hospitality and retail fashion.

First Seen: Italian Hospitality Investment Conference

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