avatar Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate
  • Location: California 
  • Founded:
  • Website:

Pages

  • Page 1

    Building Into The Future Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc 2005 Annual Report


  • Page 2

    2004 2005 % Change RevPAR 77.66 84.22 8.4% Revenue 484.5 651.1 34.4% Total Room Count 13,183 17,333 31.5% Average Rooms/Hotel 244 289 18.4% Fixed Debt % 48.4% 93.7% 93.6% Weighted Avg Int Rate 6.18% 6.00% -2.9% Renaissance Long Beach Long Beach, CA


  • Page 3

    Sunstone gained tremendous momentum in 2005 by delivering total investor returns of 34.2%.


  • Page 4

    We targeted our acquisition strategy on upscale and luxury hotels in major markets. Renaissance Long Beach Long Beach, CA


  • Page 5

    We focused our efforts on driving both revenues and profits.


  • Page 6

    We maximized the opportunities to strengthen our capital structure. Sheraton Cerritos Cerritos, CA


  • Page 7

    and with continued confidence in the strength of the lodging industry, we build into the future.


  • Page 8


  • Page 9

    To our Shareholders 2005, our first full year as a public company, was highly successful for Sunstone. We delivered a 34% total return to our shareholders. It was the highest return of any major hotel company, REIT or C-Corp. It also placed us number 5 out of a total of 110 REITs in the Morgan Stanley REIT index. Our successes in 2005 were driven by the following strengths and factors: Acquisitions and Dispositions During 2005 we acquired nine high quality hotels for approximately $1 billion dollars in the top lodging markets across the country. We were able to simultaneously improve the overall quality of our real estate and increase the long-term growth rate of our cash flow through leverage neutral, accretive transactions. We also sold 3 of our smaller, non-core hotels in 2005. We will continue to buy high quality hotels in high barrier markets and to sell non-core hotels in 2006. Reinvestment in Assets Capital reinvestment remains an important focus at Sunstone. We are continuing to reap the rewards of our portfolio, which has benefited from significant recent renovations and capital expenditures. We have spent approximately $200 million renovating our portfolio since 2001, including over $70 million in 2005. We will be completing a number of very exciting renovations to our 2005 acquisitions during 2006. We are commit- ted to maintaining our properties in superior condition which will enable us to maximize room and occupancy rates. Balance Sheet Improvements We are more liquid now than we have ever been, with cash from our recent equity raise, a $150 million credit facility and 13 unencumbered hotels. We have also taken significant steps to put the right type of debt in place. Currently, almost 94% of our debt has fixed rates with an average rate of below 6%. We have less than $100 million of debt maturing in the next 5 years. Market Focus and Portfolio Diversification Sunstone has long had a strong position in Southern California with very positive results. Los Angeles is expected to have top five RevPAR growth in 2006 out of 20 key markets. We have also been actively diversifying our portfolio into other strong markets including Baltimore, Orlando, and Washington D.C. We now have 30% of our EBITDA coming from major East Coast Cities. Industry Strength The industry has experienced strong demand growth with only modest growth in supply. We have seen minimal new full-service hotel construction. In my opinion, this is a combination of both the increased cost of construction and an environment with significant capitol being attracted to residential development opportunities. We believe that these factors will have the effect of pushing out the inevitable acceleration of supply for several years. Momentum in 2006 We acquired the San Diego Marriott Del Mar in January 2006 and the 444 room Hilton Times Square in March. The Hilton Times Square marks Sunstone’s initial foray into Manhattan. Being on 42nd street, just west of Times Square, the hotel has a depth of demand that a hotelier dreams about. I have been in the hotel business for over 3 decades. 2005 was a personal best and a fantastic year and I am opti- mistic that 2006 will be as good or better. I continue to believe that we are still in the early stages of a broad based industry recovery that will continue for a number of years. Sunstone is poised to capitalize on the industry strength through the efforts of our focused team and our strong balance sheet. I would like to personally thank our shareholders and other supporters and assure you that we are highly focused on carrying the momentum we built in 2005 into 2006. Sincerely, Robert A. Alter Chief Executive Officer


  • Page 10

    Acquisition Highlights Renaissance Harborplace Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Renaissance Long Beach Baltimore, MD Los Angeles, CA Long Beach, CA 622 rooms and 29,000 sq ft 728 rooms and 86,000 sq ft of 373 rooms and 13,000 sq ft of meeting space. The meeting space. The Hyatt of meeting space. The Renaissance Harborplace is Regency Century Plaza is Renaissance Long Beach is located directly on Baltimore's adjacent to Beverly Hills in the located in the heart of the Inner Harbor. In addition to heart of Century City. Noted for downtown business district. It waterfront views, it’s proximate hosting each of the past 7 U.S. boasts hilltop views to the Port to the National Aquarium and is presidents and many of the of Long Beach and historic less than 1 mile from Orioles Hollywood elite during its 30 Queen Mary. Located less than Park at Camden Yard. years of operation. a half mile from the Long Beach Convention Center and the Aquarium of the Pacific.


  • Page 11

    Fairmont Newport Beach Renaissance Orlando Resort Renaissance Newport Beach, CA Orlando, FL Washington, D.C. 444 rooms and 23,000 sq ft of 780 rooms and 82,000 sq ft of 807 rooms and 66,000 sq ft meeting space. The Fairmont meeting space. The Orlando of meeting space. The Newport Beach is in the heart of Resort is only steps away from Renaissance Washington the area's fastest-growing Sea World Orlando and only 1 D.C.Hotel is ideally situated business community and one mile from the Orlando between Capitol Hill and the mile from John Wayne / Orange Convention Center. Proximity to White House. Located on 9th County Airport. A short drive major attractions and generous Street directly across from the from the shopping and dining meeting space make this a Washington Convention Center areas of coastal Newport Beach. popular destination for business and 1 block from the MCI Arena. travelers and vacationers alike.


  • Page 12

    Hilton Times Square New York, NY


  • Page 13

    UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Washington, D.C. 20549 FORM 10-K È ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2005 OR ‘ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 For the transition period from to Commission file number 001-32319 Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. (Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter) Maryland 20-1296886 (State or Other Jurisdiction of (I.R.S. Employer Incorporation or Organization) Identification Number) 903 Calle Amanecer, Suite 100 San Clemente, California 92673 (Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code) Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (949) 369-4000 Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act: Common Stock, $0.01 par value, New York Stock Exchange Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule  of the Securities Act. Yes È No ‘ Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section  or Section (d) of the Act. Yes ‘ No È Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: () has filed all reports required to be filed by Section  or (d) of the Securities Exchange Act of  during the preceding  months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and () has been subject to such filing requirements for the past  days. Yes È No ‘ Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item  of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form -K or any amendment to this Form -K. ‘ Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule b- of the Exchange Act. Large accelerated filer È Accelerated filer ‘ Non-accelerated filer ‘ Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule b- of the Exchange Act). Yes ‘ No È The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant based upon the closing sale price of the registrant’s common stock on June ,  as reported on the New York Stock Exchange was approximately $. billion. This amount excludes , shares of the registrant’s common stock held by the executive officers, directors and affiliated parties. Exclusion of such shares should not be construed to indicate that any such person possesses the power, direct or indirect, to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of the registrant or that such person is controlled by or under common control with the registrant. The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock outstanding as of February ,  was ,,. Documents Incorporated by Reference Part III of this Report incorporates by reference information from the definitive Proxy Statement for the registrant’s  Annual Meeting of Stockholders.


  • Page 14

    SUNSTONE HOTEL INVESTORS, INC. ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM -K For the Fiscal Year Ended December ,  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page PART I Item  Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item A Risk Factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item B Unresolved Staff Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Hotel Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Legal Proceedings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  PART II Item  Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Selected Financial and Operating Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Financial Statements and Supplementary Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item A Controls and Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item B Other Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  PART III Item  Directors and Executive Officers of the Registrant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Executive Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters . . . . . . . .  Item  Certain Relationships and Related Transactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Item  Principal Accountant Fees and Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  PART IV Item  Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  SIGNATURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 


  • Page 15

    SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS This report, together with other statements and information publicly disseminated by the Company, contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section A of the Securities Act of , as amended, and Section E of the Securities Exchange Act of , as amended. The Company intends such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of  and includes this statement for purposes of complying with these safe harbor provisions. Forward-looking statements, which are based on certain assumptions and describe the Company’s future plans, strategies and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “project” or similar expressions. You should not rely on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are, in some cases, beyond the Company’s control and which could materially affect actual results, performances or achievements. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to the risk factors discussed in this Annual Report on Form -K. Accordingly, there is no assurance that the Company’s expectations will be realized. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, the Company disclaims any obligations or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based. The “Company” means Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., a Maryland corporation, and one or more of its subsidiaries, including Sunstone Hotel Partnership, LLC, or the Operating Partnership, and Sunstone Hotel TRS Lessee, Inc., or the TRS Lessee, and, as the context may require, Sunstone Hotel Investors only or the Operating Partnership only. Item . Business Our Company We were incorporated in Maryland on June , , to buy, own and renovate primarily upper upscale and upscale full- service hotels. We are a hospitality company that owns primarily upper upscale and upscale hotels in the United States. Our hotels are operated under leading brand names franchised or licensed from others, such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Fairmont, Starwood and Wyndham. As of December , , we own  hotels, comprising , rooms, located in  states in the United States, and in Washington, D.C. Our portfolio also includes luxury and midscale hotels. The terms luxury, upper upscale, upscale and midscale are classifications of hotels by brand that are defined by Smith Travel Research, an independent provider of lodging industry statistical data. Smith Travel Research classifies hotel chains into the following segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; midscale with food and beverage; midscale without food and beverage; economy; and independent. We are a real estate investment trust, or REIT, under the Internal Revenue Code of , as amended, or the Code. Although we have historically self-managed most of our hotels, in connection with our initial public offering in October , we engaged Sunstone Hotel Properties, Inc., a division of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., or the Management Company, to manage the majority of our hotels. As of December , , the Management Company manages and operates  of our  hotels pursuant to management agreements with Sunstone Hotel TRS Lessee Inc., our wholly owned subsidiary, or the TRS Lessee, or its subsidiaries. Six of our remaining hotels are managed independently under management agreements with Renaissance Hotel Operating Company, three are managed independently under management agreements with Marriott International, Inc., three hotels are independently managed under management agreements with Hyatt Corporation, and one hotel is independently managed under management agreement with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (U.S.). In connection with our initial public offering, we entered into our management agreements with the Management Company to seek to optimize the cash flow from, and the profitability of, our hotels by aligning the Management Company’s incentives with ours while maintaining, to the greatest extent practicable, the hotel management practices we employed prior to electing REIT status. Most of our current hotel management employees became employees of the Management Company and continue in their current roles at the Management Company. The Management Company maintains an office in the same building as our headquarters for many of the employees responsible for operations, sales and marketing of our hotels. 1


  • Page 16

    Competitive Strengths We believe the following competitive strengths distinguish us from other owners of lodging properties: • Positioned to Capitalize on Ongoing Industry Recovery. Significant Recent Investments. From January ,  through December , , we have invested . million in capital renovations throughout our portfolio, including the development of one hotel, which we believe will improve the competitiveness of our hotels and better position ourselves to capitalize on the ongoing lodging industry recovery. Luxury, Upper Upscale and Upscale Concentration. We believe the luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments, which represented approximately .% of our  hotel revenues, tend to outperform the lodging industry generally during an economic recovery. Nationally-Recognized Brands. We operate substantially all of our hotels under nationally-recognized brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Fairmont. Presence in Markets with High Barriers to Entry. We believe that our hotels are located in desirable urban and suburban markets with major demand generators and significant barriers to entry for new supply, including a strong presence in California, where our hotels generated .% of our  revenues. • Proven Acquisition and Disposition Capabilities. We believe that our significant acquisition and disposition experience will allow us to continue to redeploy capital from slower growth to higher growth hotels. • Strategic Relationship with the Management Company. We believe that our agreements with the Management Company align its interests with ours to maximize the operating performance of our hotels managed by the Management Company. • Experienced Management Team. We have a seasoned senior management team with extensive experience in real estate, lodging or finance. • Flexible Capital Structure. We believe our capital structure provides us with the financial flexibility required to fund our growth strategy and meet our liquidity needs. Business and Growth Strategy Our principal business objectives are to generate attractive returns on our invested capital and long-term growth in cash flow in order to maximize total returns to our stockholders. Our focus is to own luxury, upper upscale and upscale hotels located in urban and suburban markets with major demand generators and significant barriers to entry. Our strategies for achieving our business objectives include the following key elements: • Active Asset Management. We use our extensive hotel management expertise to enhance our relationships with our hotel operators and to maximize the operating performance, cash flow and value of our hotels. • Opportunistic Hotel Redevelopment and Rebranding. We will continue to invest capital to renovate, redevelop and rebrand our hotels when we believe doing so will increase our market share, enhance our property-level cash flow and generate attractive returns on our invested capital. • Selective Hotel Acquisition and Development. We intend to continue to create value by acquiring premium-branded hotels, or hotels that have the attributes to facilitate their conversion to premium brands, that we believe have been undermanaged or undercapitalized, are located in growth markets or offer expansion and renovation opportunities. We may also develop hotels in markets where we believe room demand and other competitive factors support new supply. • Capital Redeployment. We intend to continue to sell hotels on an opportunistic basis and redeploy our capital to acquire or redevelop other hotels with greater cash flow growth potential. 2


  • Page 17

    Competition The hotel industry is highly competitive. Our hotels compete with other hotels for guests in each market in which we operate. Competitive advantage is based on a number of factors, including location, convenience, brand affiliation, room rates, range of services and guest amenities or accommodations offered and quality of customer service. Competition is often specific to the individual markets in which our hotels are located and includes competition from existing and new hotels operated under brands in the luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments. Increased competition could harm our occupancy or revenues or may require us to provide additional amenities or make capital improvements that we otherwise would not have to make, which may reduce our profitability. We believe that competition for the acquisition of hotels is highly fragmented. We face competition from institutional pension funds, private equity investors, other REITs and numerous local, regional and national owners, including franchisors, in each of our markets. Some of these entities may have substantially greater financial resources than we do and may be able and willing to accept more risk than we believe we can prudently manage. Competition generally may increase the bargaining power of property owners seeking to sell and reduce the number of suitable investment opportunities offered to us. Franchise Agreements All but three of the hotels we own as of December ,  are operated under franchise or franchise management agreements. We believe that the public’s perception of the quality associated with a brand name hotel is an important feature in its attractiveness to guests. Franchisors provide a variety of benefits to franchisees, including centralized reservation systems, national advertising, marketing programs and publicity designed to increase brand awareness, training of personnel and maintenance of operational quality at hotels across the brand system. The franchise agreements generally specify management, operational, record-keeping, accounting, reporting and marketing standards and procedures with which our subsidiary, as the franchisee, must comply. The franchise agreements obligate the subsidiary to comply with the franchisors’ standards and requirements with respect to training of operational personnel, safety, maintaining specified insurance, the types of services and products ancillary to guest room services that may be provided by the subsidiary, display of signage and the type, quality and age of furniture, fixtures and equipment included in guest rooms, lobbies and other common areas. The franchise agreements for our hotels require that we deposit up to .% of the gross revenues of the hotels into a reserve fund for capital expenditures. The franchise agreements also provide for termination at the franchisor’s option upon the occurrence of certain events, including failure to pay royalties and fees or to perform other obligations under the franchise license, bankruptcy and abandonment of the franchise or a change in control. The subsidiary that is the franchisee will be responsible for making all payments under the franchise agreements to the franchisors. Management Agreements Forty-seven of the  hotels we own as of December ,  are managed and operated by the Management Company pursuant to management agreements with the TRS Lessee or its subsidiaries. Our remaining  hotels as of December ,  are managed by Marriott International, Inc., Hyatt Corporation, or Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (U.S.) Inc. under existing management agreements. The following is a general description of these agreements. Management Company. Our management agreements with the Management Company require us to pay on a monthly basis, a management fee equal to .% of our gross revenues from the hotels plus an accounting fee of  per room per month per hotel subject to the management agreements, subject to an annual increase based on a consumer price index, plus an incentive fee of .% of the excess of net operating income over a threshold. The incentive fee, however, will not exceed .% of the total revenues for all the hotels managed by the Management Company for that fiscal year. The TRS Lessee must deliver to the Management Company a guarantee or guarantees of payment with respect to all fees payable to the Management Company. 3


  • Page 18

    The initial term of these management agreements is  years, and we have the right to renew each management agreement for up to two additional terms of five years each, absent a prior termination by either party. The operations of the hotels are overseen by a separate division of the Management Company located in the same building as our headquarters in San Clemente, California. Pursuant to the terms of the management agreements, without our prior written consent, the Management Company may not replace certain of its key personnel in operations, sales and marketing, accounting and finance and other agreed upon personnel. In addition, without our prior written consent, the Management Company is not able to alter certain operating procedures or systems deemed integral to the operation of each of the managed hotels. Fairmont. Our Fairmont hotel is operated under a management agreement with a subsidiary of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, (U.S.) Inc. The agreement requires us to pay .% of total revenue as a base management fee and expires in , with an option to extend the agreement for an additional twenty years. The agreement includes incentive fees ranging from between % and % of our net profit at the hotel above the achievement of certain net profit thresholds. The agreement also includes a minimum return threshold below which Fairmont will be required to make limited guaranty payments to the Company, commencing in . Hyatt. Our Hyatt hotels are operated under management agreements with Hyatt Corporation. The agreement with respect to the Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach, California hotel requires us to pay .% of total revenue for that hotel as a base management fee, with an additional .% of total revenue payable to Hyatt based upon the hotel achieving specific operating thresholds and expires in . The management agreement with respect to the Hyatt, Marietta, Georgia hotel requires us to pay .% of total revenue for that hotel to Hyatt, and expires in . The management agreement with respect to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Century City, California requires us to pay .% of total revenue for that hotel to Hyatt, and expires in . In addition, as part of the Company’s purchase of the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, the Company entered into a -year term agreement with Hyatt Corporation whereby Hyatt Corporation will provide the Company with a limited performance guarantee that will ensure, subject to certain limitations, a return on equity to the Company. Under the terms of this agreement, should the net cash flow generated by the hotel be insufficient to cover the Company’s debt service related to this hotel, plus a % return on the Company’s equity investment in the hotel, Hyatt Corporation will pay the Company the difference, up to  million over the term of the agreement. These management agreements include incentive fees ranging between .% and .% of our net profit at the hotel above the achievement of certain net profit thresholds. The management agreements with Hyatt may be terminated earlier than the contract term if certain events occur, including the failure of Hyatt to satisfy certain performance standards, a condemnation of, a casualty to, or force majeure event involving the hotel and upon a default by Hyatt or us that is not cured prior to the expiration of any applicable cure period. Marriott. Three of our Marriott hotels and six of our Renaissance hotels are operated under management agreements with subsidiaries of Marriott Hotel Services, Inc. or Marriott International, Inc. These management agreements require us to pay a base management fee between .% and .% of total revenue from these hotels to Marriott and expire between  and . Additionally, six of these management agreements require an incentive fee of .% of the excess of gross operating profit over a certain threshold; one of the management agreements requires an incentive fee of .% of net cash flow; one of the management agreements requires an incentive fee of .% of net cash flow subject to the hotel achieving a certain operating threshold; and, one of the management agreement requires us to pay specific percentages of both room revenue and food and beverage revenue. The management agreements with Marriott may be terminated earlier than the stated term if certain events occur, including the failure of Marriott to satisfy certain performance standards, a condemnation of, a casualty to, or force majeure event involving a hotel, the withdrawal or revocation of any license or permit required in connection with the operation of a hotel and upon a default by Marriott or us that is not cured prior to the expiration of any applicable cure periods. In the event of a sale of the Marriott, Troy, Michigan, Marriott has a right of first refusal to either purchase or lease the hotel or terminate the management agreement. The existing management agreements with Fairmont, Hyatt, and Marriott require the manager to furnish chain services that are generally made available to other hotels managed by that operator. Costs for these chain services are reimbursed by the Company. Such services include: () the development and operation of computer systems and reservation services; () management 4


  • Page 19

    and administrative services; () marketing and sales services; () human resources training services; and () such additional services as may from time to time be more efficiently performed on a national, regional or group level. Tax Status We have elected to be taxed as a REIT under Sections  through  of the Code, commencing with our taxable year ending December , . Under current Federal income tax laws we generally will not be taxed at the corporate level to the extent we distribute at least % of our net taxable income to our stockholders. We may, however, be subject to certain Federal, state and local taxes on our income and property and to Federal income and excise tax on our undistributed income. Taxable REIT Subsidiary Subject to certain limitations, a REIT is permitted to own, directly or indirectly, up to % of the stock of a taxable REIT subsidiary, or TRS, that may engage in businesses previously prohibited to a REIT. In particular, hotel REITs are permitted to own a TRS that leases hotels from the REIT, rather than requiring the lessee to be an unaffiliated third party. However, hotels leased to a TRS still must be managed by an unaffiliated third party. The TRS provisions are complex and impose several conditions on the use of TRSs, generally to assure that TRSs are subject to an appropriate level of Federal corporate taxation. As described above, we may own up to % of the stock of one or more taxable REIT subsidiaries, including Sunstone Hotel TRS Lessee, Inc., the TRS Lessee. A TRS is a fully taxable corporation that may earn income that would not be qualifying income if earned directly by us. A TRS may perform activities such as third party management, development, and other independent business activities. However, a TRS may not directly or indirectly operate or manage any hotels or provide rights to any brand name under which any hotel is operated. We and the TRS Lessee must elect for the TRS Lessee to be treated as a TRS. A corporation of which a qualifying TRS directly or indirectly owns more than % of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than % of the value of our assets may consist of securities of one or more TRSs, and no more than % of the value of our assets may consist of the securities of TRSs and other assets that are not qualifying assets for purposes of the % asset test. The % asset test generally requires that at least % of the value of our total assets be represented by real estate assets, cash, cash items, and government securities. The rent that we receive from a TRS qualifies as “rents from real property” as long as the property is operated on behalf of the TRS by a person who qualifies as an “independent contractor” and who is, or is related to a person who is, actively engaged in the trade or business of operating “qualified lodging facilities” for any person unrelated to us and the TRS (an “eligible independent contractor”). A “qualified lodging facility” is a hotel, motel or other establishment more than one-half of the dwelling units in which are used on a transient basis, unless wagering activities are conducted at or in connection with such facility by any person who is engaged in the business of accepting wagers and who is legally authorized to engage in such business at or in connection with such facility. A “qualified lodging facility” includes customary amenities and facilities operated as part of, or associated with, the lodging facility as long as such amenities and facilities are customary for other properties of a comparable size and class owned by other unrelated owners. We have formed the TRS Lessee as a wholly owned TRS. Each of our hotels is leased by our relevant property-owning subsidiary to the TRS Lessee or one of its subsidiaries. As described below, these leases provide for a base rent plus a percentage rent. These leases must contain economic terms which are similar to a lease between unrelated parties because the Code imposes a % excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and us or our tenants that are not conducted on an arm’s-length basis. We believe that all transactions between us and our TRS Lessee are conducted on an arm’s-length basis. Further, the TRS rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to us to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. 5


  • Page 20

    The TRS Lessee has engaged independent hotel operators to operate the related hotels on its behalf. Furthermore, we have represented, with respect to hotels that we lease to the TRS Lessee in the future, that the TRS Lessee will engage “eligible independent contractors” to manage and operate the hotels leased by the TRS Lessee. Our primary hotel operator, the Management Company, qualifies as an “eligible independent contractor.” Ground and Air Lease Agreements Twelve of our hotels are subject to ground or air leases that cover either all or portions of their respective properties. As of December , , the terms of these ground or air leases (including renewal options) range from  to  years. These leases generally require us to make rental payments and payments for all charges, costs, expenses and liabilities, including real and personal property taxes, insurance, and utilities. Any proposed sale of the property that is subject to a ground or air lease or any proposed assignment of our leasehold interest as ground or air lessee under the ground or air lease may require the consent of the applicable ground or air lessor. As a result, we may not be able to sell, assign, transfer or convey our ground or air lessee’s interest in any such property in the future absent the consent of the ground or air lessor, even if such transaction may be in the best interests of our stockholders. Three of our properties prohibit the sale or conveyance of the hotel by us to another party without first offering the ground or air lessor the opportunity to acquire the hotel upon the same terms and conditions as offered to the third party. We have an option to acquire the ground lessor’s interest in the ground lease relating to three of our hotels for specified amounts and exercisability provisions. At this time, we do not intend to exercise any option to purchase the ground lessor’s interest in any of these ground leases. Offices We lease our headquarters located at  Calle Amanecer, Suite , San Clemente, California  from an unaffiliated third party. We occupy our headquarters under a lease that terminates on June , . We believe that our current facilities are adequate for our present and future operations. Our Internet address is www.sunstonehotels.com. Periodic and current SEC reports are available, free of charge, through links displayed on our web site. Our website is not intended to be a part of this report on Form -K. Employees At February , , we had  employees. We believe that our relations with our employees are good. All persons employed in the day-to-day operations of the hotels are employees of the management companies engaged by the TRS Lessee to operate such hotels. Environmental All of our hotels have been subjected to environmental reviews. Environmental consultants retained by our lenders recently conducted Phase I environmental site assessments on many of our properties. These Phase I assessments often relied on older environmental assessments prepared in connection with a prior financing. Phase I assessments are designed to evaluate the potential for environmental contamination on properties based generally upon site inspections, facility personnel interviews, historical information and certain publicly available databases, but Phase I assessments will not necessarily reveal the existence or extent of all environmental conditions, liabilities or compliance concerns at the properties. While some of these assessments have led to further investigation and sampling, none of the environmental assessments have revealed, nor are we aware of, any environmental liability (including asbestos-related liability) that we believe would harm our business, financial position, results of operations or cash flow. 6


  • Page 21

    Under various Federal, state and local laws and regulations, an owner or operator of real estate may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of certain hazardous or toxic substances on the property. These laws often impose such liability without regard to whether the owner knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of hazardous or toxic substances. Furthermore, a person that arranges for the disposal or transports for disposal or treatment of a hazardous substance at another property may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous substances released into the environment at that property. The costs of remediation or removal of such substances may be substantial, and the presence of such substances, or the failure to promptly remediate such substances, may adversely affect the owner’s ability to sell such real estate or to borrow using such real estate as collateral. In connection with the ownership and operation of our properties, we or the TRS Lessee, as the case may be, may be potentially liable for such costs. We have provided unsecured environmental indemnities to certain lenders. We have performed due diligence on the potential environmental risks including obtaining an independent environmental review from outside environmental consultants. These indemnities obligate us to reimburse the guaranteed parties for damages related to environmental matters. There is no term or damage limitation on these indemnities; however, if an environmental matter arises, we could have recourse against other previous owners. Seasonality The lodging business is seasonal in nature, and we experience some seasonality in our business. Revenue for hotels in tourist areas generally is substantially greater during tourist season than other times of the year. Quarterly revenue also may be adversely affected by events beyond our control, such as extreme weather conditions, terrorist attacks or alerts, medical conditions such as SARS, airline strikes, cost of air travel, economic factors and other considerations affecting travel. Inflation Inflation may affect our expenses, including, without limitation, by increasing costs such as taxes, property and casualty insurance and utilities. 7


  • Page 22

    Item A. Risk Factors Risks Related to Our Business In the recent past, events beyond our control, including an economic slowdown and terrorism, harmed the operating performance of the hotel industry generally and the performance of our hotels, and if these or similar events occur again, our operating and financial results may be harmed by declines in average daily room rates or occupancy. The performance of the lodging industry has traditionally been closely linked with the performance of the general economy and, specifically, growth in United States gross domestic product. Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, in the lodging industry declined .% in  and .% in . The majority of our hotels are classified as upper upscale or upscale hotels. In an economic downturn, these types of hotels may be more susceptible to a decrease in revenue, as compared to hotels in other categories that have lower room rates. This characteristic may result from the fact that upper upscale and upscale hotels generally target business and high-end leisure travelers. In periods of economic difficulties, business and leisure travelers may seek to reduce travel costs by limiting travel or seeking to reduce costs on their trips. In addition, the terrorist attacks of September ,  had a dramatic adverse effect on business and leisure travel, and on the occupancy and average daily rate, or ADR, of our hotels. Future terrorist activities could have a similarly harmful effect on both the industry and us. As of December , , we had approximately ,. million of outstanding debt, and carrying such debt may harm our financial flexibility or harm our business and financial results by imposing requirements on our business. Carrying our outstanding debt may harm our business and financial results by: • requiring us to use a substantial portion of our funds from operations to make required payments on principal and interest, which will reduce the amount of cash available to us for distributions to our stockholders and for our operations and capital expenditures, future business opportunities and other purposes; • making us more vulnerable to economic and industry downturns and reducing our flexibility in responding to changing business and economic conditions; • limiting our ability to borrow more money for operations, capital expenditures or to finance acquisitions in the future; and • requiring us to sell one or more properties, possibly on disadvantageous terms, in order to make required payments of interest and principal. We also intend to incur additional debt in connection with future acquisitions of real estate, which may include loans secured by a portfolio of some or all of the hotels we acquire. If necessary or advisable, we may also borrow funds to satisfy the requirement that we distribute to our stockholders at least % of our annual REIT taxable income or otherwise to ensure that we maintain our qualification as a REIT for Federal income tax purposes. In addition, at December , , we had . million in outstanding letters of credit. If we were to default on our secured debt in the future, the loss of our property securing the debt would harm our ability to satisfy other obligations. A majority of our debt is secured by first deeds of trust on our properties. Using our properties as collateral increases our risk of property losses because defaults on indebtedness secured by properties may result in foreclosure actions initiated by lenders and ultimately our loss of the property that secures any loan under which we are in default. For tax purposes, a foreclosure on any of our properties would be treated as a sale of the property. If the outstanding balance of the debt secured by the mortgage exceeds our tax basis in the property, we would recognize taxable income on foreclosure but would not necessarily receive any cash proceeds. As a result, we may be required to identify and utilize other sources of cash for distributions to our stockholders. In addition, because of various cross-collateralization provisions in our notes payable, our default under some of our mortgage debt obligations may result in a default on our other indebtedness. If this occurs, our financial condition, cash flow and ability to satisfy our other debt obligations or ability to pay dividends may be harmed. 8


  • Page 23

    We anticipate that we will refinance our indebtedness from time to time to repay our debt, and our inability to refinance on favorable terms, or at all, could harm our operating results. Since we anticipate that our internally generated cash will be adequate to repay only a portion of our indebtedness prior to maturity, we expect that we will be required to repay debt from time to time through refinancings of our indebtedness and/or offerings of equity or debt. The amount of our existing indebtedness may harm our ability to repay our debt through refinancings. If we are unable to refinance our indebtedness on acceptable terms, or at all, we might be forced to sell one or more of our properties on disadvantageous terms, which might result in losses to us and reduce the amount of cash available to us for distributions to our stockholders. If prevailing interest rates or other factors at the time of any refinancing result in higher interest rates on refinancing, our interest expense would increase, which would harm our operating results. Financial covenants in our existing notes payable and those notes we may assume may restrict our operating or acquisition activities. Some of our existing notes payable contain, and notes payable that we may incur or assume in the future may contain, restrictions, requirements and other limitations on our ability to incur additional debt on specific properties, as well as financial covenants relating to the performance of those properties. Our ability to borrow under these agreements is subject to compliance with these financial and other covenants. If we are unable to engage in activities that we believe would benefit those properties or we are unable to incur debt to pursue those activities, our growth may be limited. If we need to obtain consents or waivers from compliance with these covenants, it may take time or cause us to incur additional expenses. Our revolving credit facility and term loan facility contain financial covenants that could harm our financial condition. Our revolving credit facility and term loan facility contain, and notes payable that we may incur or assume in the future may contain, financial and operating covenants, including net worth requirements, fixed charge coverage and debt ratios and other limitations on our ability to make distributions or other payments to our stockholders (other than those required by the Code), as well as limitations on our ability to sell all or substantially all of our assets and engage in mergers, consolidations and certain acquisitions. Failure to meet our financial covenants could result from, among other things, changes in our results of operations, the incurrence of debt or changes in general economic conditions. Advances under the revolving credit facility are subject to borrowing base requirements based on the hotels securing the facility. These covenants may restrict our ability to engage in transactions that we believe would otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders. Failure to comply with any of the covenants in our revolving credit facility or term loan facility could result in a default under one or more of our debt instruments. This could cause one or more of our lenders to accelerate the timing of our payments obligations and could harm our business, operations, financial condition or liquidity. Our organizational documents contain no limitations on the amount of debt we may incur, so we may become too highly leveraged. Our organizational documents do not limit the amount of indebtedness that we may incur. If we increase the level of our borrowings, then the resulting increase in cash flow that must be used for debt service would reduce cash available for distribution and could harm our ability to make payments on our outstanding indebtedness and our financial condition. Some of our directors and officers have economic interests in other real estate investments, including hotels, which may result in conflicts and competing demands on their time. Two of our directors, Messrs. Wolff and Dona, are actively involved in the management of entities that invest in real estate, including hotels. Accordingly, these directors may have a conflict of interest in evaluating acquisition opportunities in which we and those entities both have a potential interest. In addition, three of our executive officers, Messrs. Alter, Kline and Stougaard, have economic interests in other hotel investments and, therefore, may have competing demands on their time. 9


  • Page 24

    We face competition for the acquisition of hotels, and we may not be successful in identifying or completing hotel acquisitions that meet our criteria, which may impede our growth. One component of our business strategy is expansion through acquisitions, and we may not be successful in identifying or completing acquisitions that are consistent with our strategy. We compete with institutional pension funds, private equity investors, other REITs, owner-operators of hotels, franchise-owned hotels and others who are engaged in the acquisition of hotels. These competitors may affect the supply/demand dynamics and, accordingly, increase the price we must pay for hotels or hotel companies we seek to acquire, and these competitors may succeed in acquiring those hotels or hotel companies themselves. Furthermore, our potential acquisition targets may find our competitors to be more attractive suitors because they may have greater marketing and financial resources, may be willing to pay more, or may have a more compatible operating philosophy. In addition, the number of entities competing for suitable hotels may increase in the future, which would increase demand for these hotels and the prices we must pay to acquire them. If we pay higher prices for hotels, our profitability may be reduced. Also, future acquisitions of hotels or hotel companies may not yield the returns we expect and, if financed using our equity, may result in stockholder dilution. In addition, our profitability may suffer because of acquisition-related costs or amortization costs for acquired intangible assets, and the integration of such acquisitions may cause disruptions to our business and may strain management resources. The acquisition of a portfolio of hotels presents more risks to our business and financial results than the acquisition of a single hotel. We have focused, and may continue to focus, on the acquisition of multiple hotels in single transactions to seek to reduce acquisition costs per hotel and enable us to expand our hotel portfolio more rapidly. Multiple hotel acquisitions, such as the recent acquisition of the Renaissance Hotels, however, are generally more complex than single hotel acquisitions and, as a result, the risk that they will not be completed is greater. These acquisitions may also result in our owning hotels in geographically dispersed markets, which places additional demands on our ability to actively asset manage the hotels. In addition, we may be required by a seller to purchase a group of hotels as a package, even though one or more of the hotels in the package do not meet our investment criteria. In those events, we expect to attempt to sell the hotels that do not meet our investment criteria, but may not be able to do so on acceptable terms. These hotels may harm our operating results if they operate at a loss or we sell them at a loss. Also, a portfolio of hotels may also be more difficult to integrate with our existing hotels than a single hotel, may strain our management resources and may make it more difficult to find one or more management companies to operate the hotels. Any of these risks could harm our operating results. Most of our hotels are upper upscale and upscale hotels, and the upper upscale and upscale segments of the lodging market are highly competitive and generally subject to greater volatility than other segments of the market, which could harm our profitability. The upper upscale and upscale segments of the hotel business are highly competitive. Our hotels compete on the basis of location, room rates and quality, service levels, reputation and reservations systems, among many other factors. There are many competitors in our hotel chain scale segments, and many of these competitors have substantially greater marketing and financial resources than we have. This competition could reduce occupancy levels and room revenue at our hotels, which would harm our operations. Over-building in the hotel industry may increase the number of rooms available and may decrease occupancy and room rates. We will also face competition from nationally recognized hotel brands with which we are not associated. In addition, in periods of weak demand, profitability is negatively affected by the relatively high fixed costs of operating upper upscale and upscale hotels when compared to other classes of hotels. Rising operating expenses or low occupancy rates could reduce our cash flow and funds available for future distributions. Our hotels, and any hotels we buy in the future, are and will be subject to operating risks common to the lodging industry in general. If any hotel is not occupied at a level sufficient to cover our operating expenses, then we could be required to spend additional funds for that hotel’s operating expenses. In the future, our hotels will be subject to increases in real estate and other tax rates, utility costs, operating expenses, insurance costs, repairs and maintenance and administrative expenses, which could reduce our cash flow and funds available for future distributions. 10


  • Page 25

    Our hotels are geographically concentrated in California and, accordingly, we could be disproportionately harmed by an economic downturn in this area of the country or a natural disaster, such as an earthquake. Approximately .% of our hotels, the largest concentration of our hotels in any state, representing .% of our rooms and .% of our  revenues, are located in California. The concentration of our hotels in California makes our business disproportionately affected by economic conditions, competition and real and personal property tax rates in California. Natural disasters in California, such as earthquakes, fires or mudslides, would disproportionately affect our hotel portfolio. The California economy and tourism industry, in comparison to other parts of the country, is negatively affected to a greater extent by changes and downturns in certain industries, including the entertainment and high technology industries. It is also possible that because of our California concentration, a change in California laws applicable to hotels and the lodging industry may have a greater impact on us than a change in comparable laws in another geographical area in which we have hotels. Adverse developments in California could harm our revenue or increase our operating expenses in that state. The results of some of our individual hotels are significantly impacted by group contract business and other large customers, and the loss of such customers for any reason could harm our operating results. Group contract business and other large customers, or large events, can significantly impact the results of operations of our hotels. These contracts and customers vary from hotel to hotel and change from time to time. Such contracts are typically for a limited period of time after which they may be put up for competitive bidding. The impact and timing of large events, such as the  Winter Olympics, are not always easy to predict and are often episodic in nature. As a result, the operating results for our individual hotels can fluctuate as a result of these factors, possibly in adverse ways, and these fluctuations can affect our overall operating results. Because most of our hotels are operated under franchise agreements with national franchisors, termination of franchise agreements or circumstances that negatively affect the franchisor itself could cause us to lose business at hotels operated under the franchisor’s name or lead to a default or acceleration of our obligations under certain of our notes payable. As of December , , approximately .% of our hotels, representing .% of our rooms, were operated under franchise or management agreements with national franchisors. In general, under franchise arrangements, the franchisor provides marketing services and room reservations and certain other operating assistance, but requires us, as the franchisee, to pay significant fees to it, and to maintain the hotel in a required condition. If the Management Company or other management companies fail to maintain these required standards, then the franchisor may terminate the franchise agreement and obtain damages for any liability we may have caused. Moreover, from time to time, we may receive notices from franchisors regarding our alleged non-compliance with the franchise agreements, and we may disagree with a franchisor’s claim that we are not in compliance with applicable franchise agreements. Any disputes arising under our franchise agreements could also lead to a termination of a franchise agreement and a payment of liquidated damages. Such a termination may trigger a default or acceleration of our obligations under some of our notes payable. In addition, as our agreements expire, we may not be able to renew them on favorable terms or at all. If we were to lose a franchise on a particular hotel, it could harm the operation, financing, financeability or value of that hotel due to the loss of the franchise name, marketing support and centralized reservation system. Moreover, negative publicity affecting a franchisor in general could reduce the revenue we receive from the hotels subject to that particular franchise. Any loss of revenue at a hotel could harm the ability of Sunstone Hotel TRS Lessee Inc., our wholly owned subsidiary, the TRS Lessee, to whom we have leased our hotels as a result of certain Federal income tax restrictions on lodging REITs, to pay rent to Sunstone Hotel Partnership, LLC and could harm our ability to pay dividends on our common stock or preferred stock. Our franchisors require us to make capital expenditures pursuant to property improvement plans, or PIPs, under our franchise agreements, and the failure to make the expenditures required under the PIPs could cause the franchisors to terminate the franchise agreements. Historically, some of our franchisors required that we make renovations to some of our hotels in connection with revisions to our franchise agreements. In addition, upon regular inspection of our hotels, our franchisors may determine that additional 11


  • Page 26

    renovations are required to bring the physical condition of our hotels into compliance with the specifications and standards each franchisor has developed in connection with the operation of our hotels. In connection with the acquisitions of hotels, franchisors may also require PIPs. The franchisors generally set forth their renovation requirements in PIPs and if we do not satisfy the PIP renovation requirements pursuant to the franchisor’s criteria, the franchisor will have the right to terminate the applicable franchise agreement. In addition, in the event that we are in default under any franchise agreement as a result of our failure to comply with the PIP requirements, in general, we will be required to pay the franchisor liquidated damages, generally equal to a percentage of gross room revenue for the preceding two-, three- or five-year period for the hotel or a percentage of gross revenue for the preceding twelve-month period for all hotels operated under the franchised brand if the hotel has not been operating for at least two years. Our hotels have an ongoing need for renovations and potentially significant capital expenditures in connection with acquisitions and other capital improvements, some of which are mandated by applicable laws or regulations or agreements with third parties, and the costs of such renovations or improvements may exceed our expectations or cause other problems. In addition to capital expenditures required by our franchise and loan agreements, from time to time we need to make capital expenditures to comply with applicable laws and regulations, remain competitive with other hotels and to maintain the economic value of our hotels. We also may need to make significant capital improvements to hotels that we acquire. Occupancy and ADR are often affected by the maintenance and capital improvements at a hotel, especially in the event that the maintenance or improvements are not completed on schedule or if the improvements require significant closures at the hotel. The costs of capital improvements we need or choose to make could harm our financial condition and reduce amounts available for distribution to our stockholders. These capital improvements may give rise to the following additional risks, among others: • construction cost overruns and delays; • a possible shortage of available cash to fund capital improvements and the related possibility that financing for these capital improvements may not be available to us on affordable terms; • uncertainties as to market demand or a loss of market demand after capital improvements have begun; • disruption in service and room availability causing reduced demand, occupancy and rates; • possible environmental problems; and • disputes with franchisors regarding our compliance with the requirements under the relevant franchise agreement. Our returns depend on management of our hotels by third parties, including the Management Company. In order to qualify as a REIT under the Code, we cannot directly operate our hotels or participate in the decisions affecting the daily operations of our hotels. Accordingly, we must enter into management agreements with eligible independent contractors to manage the hotels. Thus, the independent management companies, including, among others, the Management Company, under management agreements with us, control the daily operations of our hotels. As of December , , the Management Company manages and operates  of our  hotels pursuant to management agreements with the TRS Lessee or its subsidiaries. Of our remaining hotels, six are managed independently under management agreements with Renaissance Hotel Operating Company, three are managed independently under management agreements with Marriott International, Inc., three hotels are independently managed under management agreements with Hyatt Corporation, and one hotel is independently managed under a management agreement with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (U.S.) Inc. Under the terms of these management agreements, although we actively participate in setting operating strategies, we do not have the authority to require any hotel to be operated in a particular manner or to govern any particular aspect of the daily operations of any hotel (e.g., setting room rates, etc.). We depend on these independent management companies to adequately operate our hotels as provided in the applicable management agreements. Thus, even if we believe a hotel is being operated inefficiently or in a manner that does not result in satisfactory ADR, occupancy rates and RevPAR, we may not have a contractual right to cause an independent 12


  • Page 27

    management company to change its method of operation at our hotels. We can only seek redress if a management company violates the terms of its applicable management agreement with us or fails to meet performance objectives set forth in the applicable management agreement, and then only to the extent of the remedies provided in the management agreement. Additionally, while our management agreements typically provide for limited contractual penalties in the event that we terminate the applicable management agreement upon an event of default and, therefore, need to replace any of our management companies, those events could result in significant disruptions at the affected hotels upon the termination of a manager. If any of the foregoing occurs, our relationships with franchisors may be damaged, and we may be in breach of one or more of our franchise agreements. We cannot assure you that our management companies will successfully manage our hotels. A failure by our management companies to successfully manage our hotels could lead to an increase in our operating expenses or a decrease in our revenue, which would reduce the amount available for dividends on our common stock and our preferred stock. In addition, the management companies may operate other hotels that may compete with our hotels or divert attention away from the management of our hotels. Our contractual arrangements with the Management Company are relatively new. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that our relationship with the Management Company will be satisfactory to us, or that our expectations regarding the quality and effectiveness of its performance will be met. As a result, the management agreements with the Management Company could be terminated by us prior to the expiration of their respective terms, which would be disruptive to our business and could harm our profitability and cash flow. Because we are a REIT, we depend on the TRS Lessee to make rent payments to us, and its inability to do so could harm our revenue and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders. Due to certain Federal income tax restrictions on hotel REITs, we cannot directly operate our hotel properties. Therefore, we leased our hotel properties to the TRS Lessee, which contracted with the Management Company and other third party hotel managers to manage our hotels. Our revenue and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders will depend solely upon the ability of the TRS Lessee to make rent payments under these leases. In general, under the leases with the TRS Lessee, we will receive from the TRS Lessee both base rent and percentage rent based upon a percentage of gross revenue above a certain minimum level. As a result, we participate in the economic operations of our hotels only through our share of gross revenue under the leases. The TRS Lessee’s ability to pay rent is affected by factors beyond its control, such as changes in general economic conditions, the level of demand for hotels and the related services of our hotels, competition in the lodging and hospitality industry, the ability to maintain and increase gross revenue at our hotels and other factors relating to the operations of our hotels. Although failure on the part of the TRS Lessee to materially comply with the terms of a lease (including failure to pay rent when due) will give us the right to terminate the lease, repossess the hotel and enforce the payment obligations under the lease, such steps may not provide us with any substantive relief since the TRS Lessee is our subsidiary. If we were to terminate a lease, we would then be required to find another lessee to lease the hotel since we cannot operate hotel properties directly and remain qualified as a REIT. We cannot assure you that we would be able to find another lessee or that, if another lessee were found, we would be able to enter into a new lease on terms as favorable to us. Because land underlying twelve of our hotels is held by ground or air leases, termination of these leases by the lessors could cause us to lose the ability to operate these hotels altogether and incur substantial costs in restoring the premises. Our rights to use the land underlying twelve of our hotels are based upon our interest under long-term ground or air leases. Pursuant to the terms of the ground or air leases for these hotels, we are required to pay all rent due and comply with all other lessee obligations under the ground or air leases. As of December , , the terms of these ground or air leases (including renewal options) range from  to  years. Any pledge of our interest in a ground or air lease may also require the consent of the 13


  • Page 28

    applicable lessor and its lenders. As a result, we may not be able to sell, assign, transfer or convey our lessee’s interest in any hotel subject to a ground or air lease in the future absent consent of such third parties even if such transactions may be in the best interest of our stockholders. The lessor may require us, at the expiration or termination of the ground or air leases, to surrender or remove any improvements, alterations or additions to the land at our own expense. The ground or air leases also generally require us to restore the premises following a casualty or taking and to apply in a specified manner any proceeds received in connection therewith. We may have to restore the premises if a material casualty, such as a fire or an act of God, occurs and the cost thereof exceeds available insurance proceeds. Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure Provisions of Maryland law and our organizational documents may limit the ability of a third party to acquire control of our company and may depress our stock price. Provisions of Maryland law and our charter and bylaws could have the effect of discouraging, delaying or preventing transactions that involve an actual or threatened change in control of us, and may have the effect of entrenching our management and members of our board of directors, regardless of performance. These provisions include the following: Aggregate Share and Common Share Ownership Limits. In order for us to qualify as a REIT, no more than % of the value of outstanding shares of our stock may be owned, actually or constructively, by five or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of each taxable year. To assure that we will not fail to qualify as a REIT under this test, subject to some exceptions, our charter prohibits any stockholder from owning actually or constructively more than .% (in number or value, whichever is more restrictive) of the outstanding shares of our common stock or more than .% of the value of the outstanding shares of our capital stock. Any attempt to own or transfer shares of our capital stock in excess of the ownership limit without the consent of our board of directors will be void and could result in the shares (and all dividends thereon) being automatically transferred to a charitable trust. This ownership limitation may prevent a third party from acquiring control of us in our board of directors does not grant an exemption from the ownership limitation, even if our stockholders believe the change in control is in their best interests. Authority to Issue Stock. Our charter authorizes our board of directors to cause us to issue up to ,, shares of common stock and up to ,, shares of preferred stock. Our charter authorizes our board of directors to amend our charter without stockholder approval to increase or decrease the aggregate number of shares of stock or the number of shares of any class or series of our stock that it has authority to issue, to classify or reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock or preferred stock and to set the preferences, rights and other terms of the classified or reclassified shares. Issuances of additional shares of stock may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control of our company, including change of control transactions offering a premium over the market price of shares of our common stock, even if our stockholders believe that a change of control is in their interest. Number of directors, board vacancies, term of office. Under our charter and bylaws, we have elected to be subject to certain provisions of Maryland law which vest in the board of directors the exclusive right to determine the number of directors and the exclusive right, by the affirmative vote of a majority of the remaining directors, to fill vacancies on the board even if the remaining directors do not constitute a quorum. Any director elected to fill a vacancy will hold office until the next annual meeting of stockholders, and until his or her successor is elected and qualifies. As a result, stockholder influence over these matters is limited. Limitation on stockholder requested special meetings. Our bylaws provide that our stockholders have the right to call a special meeting only upon the written request of the stockholders entitled to cast not less than a majority of all the votes entitled to be cast by the stockholders at such meeting. This provision makes it more difficult for stockholders to call special meetings. Advance notice provisions for stockholder nominations and proposals. Our bylaws require advance written notice for stockholders to nominate persons for election as directors at, or to bring other business before, any meeting of our stockholders. This bylaw 14


  • Page 29

    provision limits the ability of our stockholders to make nominations of persons for election as directors or to introduce other proposals unless we are notified in a timely manner prior to the meeting. Exclusive authority of our board to amend our bylaws. Our bylaws provide that our board of directors has the exclusive power to adopt, alter or repeal any provision of the bylaws or to make new bylaws, except with respect to amendments to the provision of our bylaws regarding our opt out of the Maryland business combination and control share acquisition statutes. Thus, our stockholders may not effect any changes to our bylaws. Duties of directors. Maryland law requires that a director perform his or her duties () in good faith, () in a manner he or she reasonably believes to be in the best interests of the corporation and () with the care that an ordinary prudent person in a like position would use in similar circumstances. The duties of directors of Maryland corporations do not require them to () accept, recommend or respond to any proposal by a person seeking to acquire control of the corporation, () authorize the corporation to redeem any rights under, of modify or render inapplicable, any stockholders rights plan, () make a determination under the Maryland business combination act or the Maryland control share acquisition act or () act or fail to act solely because of the effect the act or failure to act may have on an acquisition or potential acquisition of control of the corporation or the amount or type of consideration that may be offered or paid to the stockholders in an acquisition. Moreover, under Maryland law the act of the directors of a Maryland corporation relating to or affecting an acquisition or potential acquisition of control is not subject to any higher duty or greater scrutiny than is applied to any other act of a director. Maryland law also contains a statutory presumption that an act of a director of a Maryland corporation satisfies the applicable standards of conduct for directors under Maryland law. These provisions increase the ability of our directors to respond to a takeover and may make it more difficult for a third party to effect an unsolicited takeover. Unsolicited Takeover Provisions. Provisions of Maryland law permit the board of a corporation with a class of equity securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of  and at least three independent directors, without stockholder approval, to implement possible takeover defenses, such as a classified board. These provisions may make it more difficult for a third party to effect a takeover. Our management team has a limited history of operating a REIT and managing a public company, which may give rise to inefficiencies or strain our operations and resources. We have recently been organized and we have a limited operating history as a REIT. Our management team operated our business as a privately-owned company for the five years prior to our initial public offering in October  and, therefore, other than Mr. Alter, had no experience operating a REIT and managing a publicly-owned company. We will need to continue to develop control systems and procedures adequate to support a public REIT, and this transition could place a significant strain on our management systems, infrastructure, financial condition and other resources. We rely on our executive officers, the loss of whom could significantly harm our business. Our continued success will depend to a significant extent on the efforts and abilities of our executive officers, especially Messrs. Alter, Kline and Stougaard. These individuals are important to our business and strategy and to the extent that any of them departs and is not replaced with an experienced substitute, such person’s departure could harm our operations, financial condition and operating results. Because we made changes to our operations to qualify and elect to be treated as a REIT, our future financial performance may be affected by unanticipated changes and may differ materially from our historical and pro forma performance. The historical financial data in this annual report is the historical financial data for us and, for the period prior to October , , for our predecessor companies. We are unable to predict all changes that will result under our new structure, including our agreements with the Management Company. Accordingly, you should not rely on our historical or pro forma financial data as a predictor of our future performance. 15


  • Page 30

    Our insurance arrangements with affiliates of Westbrook Real Estate Partners, L.L.C. expose us to expense and coverage risks. Our environmental insurance coverage, which was initiated at a time when we were controlled by affiliates of Westbrook Real Estate Partners, L.L.C., also relates to affiliates of Westbrook Real Estate Partners, L.L.C. and other hotels owned by them and our executive officers. We may obtain our own insurance, which we expect to be more expensive. In addition, if claims or losses are experienced under the current policy that do not relate to us, the amount of coverage available to us would be reduced. Risks Related to the Lodging and Real Estate Industries A number of factors, many of which are common to the lodging industry and beyond our control, could affect our business, including the following: • increased threat of terrorism, terrorist events, airline strikes or other factors that may affect travel patterns and reduce the number of business and commercial travelers and tourists and other factors that may not be offset by increased room rates; • increased competition from other hotels in our markets; • new hotel supply in our markets, which could harm our occupancy levels and revenue at our hotels; • dependence on business and commercial travel, leisure travel and tourism; • increases in operating costs due to inflation, labor costs (including the impact of unionization), workers’ compensation and health-care related costs, utility costs, insurance and unanticipated costs such as acts of nature and their consequences and other factors that may not be offset by increased room rates; • changes in interest rates and in the availability, cost and terms of debt financing and other changes in our business that adversely affect our ability to comply with covenants in our debt financing; • changes in our relationships with, and the performance and reputation of, the Management Company and our other management companies and franchisors; • changes in governmental laws and regulations, fiscal policies and zoning ordinances and the related costs of compliance with laws and regulations, fiscal policies and ordinances; • adverse effects of international market conditions, which may diminish the desire for leisure travel or the need for business travel, as well as national, regional and local economic and market conditions in which our hotels operate and where our customers live; and • adverse effects of a downturn in the lodging industry. These factors could harm our financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions to our stockholders. The hotel business is seasonal and seasonal variations in revenue at our hotels can be expected to cause quarterly fluctuations in our revenue. Our revenue is generally highest in the second and third quarters. Quarterly revenue also may be harmed by events beyond our control, such as extreme weather conditions, terrorist attacks or alerts, contagious diseases, airline strikes, economic factors and other considerations affecting travel. To the extent that cash flow from operations is insufficient during any quarter due to temporary or seasonal fluctuations in revenue, we may have to enter into short-term borrowings to make distributions to our stockholders. The threat of terrorism has harmed the hotel industry generally, including our results of operations and these harmful effects may continue or worsen, particularly if there are further terrorist events. The threat of terrorism has had a negative impact on hotel operations and caused a significant decrease in hotel occupancy and ADRs due to disruptions in business and leisure travel patterns and concerns about travel safety. Hotels in major metropolitan 16


  • Page 31

    areas and near airports, such as many of our hotels, have been harmed due to concerns about air travel safety and a significant overall decrease in the amount of air travel, particularly transient business travel, which includes the corporate and premium business segments that generally pay the highest average room rates. Future terrorist acts, terrorism alerts or outbreaks of hostilities could have a negative effect on travel and, correspondingly, on our business. The attacks of September ,  had a dramatic adverse impact on business and leisure travel, hotel occupancy and RevPAR. While there have been recent improvements, the uncertainty associated with the continuing war on terrorism and the possibility of future attacks may continue to hamper business and leisure travel patterns and, accordingly, the performance of our business. The use of Internet travel intermediaries by consumers may harm our profitability as a result of increased commissions or lower room rates. Some of our hotel rooms are booked through independent third party Internet travel intermediaries such as Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Orbitz.com and Hotels.com. For the year , .% of our room revenues were attributable to bookings through these intermediaries. As we may continue to selectively use these third party Internet intermediaries to generate sales, they may be able to obtain higher commissions, reduced room rates or other significant contract concessions from us. If the amount of sales made through Internet intermediaries increases significantly and we fail to appropriately price room inventory in a manner that maximizes yields, or we are unable to do so, our room revenue may flatten or decrease and our profitability may decline. The illiquidity of real estate investments and the lack of alternative uses of hotel properties could significantly limit our ability to respond to adverse changes in the performance of our hotels and harm our financial condition. Because real estate investments are relatively illiquid, our ability to promptly sell one or more of our hotels in response to changing economic, financial and investment conditions is limited. The real estate market, including our hotels, is affected by many factors, such as general economic conditions, availability of financing, interest rates and other factors, including supply and demand, that are beyond our control. We may not be able to sell any of our hotels on favorable terms. It may take a long time to find a willing purchaser and to close the sale of a hotel if we want to sell. Should we decide to sell a hotel during the term of that particular hotel’s management agreement, we may have to pay termination fees, which could be substantial, to the appropriate management company. In addition, hotels may not readily be converted to alternative uses if they were to become unprofitable due to competition, age of improvements, decreased demand or other factors. The conversion of a hotel to alternative uses would also generally require substantial capital expenditures and may give rise to substantial payments to our franchisors, management companies and lenders. We may be required to expend funds to correct defects or to make improvements before a hotel can be sold. We may not have funds available to correct those defects or to make those improvements and, as a result, our ability to sell the hotel would be restricted. In acquiring a hotel, we may agree to lock-out provisions that materially restrict us from selling that hotel for a period of time or impose other restrictions on us, such as a limitation on the amount of debt that can be placed or repaid on that hotel to address specific concerns of sellers. These lock-out provisions would restrict our ability to sell a hotel. These factors and any others that would impede our ability to respond to adverse changes in the performance of our hotels could harm our financial condition and results of operations. Claims by persons relating to our properties could affect the attractiveness of our hotels or cause us to incur additional expenses. We could incur liabilities resulting from loss or injury to our hotels or to persons at our hotels. These losses could be attributable to us or result from actions taken by a management company, including the Management Company. Claims such as these, whether or not they have merit, could harm the reputation of a hotel or cause us to incur expenses to the extent of insurance deductibles or losses in excess of policy limitations, which could harm our results of operations. 17


  • Page 32

    Uninsured and underinsured losses could harm our financial condition, results of operations and ability to make distributions to our stockholders. Various types of catastrophic losses, such as losses due to wars, terrorist acts, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, pollution or environmental matters, generally are either uninsurable or not economically insurable, or may be subject to insurance coverage limitations, such as large deductibles or co-payments. Of our  hotels owned at December , ,  are located in California, which has been historically at greater risk to certain acts of nature (such as fires and earthquakes) than other states. In the event of a catastrophic loss, our insurance coverage may not be sufficient to cover the full current market value or replacement cost of our lost investment. Should an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occur, we could lose all or a portion of the capital we have invested in a hotel, as well as the anticipated future revenue from the hotel. In that event, we might nevertheless remain obligated for any notes payable or other financial obligations related to the property, in addition to obligations to our ground lessors, franchisors and managers. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations and other factors might also keep us from using insurance proceeds to replace or renovate a hotel after it has been damaged or destroyed. Under those circumstances, the insurance proceeds we receive might be inadequate to restore our economic position on the damaged or destroyed hotel. Since September , , it has generally become more difficult and expensive to obtain property and casualty insurance, including coverage for terrorism. When our current insurance policies expire, we may encounter difficulty in obtaining or renewing property or casualty insurance on our hotels at the same levels of coverage and under similar terms. Such insurance may be more limited and for some catastrophic risks (e.g., earthquake, fire, flood and terrorism) may not be generally available at current levels. Even if we are able to renew our policies or to obtain new policies at levels and with limitations consistent with our current policies, we cannot be sure that we will be able to obtain such insurance at premium rates that are commercially reasonable. If we are unable to obtain adequate insurance on our hotels for certain risks, it could cause us to be in default under specific covenants on certain of our indebtedness or other contractual commitments we have to our ground lessors, franchisors and managers which require us to maintain adequate insurance on our properties to protect against the risk of loss. If this were to occur, or if we were unable to obtain adequate insurance and our properties experienced damages which would otherwise have been covered by insurance, it could harm our financial condition and results of operations. Laws and governmental regulations may restrict the ways in which we use our hotel properties and increase the cost of compliance with such regulations. Noncompliance with such regulations could subject us to penalties, loss of value of our properties or civil damages. Our hotel properties are subject to various Federal, state and local laws relating to the environment, fire and safety and access and use by disabled persons. Under these laws, courts and government agencies have the authority to require us, if we are the owner of a contaminated property, to clean up the property, even if we did not know of or were not responsible for the contamination. These laws also apply to persons who owned a property at the time it became contaminated. In addition to the costs of cleanup, environmental contamination can affect the value of a property and, therefore, an owner’s ability to borrow funds using the property as collateral or to sell the property. Under such environmental laws, courts and government agencies also have the authority to require that a person who sent waste to a waste disposal facility, such as a landfill or an incinerator, pay for the clean-up of that facility if it becomes contaminated and threatens human health or the environment. Furthermore, various court decisions have established that third parties may recover damages for injury caused by property contamination. For instance, a person exposed to asbestos while staying in or working at a hotel may seek to recover damages for injuries suffered. Additionally, some of these environmental laws restrict the use of a property or place conditions on various activities. For example, some laws require a business using chemicals (such as swimming pool chemicals at a hotel) to manage them carefully and to notify local officials that the chemicals are being used. We could be responsible for the types of costs discussed above. The costs to clean up a contaminated property, to defend against a claim, or to comply with environmental laws could be material and could reduce the funds available for distribution to 18


  • Page 33

    our stockholders. Future laws or regulations may impose material environmental liabilities on us, or the current environmental condition of our hotel properties may be affected by the condition of the properties in the vicinity of our hotels (such as the presence of leaking underground storage tanks) or by third parties unrelated to us. Our hotel properties are also subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act of , or the ADA. Under the ADA, all public accommodations must meet various Federal requirements related to access and use by disabled persons. Compliance with the ADA’s requirements could require removal of access barriers and non-compliance could result in the U.S. government imposing fines or in private litigants’ winning damages. If we are required to make substantial modifications to our hotels, whether to comply with the ADA or other changes in governmental rules and regulations, our financial condition, results of operations and the ability to make distributions to our stockholders could be harmed. In addition, we are required to operate our hotel properties and laundry facilities in compliance with fire and safety regulations, building codes and other land use regulations, as they may be adopted by governmental agencies and become applicable to our properties. Tax and Employee Benefit Plan Risks If we fail to qualify as a REIT, our distributions will not be deductible by us and our income will be subject to Federal taxation, reducing our cash available for distribution. We are a REIT under the Code, which affords us significant tax advantages. The requirements for qualifying as a REIT, however, are complex. If we fail to meet these requirements, our distributions will not be deductible by us and we will have to pay a corporate Federal level tax on our income. This would substantially reduce our cash available to pay distributions and your yield on your investment in our common stock. In addition, such a tax liability might cause us to borrow funds, liquidate some of our investments or take other steps which could negatively affect our results of operations. Moreover, if our REIT status is terminated because of our failure to meet a technical REIT requirement or if we voluntarily revoke our election, we would generally be disqualified from electing treatment as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year in which REIT status is lost. Even as a REIT, we may become subject to Federal, state or local taxes on our income or property, reducing our cash available for distribution. Even as a REIT, we may become subject to Federal income taxes and related state taxes. For example, if we have net income from a “prohibited transaction,” that income will be subject to a % tax. A “prohibited transaction” is, in general, the sale or other disposition of inventory or property, other than foreclosure property, held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business. We may not be able to make sufficient distributions to avoid excise taxes applicable to REITs. We may also decide to retain income we earn from the sale or other disposition of our property and pay Federal income tax directly on that income. In that event, our stockholders would be treated as if they earned that income and paid the tax on it directly. However, stockholders that are tax-exempt, such as charities or qualified pension plans, would have no benefit from their deemed payment of that tax liability. We may also be subject to state and local taxes on our income or property, either directly or at the level of our operating partnership or at the level of the other companies through which we indirectly own our assets. We cannot assure you that we will be able to continue to satisfy the REIT requirements, or that it will be in our best interests to continue to do so. If the leases of our hotels to our taxable REIT subsidiary are not respected as true leases for Federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT. To qualify as a REIT, we must satisfy two gross income tests, under which specified percentages of our gross income must be passive income, like rent. For the rent paid pursuant to the leases of our hotels to Sunstone Hotel Partnership by our taxable REIT subsidiary, the TRS Lessee, which constitutes substantially all of our gross income, to qualify for purposes of the gross income tests, the leases must be respected as true leases for Federal income tax purposes and not be treated as service contracts, joint ventures or some other type of arrangement. If the leases are not respected as true leases for Federal income tax purposes, we would fail to qualify as a REIT. 19


  • Page 34

    Our taxable REIT subsidiary is subject to special rules that may result in increased taxes. Several Code provisions ensure that a taxable REIT subsidiary is subject to an appropriate level of Federal income taxation. For example, a taxable REIT subsidiary, such as the TRS Lessee, is limited in its ability to deduct interest payments made to an affiliated REIT. In addition, the REIT has to pay a % penalty tax on some payments that it receives if the economic arrangements between us and the taxable REIT subsidiary are not comparable to similar arrangements between unrelated parties. The IRS may successfully assert that the economic arrangements of any of our inter-company transactions, including the hotel leases, are not comparable to similar arrangements between unrelated parties. We may be required to pay a penalty tax upon the sale of a hotel. The Federal income tax provisions applicable to REITs provide that any gain realized by a REIT on the sale of property held as inventory or other property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business is treated as income from a “prohibited transaction” that is subject to a % penalty tax. Under current law, unless a sale of real property qualifies for a safe harbor, the question of whether the sale of a hotel (or other property) constitutes the sale of property held primarily for sale to customers is generally a question of the facts and circumstances regarding a particular transaction. We may make sales that do not satisfy the requirements of the safe harbors or the IRS may successfully assert that one or more of our sales are prohibited transactions and, therefore we may be required to pay a penalty tax. We also may be subject to corporate level income tax on certain built-in gains. We will hold certain properties acquired from C corporations (and may acquire additional such properties in the future), in which we must adopt the C corporation’s tax basis in that asset as our tax basis. If we sell any such property within ten years of the date on which we acquire it, then we will have to pay tax on the gain at the highest regular corporate tax rate. An investment in our common stock or series C preferred stock may not be suitable for every employee benefit plan. When considering an investment in our common stock or series C preferred stock, an individual with investment discretion over assets of any pension plan, profit-sharing plan, retirement plan, individual retirement account under Section (a) of the Code or other employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of , as amended, or ERISA, should consider whether the investment satisfies the requirements of Section  of ERISA or other applicable laws. In particular, attention should be paid to the diversification requirements of Section (a)()(C) of ERISA in light of all the facts and circumstances, including the portion of the plan’s portfolio of which the investment will be a part. All plan investors should also consider whether the investment is prudent and meets plan liquidity requirements as there may be only a limited market in which to sell or otherwise dispose of our common stock, and whether the investment is permissible under the plan’s governing instrument. We have not, and will not, evaluate whether an investment in our common stock or series C preferred stock is suitable for any particular plan. 20


  • Page 35

    Risks Related to Our Common Stock The terms of our management agreements with the Management Company were negotiated by us and Sunstone Hotel Investors, L.L.C., which had a conflict of interest because of the payment it received from the Management Company for its interests in the subsidiary that managed our hotels prior to the formation and structuring transactions consummated at the time of our initial public offering. The initial terms of the management agreements with the Management Company were the result of negotiations among us, Sunstone Hotel Investors, L.L.C. and the Management Company. At the time of the formation and structuring transactions, the Management Company purchased from Sunstone Hotel Investors the corporate subsidiary that managed our hotels and employed the employees of our hotels and paid . million in cash to Sunstone Hotel Investors, L.L.C.; this payment was not contributed to us in the formation and structuring transactions that took place at the time of our initial public offering. As a result of this payment, Sunstone Hotel Investors, L.L.C. had a conflict of interest with us in negotiating the management agreements with the Management Company. We could be exposed to substantial liabilities for events or circumstances that predate the consummation of our initial public offering. In connection with the formation and structuring transactions consummated at the time of our initial public offering, we assumed the liabilities (known and unknown) associated with certain properties and entities contributed to us in connection with those formation and structuring transactions. In addition, in connection with the Management Company’s agreement to purchase the corporate subsidiary of Sunstone Hotel Investors, L.L.C. that managed our hotels and employed the employees of our hotels, the Management Company required that we indemnify it from any liabilities of the corporate subsidiary that accrued prior to the consummation of our initial public offering. These potential liabilities may include, without limitation, liabilities associated with the employees who currently work or previously worked for the corporate subsidiary. At this time, we are not aware of, or able to quantify, any potential liabilities which may arise as a result of our acquisition of the hotel properties and entities in these formation and structuring transactions or the indemnification of the Management Company. Any such claims could give rise to economic liabilities which could be substantial and for which we would have no recourse. If any such liability is established against us, our financial condition could be harmed. The market price of our equity securities may vary substantially. The trading prices of equity securities issued by REITs may be affected by changes in market interest rates. One of the factors that may influence the price of our common stock or preferred stock in public trading markets is the annual yield from distributions on our common stock or preferred stock, if any, as compared to yields on other financial instruments. An increase in market interest rates, or a decrease in our distributions to stockholders, may lead prospective purchasers of our stock to demand a higher annual yield, which could reduce the market price of our equity securities. Other factors that could affect the market price of our equity securities include the following: • actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly or annual results of operations; • changes in market valuations of companies in the hotel or real estate industries; • changes in expectations of our future financial performance or changes in our estimates by securities analysts; • the trading volumes of our stock; • the reputation and performance of our franchisors; • the reputation and performance of the Management Company and any other management companies we utilize; • additional issuances of our common stock or other securities, including the issuance of our preferred stock, in the foreseeable future; 21


  • Page 36

    • the addition or departure of key personnel or board members; • announcements by us or our competitors of acquisitions, investments or strategic alliances; • adverse market reaction to any increased indebtedness we incur in the future; and • general market, economic and political conditions and world events. Our distributions to stockholders may change. We paid a quarterly dividend of . per share of common stock and membership unit, a quarterly dividend of . per share of series A cumulative redeemable preferred stock, or the series A preferred, and a quarterly dividend of . per share of series C cumulative convertible preferred stock, or the series C preferred, on October ,  to stockholders of record on September , . We paid a quarterly dividend of . per share of common stock, a quarterly dividend of . per share of series A preferred, and a quarterly dividend of . per share of series C preferred on January ,  to stockholders of record on December , . Distributions will be authorized and determined by our board of directors in its sole discretion from time to time and will be dependent upon a number of factors, including restrictions under applicable law and our capital requirements. Consequently, our dividend levels may fluctuate. Item B. Unresolved Staff Comments None. 22


  • Page 37

    Item . Hotel Properties The following table sets forth additional summary information with respect to our hotel portfolio as of December , : Year Year Year Chain Scale Service Acquired/ Opened/ Last Hotel City State Segment() Category Rooms Developed Redeveloped Renovated Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Houston Texas Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Napa California Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ogden Utah Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ontario California Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Park City Utah Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Philadelphia Pennsylvania Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Portland Oregon Upper Upscale Full Service    N/A Marriott() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Provo Utah Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pueblo Colorado Upper Upscale Full Service    N/A Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Riverside California Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rochester Minnesota Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salt Lake City Utah Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Troy Michigan Upper Upscale Full Service     Marriott . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tyson’s Corner Virginia Upper Upscale Full Service     Renaissance Concourse() . . . . . Atlanta Georgia Upper Upscale Full Service     Renaissance Harborplace() . . . . Baltimore Maryland Upper Upscale Full Service     Renaissance Long Beach . . . . . . Los Angeles (Long Beach) California Upper Upscale Full Service     Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World() () . . . . . . . . . . . Orlando Florida Upper Upscale Full Service     Renaissance Washington District of D.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Washington, D.C. Columbia Upper Upscale Full Service     Renaissance Westchester . . . . . . New York (White Plains) New York Upper Upscale Full Service     Courtyard by Marriott . . . . . . . Fresno California Upscale Full Service     Courtyard by Marriott() . . . . . . Los Angeles California Upscale Full Service     Courtyard by Marriott . . . . . . . Lynnwood Washington Upscale Full Service    N/A Courtyard by Marriott . . . . . . . Oxnard California Upscale Full Service     Courtyard by Marriott . . . . . . . Riverside California Upscale Full Service     Courtyard by Marriott . . . . . . . San Diego (Old Town) California Upscale Full Service     Courtyard by Marriott . . . . . . . Santa Fe New Mexico Upscale Full Service     Residence Inn by Marriott . . . . Manhattan Beach California Upscale Extended Stay     Residence Inn by Marriott() . . . Oxnard California Upscale Extended Stay     Residence Inn by Marriott . . . . Rochester Minnesota Upscale Extended Stay    N/A Residence Inn by Marriott . . . . Sacramento California Upscale Extended Stay     Hyatt Regency Century Los Angeles Plaza() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Century City) California Upper Upscale Full Service     Hyatt Regency() . . . . . . . . . . . . Newport Beach California Upper Upscale Full Service     Hyatt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Marietta Georgia Upper Upscale Full Service     Hawthorn Suites . . . . . . . . . . . Kent Washington Upscale Extended Stay     Hawthorn Suites . . . . . . . . . . . Sacramento California Upscale Extended Stay     Fairmont() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles (Newport Beach) California Luxury Full Service     Hilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Del Mar California Upper Upscale Full Service     Hilton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Huntington New York Upper Upscale Full Service     Doubletree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Minneapolis Minnesota Upscale Full Service     Embassy Suites Hotel . . . . . . . . Chicago Illinois Upper Upscale Extended Stay     Hilton Garden Inn . . . . . . . . . . Lake Oswego Oregon Upscale Full Service    N/A Sheraton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salt Lake City Utah Upper Upscale Full Service     Sheraton Cerritos() . . . . . . . . . . Los Angeles (Cerritos) California Upper Upscale Full Service     Holiday Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Boise Idaho Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Craig Colorado Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hollywood California Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Price Utah Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rochester Minnesota Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . San Diego (Harborview) California Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . San Diego (Stadium) California Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn Select . . . . . . . . . . Renton Washington Midscale with F/B Full Service     Holiday Inn Express . . . . . . . . . San Diego (Old Town) California Midscale without F/B Limited Service     Crowne Plaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grand Rapids Michigan Upscale Full Service     Crowne Plaza() . . . . . . . . . . . . . Englewood New Jersey Upscale Full Service     Crowne Plaza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Williamsburg Virginia Upscale Full Service     Wyndham . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Houston Texas Upscale Full Service     Independent—Valley River Inn() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eugene Oregon Upscale Full Service     Independent—The Kahler Grand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rochester Minnesota Upscale Full Service   , Various  Independent—Economy Inn and Suites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rochester Minnesota Midscale with F/B Extended Stay   Various  () As defined by Smith Travel Research. “F/B” refers to food and beverage. 23


  • Page 38

    () Includes an , square foot spa. () Subject to a ground lease. () Includes a , square foot conference facility. () Hotel parking lot is subject to a reciprocal easement agreement with a third party regarding the use of parking facilities owned by that third party. () Includes , square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, and a , square foot spa. () Subject to an air rights lease. () % ownership interest. In addition to our hotel properties, we own an , square foot laundry facility in Rochester, Minnesota and lease a , square foot laundry facility in Salt Lake City, Utah. The facility in Rochester, Minnesota services our hotels in the area, as well as the Mayo Clinic. The facility in Salt Lake City, Utah services both our hotels in the area, as well as third party contracts. We also manage a , square foot third-party conference facility in Ogden, Utah for a third party. In addition, we own three undeveloped parcels of land, in Price, Utah; Craig, Colorado; and Rochester, Minnesota. Please see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Acquisition, Sale and Major Redevelopment Activity—Hotel Acquisitions Since December , ” for a discussion of acquisition activity since year end. Geographic Diversity We own a geographically diverse portfolio of hotels located in  states and in Washington, D.C. with a concentration of hotels in the western United States. The following table summarizes our portfolio by region, and includes the percentage of our  revenues for the  hotels we owned as of December , : Percentage of  Region Number of Hotels Number of Rooms Revenues California() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , .% Other West() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , . Midwest() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , . Middle Atlantic() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , . South() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , . Southwest() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , . Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , .% () All but four of these hotels are located in Southern California. () Includes Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. () Includes Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. () Includes New Jersey, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. () Includes Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. () Includes New Mexico and Texas. 24


  • Page 39

    The following table presents our occupancy, average daily rate, or ADR, and RevPAR by geographic region for our hotels for ,  and . These statistics reflect the  hotels that we owned as of December ,  and may include periods prior to when we acquired our interest in the hotels.    Region Occupancy ADR RevPAR Occupancy ADR RevPAR Occupancy ADR RevPAR California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .% .  . .% .  . .%  .  . Other West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Midwest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Middle Atlantic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . South . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Southwest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Weighted Average . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Item . Legal Proceedings During , a suit against our predecessor companies was filed by a hotel guest who became ill and alleged the illness resulted from exposure to a Legionella bacteria during a stay at one of our formerly owned hotels. We have liability insurance to cover this claim subject to certain insurance deductibles. The litigation has commenced and we and the insurance company’s lawyers have not been able to assess the exposure, if any, to us associated with this litigation. In addition, we are involved from time to time in various claims and other legal actions in the ordinary course of business. We do not believe that the resolution of such additional matters will have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations when resolved. Item . Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders None. 25


  • Page 40

    PART II Item . Market for Registrant’s Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) under the symbol “SHO”. On January , , the last reported price per share of common stock on the NYSE was .. The table below sets forth the high and low closing price per share of our common stock as reported on the NYSE and the cash dividends per share of common stock we declared with respect to each period. Our common stock commenced trading on the NYSE on October ,  as a result of our initial public offering. High Low Distributions : Period October ,  through December ,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  . : First Quarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . Second Quarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  . Third Quarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  . Fourth Quarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . We pay quarterly cash dividends to common stockholders at the discretion of our Board of Directors. The amount of each quarterly cash dividend depends on our funds from operations, financial condition and capital requirements, annual distribution requirements under the REIT provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and such other factors our Board of Directors deems relevant. As of February , , we had approximately , holders of record of our common stock. In order to comply with certain requirements related to our qualification as a REIT, our charter limits the number of common shares that may be owned by any single person or affiliated group to .% of the outstanding common shares. As one Section D filer previously exceeded the .% threshold, the Company’s Board of Directors executed a waiver on October , , which allowed for this exception. The Company’s Board of Directors also granted a waiver in June  to a Schedule G filer in connection with its investment in the Company. 26


  • Page 41

    Item . Selected Financial and Operating Data The following table sets forth selected financial information for the Company and its predecessor companies, or the Predecessor, that has been derived from the consolidated and combined financial statements and notes. This information should be read in conjunction with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and our consolidated and combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form -K. The Company The Predecessor Period Period October , January , Year Ended  through  through Year Ended Year Ended Year Ended December , December , October , December , December , December ,       Operating Data ( in thousands): Revenues: Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  ,  , ,  ,  , , Food and beverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Other operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Management and other fees from affiliates . . . . . . . . . . .     Total revenues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Operating expenses: Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Food and beverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Other operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Advertising and promotion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Repairs and maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Franchise costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Property tax, ground lease and insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Property general and administrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Corporate overhead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Depreciation and amortization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Impairment loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , Goodwill amortization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , Total operating expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , , Operating income (loss) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , () , , , , Interest and other income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,    , , Interest expense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) (,) (,) (,) (,) (,) Income (loss) before minority interest, income taxes, cumulative effect of change in accounting principle and discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , (,)  (,) (,) (,) Minority interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) ,  () Income tax benefit (provision) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . () , , , Income (loss) from continuing operations before cumulative effect of change in accounting principle and discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , (,)  (,) () (,) Cumulative effect of change in accounting principle . . . . (,) Income (loss) from discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . , () (,) (,) (,) (,) Net income (loss) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,  (,)  (,)  (,)  (,)  (,) Preferred stock dividends and accretion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) Net income available to common stockholders . . . . . . . .  , Cash flows from operating activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  ,  ,  ,  ,  ,  , Balance sheet data ( in thousands): Investment in hotel properties, net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,, ,,  ,,  ,,  , Total assets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,, ,, ,, ,, , Total debt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,, , , , , Total liabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,, , ,, ,, , Equity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , , , Common stock/membership unit information (in thousands): Common stock outstanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , Membership units outstanding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , Unvested restricted stock issuable() . . . . . . . . . . . . .   Total diluted common stock, membership units and unvested restricted stock units outstanding . . . . . . . . . , , () Shares of common stock issuable related to unvested restricted stock units. 27


  • Page 42

    Item . Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations Overview We own primarily luxury, upper upscale and upscale hotels in the United States operated under leading brand names franchised or licensed from others, such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Fairmont, Starwood, and Wyndham. Operations Our financial data prior to October ,  is for our predecessor companies, or the Predecessor, who owned and operated the hotels during the periods presented. In conjunction with our initial public offering, we made substantial changes to our operations to effect certain formation and structuring transactions and to qualify and elect to be treated as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, under the Internal Revenue Code of , as amended, or the Code. As a result, our historical results of operations prior to October ,  are not indicative of our current or future results of operations. Formation and structuring transactions and our initial public offering. As a result of our initial public offering and the related formation and structuring transactions, the following items affect the comparability of our results from and after October , , and our results prior to that date: • the payment of management fees to the Management Company which assumed responsibility for our hotel operations at the majority of our hotels pursuant to the management agreements with us; • the reduction of corporate general and administrative costs as a result of the transfer of employees to the Management Company; • the reflection of a minority interest to give effect to the interests in Sunstone Hotel Partnership owned by the predecessor companies (which subsequently were converted into shares of our common stock); • the exclusion of two hotels that were not contributed to us; • the reduction in interest expense as a result of the repayment of some of our notes payable; • the reduction in ground lease expense reflecting the acquisition of the ground lessor’s interest in the land under the Embassy Suites Hotel, Chicago, Illinois; and • the incremental costs associated with operating as a public company. REIT structure. For us to qualify as a REIT, our income cannot be derived from our operation of hotels. Therefore, consistent with the provisions of the Code, Sunstone Hotel Partnership and its subsidiaries have leased our hotel properties to our taxable REIT subsidiary lessee, Sunstone Hotel TRS Lessee, Inc., or the TRS Lessee, which has in turn contracted with “eligible independent contractors” to manage our hotels. Under the Code, an “eligible independent contractor” is an independent contractor who is actively engaged in the trade or business of operating “qualified lodging facilities” for any person unrelated to us and the TRS Lessee. Sunstone Hotel Partnership and the TRS Lessee are consolidated into our financial statements for accounting purposes. Since we control both Sunstone Hotel Partnership and our TRS Lessee, our principal source of funds on a consolidated basis are from the performance of our hotels. The earnings of the TRS Lessee are subject to taxation like other C corporations, which reduce our operating results, funds from operations and the cash otherwise available for distribution to our stockholders. Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations Revenues. Substantially all of our revenues are derived from the operation of our hotels. Specifically, our revenues consist of the following: • Room revenue, which is primarily driven by occupancy and average daily rate; • Food and beverage revenue, which is primarily driven by occupancy and banquet/catering bookings; 28


  • Page 43

    • Other operating revenue, which consists of ancillary hotel revenue such as performance guarantees, telephone, transportation, parking, spa, entertainment and other guest services and is primarily driven by occupancy. Additionally, this category includes operating revenue from our two commercial laundry facilities located in Rochester, Minnesota and Salt Lake City, Utah and our electronic purchasing platform, Buy Efficient, L.L.C.; and • Management and other fees from affiliates, which consists of other non-operating income and management and other fees from our affiliates prior to our initial public offering. The following performance indicators are commonly used in the hotel industry: • occupancy; • average daily rate, or ADR; • revenue per available room, or RevPAR, which is the product of occupancy and ADR, but does not include food and beverage revenue, other operating revenue or management and other fees from affiliates. Operating costs and expenses. Our operating costs and expenses consist of the following: • Room expense, which like room revenue, is primarily driven by occupancy and, therefore, has a significant correlation with room revenue; • Food and beverage expense, which like food and beverage revenue, is primarily driven by occupancy and banquet and catering bookings and, therefore, has a significant correlation with food and beverage revenue; • Other operating expense, which consists of the corresponding expense of other operating revenue, advertising and promotion, repairs and maintenance, utilities, and franchise fees and assessments categories; • Property tax, ground lease and insurance expense, which consists of the expenses associated with property tax, ground lease and insurance payments, each of which are primarily fixed expenses; • Property general and administrative expense, which consists of our property-level general and administrative expenses, such as payroll and related costs, professional fees, and travel expenses, as well as management fees with respect to our hotels; • Corporate overhead expense, which consists of our corporate-level expenses such as payroll and related costs, amortization of deferred stock compensation, professional fees, travel expenses and office rent; and • Depreciation and amortization expense, which consists of depreciation on our hotel buildings, improvements, furniture, fixtures and equipment (since January , , we have not amortized our goodwill). Most categories of variable operating expenses, such as utilities and certain labor costs, such as housekeeping, fluctuate with changes in occupancy. Increases in RevPAR attributable to improvements in occupancy are accompanied by increases in most categories of variable operating costs and expenses. Increases in RevPAR attributable to improvements in ADR typically only result in increases in limited categories of operating costs and expenses, primarily credit card commissions, franchise fees and franchise assessments. Thus, improvements in ADR have a more significant impact on improving our operating margins than occupancy. We continually seek to improve our operating leverage, which generally refers to the ability to generate incremental profit based on limited variable costs. Notwithstanding our efforts to reduce variable costs, there are limits to how much we or the Management Company and our other operators can accomplish in that regard without affecting the competitiveness of our hotels and our guests’ experiences at our hotels. Furthermore, we have significant fixed costs, such as depreciation and amortization, insurance, principal and interest payments on our debt, and other expenses associated with owning hotels that do not necessarily decrease when circumstances such as market factors cause a reduction in our hotel revenue. For example, we have experienced increases in wages, employee benefits (especially workers’ compensation in our California hotels and health insurance) and utility costs, which negatively affected our operating margin. Our historical performance may not be indicative of future results, and our future results may be worse than our historical performance. 29


  • Page 44

    Acquisition, Sale and Major Redevelopment Activity Our results during the periods discussed have been, and our future results will be, affected by our acquisition, sale and redevelopment activity during the applicable period. Acquisition of hotels. The following table sets forth the hotels that we, or our Predecessor, acquired or developed from the beginning of  through December , , and indicates their room count and acquisition date: Hotel Rooms Acquisition Date  Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  October ,  Fairmont Hotel, Newport Beach, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  July ,  Sheraton Hotel, Cerritos, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World, Orlando, Florida() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Renaissance Harborplace, Baltimore, Maryland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Renaissance Concourse, Atlanta, Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Renaissance Long Beach, Long Beach, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Renaissance Westchester, White Plains, New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Renaissance Washington, D.C., Washington D.C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June , ()  Residence Inn by Marriott, Rochester, Minnesota . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June , () JW Marriott, Cherry Creek, Colorado() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  April ,   Residence Inn by Marriott, Manhattan Beach, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  June ,  Marriott, Ontario, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  January ,  Total January ,  to December ,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , () Acquired % ownership interest. () Acquired % ownership interest on June , , and the remaining % interest July , . () Opening date of developed hotel. () Following our initial public offering, this hotel is not a part of our hotel portfolio. The aggregate cost for these  hotel acquisitions was approximately $. billion, or $, per room. Acquisition of hotels since December , . On January , , we acquired the -room San Diego Marriott Del Mar located in San Diego, California for approximately . million, or approximately , per room. The hotel will continue to be managed by Marriott International. Concurrent with the acquisition, we closed on a fixed-rate loan totaling . million at a rate of .%. The loan is interest only for five years and will mature in . On January , , we signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the Hilton Times Square located in New York City on nd Street a half block west of Times Square for a purchase price of approximately . million. The hotel is currently managed by Hilton Hotels. The acquisition, which is expected to close during the first quarter of , remains subject to certain closing conditions. We will finance the acquisition primarily through the assumption of . million of debt due in  with a rate of .% per annum and with approximately . million we received following the closing on February ,  of our follow-on public offering of ,, newly issued primary shares. 30


  • Page 45

    Sale of hotels. The following table sets forth the hotels that we, or our Predecessor, sold from the beginning of  through December , , and indicates their room count and sale date: Hotel Rooms Sale Date  Holiday Inn, Provo, Utah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  December ,  Doubletree, Carson, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  April ,  Holiday Inn, Mesa, Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  April ,   San Marcos Resort, Chandler, Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  November ,  Holiday Inn, Flagstaff, Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  November ,  Concord Hotel and Conference Center, Concord, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  September ,  Four Points—Sheraton, Silverthorne, Colorado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  August ,  Holiday Inn, Anchorage, Alaska . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  May ,  Holiday Inn, La Mirada, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  May ,  Hawthorn Suites, Anaheim, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  April ,   Marriott, Woodland Hills, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  December ,  Hampton Inn, Clackamas, Oregon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  October ,  Hilton Garden Inn, Sacramento, California . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  July ,  Hampton Inn, Denver, Colorado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  July ,  Hampton Inn, Pueblo, Colorado . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  July ,  Hampton Inn, Mesa, Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  July ,  Hampton Inn, Tucson, Arizona . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  July ,  , The aggregate net sale proceeds for the  closed hotel dispositions through December ,  was . million, or , per room. The results of operations of all of the hotels identified above and the gains or losses on dispositions through December ,  are included in discontinued operations for all periods presented through the time of sale. The proceeds from the sales are included in our cash flows from investing activities for the respective periods. 31


  • Page 46

    The following table summarizes our portfolio and room data (including that of our Predecessor) from the beginning of  through December , , adjusted for the hotels acquired and sold during the respective periods.    Portfolio Data—Hotels Number of hotels—beginning of period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    Add: Acquisitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  —  Add: Developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — () — Less: Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . () () () Less: Assets not included . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — ()() — Number of hotels—end of period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    Portfolio Data—Rooms Number of rooms—beginning of period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , Add: Acquisitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  — , Add: Developments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . —  () — Add: Room expansions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   — Less: Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) (,) () Less: Rooms converted to other usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — — () Less: Assets not included . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — () () — Number of rooms—end of period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , Average rooms per hotel—end of period . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    () Reflects the opening of the Residence Inn by Marriott, Rochester, Minnesota and the acquisition of the JW Marriott, Cherry Creek, Colorado. () Reflects the exclusion of the JW Marriott, Cherry Creek, Colorado ( rooms) and the Embassy Suites Hotel, Los Angeles, California ( rooms) that were not contributed in connection with our initial public offering. 32


  • Page 47

    Operating Results Comparison of  to  The following table presents our operating results for  and , including the amount and percentage change in the results between the two periods. The operating results for  have been derived by combining the Predecessor results for the period of January ,  through October , , and our results for the period October ,  through December , . These period amounts can be found in our consolidated and combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form -K.   Change  Change % (dollars in thousands, except statistical data) Revenues Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , ,  , .% Food and beverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Other operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Management and other fees from affiliates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . —  () (.) Total revenues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Operating expenses Hotel operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Property general and administrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Corporate overhead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , (,) (.) Depreciation and amortization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Impairment loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — , (,) (.) Total operating expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Operating income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Interest and other income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,  , . Interest expense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) (,)  (.) Income (loss) before minority interest, income taxes and discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , (,) , . Minority interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) , (,) (.) Income tax provision . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . — ()  NA Income (loss) from continuing operations before discontinued operations . . . . . . , (,) , (.) Income (loss) from discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , (,) , . Net income (loss) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,  (,)  , . Preferred stock dividends and accretion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) Income available to common stockholders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  , Operating statistics Occupancy() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .% .% .% .% Average daily rate() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  . .% RevPAR() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  . .% () Excludes hotels held in discontinued operations, which are described under “—Income (loss) from discontinued operations.” Room revenue. Room revenue increased . million, or .%, to . million for the year ended December , , from . million for the year ended December  . This increase was primarily due to . million in room revenue generated 33


  • Page 48

    from the nine hotels we acquired during . In addition, organic growth in our existing portfolio base contributed . million due to increases in ADR and in occupancy. These increases were partially offset by . million in room revenue related to properties that were included in our  results of operations but were not contributed to us by our Predecessor. Food and beverage revenue. Food and beverage revenue increased . million, or .%, to . million for the year ended December ,  from . million for the year ended December , . This increase was primarily due to . million contributed by our nine new hotels, as well as . million generated from increased food and beverage revenue at our existing locations during  as compared with , partially offset by . million from properties that were included in our  results of operations but were not contributed to us by our Predecessor. Other operating revenue. Other operating revenue increased . million, or .%, to . million for the year ended December ,  from . million for the year December , . Our nine newly acquired hotels contributed . million to other operating revenue during . This increase was partially offset by a decrease of . million from properties that were included in our  results of operations but were not contributed to us by our Predecessor. Other operating revenue at our existing hotels remained relatively constant in  as compared to . Management and other fees from affiliates. Management and other fees from affiliates in  relate to the Doubletree, Nashville, Tennessee and Residence Inn by Marriott, Beverly Hills, California, which are properties owned by affiliates. Following our initial public offering, we no longer provide any services for, or receive any management or other fees from, these hotels. Hotel operating expenses. Hotel operating expenses, which are comprised of room, food and beverage, advertising and promotion, repairs and maintenance, utilities, and other hotel operating expenses increased . million, or .%, to . million for the year ended December ,  from . million for the year ended December , . Our newly acquired hotels contributed . million in hotel operating expense during . In addition, hotel operating expenses in our existing hotel portfolio increased . million during  as compared with  primarily as a result of increases in room expenses, food and beverage expenses, advertising and promotion, and franchise costs. These increases were partially offset by . million in hotel operating expenses from properties that were included in our  results of operations but were not contributed to us by our Predecessor, as well as ground lease expense incurred in  but which ground lease was purchased as a part of our formation and structuring transactions in connection with our initial public offering. Property general and administrative expense. Property general and administrative expense increased . million, or .%, to . million for the year ended December ,  from . million for the year ended December , . Of the increase, our newly acquired hotels contributed . million during . The remaining increase was due to . million in management and accounting fees payable to the Management Company that were not payable in  prior to our initial public offering, other hotel specific expenses, such as increased credit card commissions and franchise fees associated with the overall increase in revenue, partially offset by properties that were included in our  results of operations but were not contributed to us by our Predecessor. Corporate overhead expense. Corporate general and administrative expense decreased to . million during  as compared with . million during , primarily as a result of the decrease in salaries and wages attributable to the transfer of certain employees to the Management Company, partially offset by the increased costs of being a public company. Depreciation and amortization expense. Depreciation and amortization increased . million to . million for the year ended December ,  from . million for the year ended December , , primarily as a result of the nine hotels acquired during , which contributed . million, slightly offset by properties that were included in our  results of operations but were not contributed to us by our Predecessor. 34


  • Page 49

    Interest expense. Interest expense decreased . million to . million for the year ended December ,  from . million for the year ended December , . We incurred an additional . million in interest expense during  as compared with  due to greater outstanding loan balances in  as compared with , as we obtained additional loans to finance our acquisitions. This was offset by a decrease in deferred financing fees amortization of . million, a decrease in prepayment penalties of . million, and a decrease in loss on interest rate capitalization agreements of . million in  as compared with . Our total notes payable, including the current portion, was ,. million at December ,  and . million at December , , with a weighted average interest rate per annum of approximately .% at December ,  and .% at December , . At December , , .% of the amount outstanding under our notes payable was fixed and .% of the amount outstanding under our notes payable was floating. Provision for income taxes. As limited liability companies, the predecessor companies were pass-through entities and not liable for Federal and certain state income taxes, which were the responsibility of their respective members. However, some of our predecessor companies were corporations that were liable for taxes on their earnings. We maintain a taxable REIT subsidiary which is liable for taxes on its earnings. The change in the tax provision is attributable to the historical tax provision for our predecessor companies being eliminated. Income (loss) from discontinued operations. Income (loss) from discontinued operations totaled income of . million for the year ended December , , as compared with a loss of . million for the year ended December , . As described under “—Acquisition, Sale and Major Redevelopment Activity—Sale of Hotels,” we sold seven hotels in  and three hotels in . We have an agreement to sell one hotel, which is expected to close in February . Consistent with Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. , “Accounting for the Impairment or Disposal of Long-Lived Assets,” we have reclassified the results of operations for these hotels as discontinued operations. 35


  • Page 50

    Comparison of  to  The following table presents our operating results for  and , including the amount and percentage change in the results between the two periods. The operating results for  have been derived by combining the Predecessor results for the period of January ,  through October , , and our results for the period October ,  through December , . These period amounts can be found in our consolidated and combined financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form -K.   Change  Change % (dollars in thousands, except statistical data) Revenues Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,  ,  , .% Food and beverage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Other operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Management and other fees from affiliates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   () (.) Total revenues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Operating expenses Hotel operating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Property general and administrative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Corporate overhead . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Depreciation and amortization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Impairment loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , (,) (.) Total operating expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , , , . Operating income , , , . Interest and other income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   () (.) Interest expense . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) (,) (,) (.) Loss before minority interest, income taxes and discontinued operations . . . . . . . . (,) (,) , . Minority interest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . , () , . Income tax (provision) benefit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . () , (,) (.) Loss from continuing operations before discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) (,) , . Loss from discontinued operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (,) (,) (,) (.) Net loss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  (,) (,)  (,) (.) Operating statistics Occupancy() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .% .% .% .% Average daily rate() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  . .% RevPAR() . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  .  .  . .% () Excludes hotels held in discontinued operations, which are described under “—Income (loss) from discontinued operations.” Room revenue. Room revenue increased primarily as a result of increases in occupancy, particularly at those hotels we had recently renovated, along with a moderate increase in ADR due to improving pricing ability at our fully renovated hotels. The strong operating improvements in  compared to  are primarily attributable to five factors: • a number of our hotels were under renovation, causing significant operating disruption in , and the hotels were fully renovated by the beginning of ; • a number of our hotels had new property-level management teams in , and the management teams were in place for more than one year at the beginning of  with a stronger understanding of their respective local markets and hotels; 36

  • View More

Get the full picture and Receive alerts on lawsuits, news articles, publications and more!