5 things to know: 1 March 2017
5 things to know: 1 March 2017
01 MARCH 2017 10:25 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Trump renews campaign promises in speech to Congress
  • 2017 could be year for domestic investors in the US
  • HNN’s Q4 earnings roundup
  • NYC's Waldorf Astoria now closed for condo conversion
  • Charleston limits ability to redevelop buildings into hotels

Trump renews campaign promises in speech to Congress: President Donald Trump gave his first address to Congress 28 February, further pushing promises made on the campaign trail but in a much gentler tone, The Washington Post reports.

Though he did not provide specific details of any plans, he spoke about overhauling the Affordable Care Act, the tax code and the nation’s infrastructure while also defending his executive order banning refugees and travelers from seven Middle Eastern countries, the newspaper reports.

The president’s “pro-growth stance” in his speech led to higher U.S. stock index futures this morning, Reuters reports.

2017 could be year for domestic investors in the U.S.: Investors in the U.S. are taking an interest in hotel assets “closer to home” as the economy improves and hotel occupancy has reached a new record, according to a Jones Lang LaSalle article.

“Hotel real estate investment trusts have seen a resurgence in their share prices, up about 20% just in the last few months,” said Lauro Ferroni, JLL’s global head of hotels and hospitality research. “And in years when those types of buyers are active, they buy up to $4 billion of hotels per year. Private equity funds also have quite a bit of cash to deploy, and in some cases, they’re actually under pressure to invest and buy hotels.”

The article also reports foreign investment is likely to decrease, citing the Chinese government’s recent efforts to stem outbound investments.

HNN’s Q4 earnings roundup: Reporters and editors at Hotel News Now have been covering the fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings calls for hotel brand companies and real estate investment trusts. HNN has put together a landing page to make it easier to find and read all of its coverage of this round of quarterly earnings calls for these publicly traded companies.

Today’s news includes La Quinta Holdings executives saying little about the possible split of its real estate business from its franchise and management businesses, Extended Stay America’s strong fourth-quarter and full-year performance, and Belmond executives offering details on how its Brazilian properties affected the company overall.

NYC's Waldorf Astoria now closed for condo conversion: One of the most iconic hotels in the country, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City is now closed as construction workers over the next three years convert a large portion of the property into condo units, ABC 7 in New York reports.

The luxury hotel has been celebrated for its art deco décor, the celebrities it has attracted and the galas thrown there.

The hotel’s owner, China-based Anbang Insurance Group, has said it will preserve the interior of the hotel and reopen some hotel rooms. But, according to the news station’s report, few believe the property will be the same. Anbang bought the property for $1.95 billion in 2014 from Hilton.

Charleston limits ability to redevelop buildings into hotels: Charleston, South Carolina, City Council approved an ordinance that removes 86 properties for the city’s accommodation overlay zone, which is the only area in the city’s peninsula where hotels can be built, The Post and Courier reports.

Owners of properties in this area—including offices, housing, churches and city-owned properties—will have a more difficult time applying for permission to redevelop them as hotels. This is the city’s third attempt to curb hotel growth in Charleston.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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