5 things to know: 4 May 2017
5 things to know: 4 May 2017
04 MAY 2017 9:18 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Independent hotels gain online review advantage over brands
  • Battle looms over double voting rights for AccorHotels shareholders
  • Hotels amp up meeting options with tech, F&B and wellness
  • US hotel results for week ending 29 April
  • Seattle’s Columbia Hospitality buys local management company

Independent hotels gain online review advantage over brands: A study through the UCLA Anderson School of Management has found the margin between branded hotels and independent hotels is narrowing, The Wall Street Journal reports, and the change is likely because of online reviews and ratings.

The study looked at 15 years of hotel revenue and 1.5 million online reviews from several platforms. It found that branded hotels’ revenue lead over independent hotels fell from 32% to 19% between 2000 and 2015, the newspaper reports. Guests generally know what to expect when they stay at a branded hotel, the newspaper reports, but until online reviews became prevalent, the only way guests knew anything about an independent hotel was if they had already stayed there.

Battle looms over double voting rights for Accor shareholders: AccorHotels might be in for a fight with some of its investors who want to block double voting rights for some of the company’s long-term shareholders, Reuters reports.

Newer investors from China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar now hold a 29% stake in the company, the news agency reports, and a group of 14 shareholders led by a shareholder advisory group is concerned the newer investors will have “more control over the company without having to pay a premium for that advantage.”

“Only respecting the ‘one share-one vote’ principle could prevent one of the new major shareholders, notably the Chinese competitor Jin Jiang which for the time being is still denied a seat on the board, from weighing in on group decisions without having to launch a takeover bid,” the advisory group told Reuters.

Hotels amp up meeting options with tech, F&B and wellness: Hoteliers are constantly working to keep their meeting spaces competitive, writes HNN’s Dana Miller, so they are pushing changes and updates to meet the needs of their guests. In their efforts to modernize their spaces, hoteliers have focused on reliable and fast Wi-Fi, innovative technology offerings, new food-and-beverage options and guest wellness.

“People who plan events like to hold them at venues where they have a relationship, the spaces meet their needs, they have a level of trust in the service delivery, and the planning process is stress-free. Often event attendees want complimentary Wi-Fi, and if planners don’t provide it, they add stress for themselves,” said Ed Netzhammer, managing director at Omni Dallas Hotel. “While AV revenue benefits the hotel, our goal in offering it free is to create a relationship where both of us want to work together as often as we can.”

US hotel results for week ending 29 April: New data from STR, HNN’s parent company, shows the U.S. hotel industry saw positive results for the week ending 29 April. Occupancy increased by 3.7% year over year to 70.3% and average daily rate grew 5.1% to $127.50, resulting an 8.9% increase in revenue per available room to $89.65.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania/New Jersey market had the largest increase in RevPAR among the top 25 markets, growing 28.7% to $132.05 as occupancy increased 7.1% to 82% and ADR grew 20.1% to $161.06. New Orleans, Louisiana, saw the sharpest declines, with occupancy falling 6% to 78.2%, ADR dropping 7.4% to $174.35 and RevPAR decreasing 13% to $136.31.

Seattle’s Columbia Hospitality buys local management company: Columbia Hospitality in Seattle has acquired Coastal Hotels, The Seattle Times reports, taking on the management company’s 560 employees, six hotels and two golf courses in Washington and Arizona. Coastal Hotels CEO Yogi Hutsen will join Columbia as an EVP.

The acquisition includes the 167-room Cedarbrook Lodge in SeaTac; the 90-room Best Western Plus Heritage Inn in Bellingham, Washington; and the under-construction 189-room Landmark Hotel in Tukwila, Washington. The two Arizona properties are the Lodge on the Desert in Tucson and the Sheraton Mesa.

Columbia declined to release the terms of the deal, according to the Times article.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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