5 things to know: 12 May 2017
5 things to know: 12 May 2017
12 MAY 2017 9:27 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Queensgate completes Generator buy, replaces CEO
  • US preliminary April data shows occupancy declines
  • How hotels manage operations around social groups
  • Ashford Prime buy Hotel Yountville for $96.5m
  • Caesars passes legal step toward restructuring

Queensgate completes Generator buy, replaces CEO: Queensgate Investments has completed the €450-million ($489 million) acquisition of Generator Hostels, which it announced in March, and named a new CEO, Alastair Thomann, according to a company news release.

According to an article by The Times, executives at Queensgate had asked “Fredrik Korallus, chief executive since 2015, and Paul Harries, (CFO) since 2014, to leave Generator as soon as the deal was completed.”

Queensgate itself also has a new COO, André Guettouche, according to the news release. Both Thomann and Guettouche come from Penta Hotels, where they were CEO and SVP, respectively.

U.S. preliminary April data shows occupancy declines: Total U.S. hotel occupancy for April 2017 saw a change of between -4% and 1% from April 2016, according to preliminary data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now.

The upscale and upper upscale chain scale segments were hit the hardest, with occupancy declining by as much as 4% and revenue per available room dropping by as much as 3%, the early data shows. The economy segment fared the best, with occupancy of between -1% and 1% and revenue per available room growth of between 2% and 4% in year-over-year comparisons for the month.

Despite lower occupancy, total U.S. average daily rate was up across the board—between flat to 2% growth in upper midscale and 4% to 6% growth in luxury.

How hotels manage operations around social groups: Small social groups, such as wedding parties and family reunions, are big business for some hotels, writes Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess. Managers at hotels in Tennessee, Texas, Georgia and Ohio talked with HNN about how they manage those guests during peak seasons.

“We … may have two weddings in a day, brunch and then a dinner,” said Bill Petrella, GM of the Hotel Emma in San Antonio, Texas. “Every weekend is really an exciting time for us to partner with the bride and groom and offer an amazing experience for their big day. We are forever linked to them and a part of their family scrapbook; that is not a responsibility we take lightly.”

Ashford Prime buy Hotel Yountville for $96.5m: Ashford Hospitality Prime announced it has bought the Hotel Yountville in Yountville, California, for $96.5 million, or $1.2 million a key, according to a news release.

The announcement added that concurrent with the completion of the acquisition, Ashford Prime financed the hotel with a $51 million non-recourse, interest-only mortgage loan with a floating interest rate of LIBOR +2.55% with a five-year term. The property will be managed by Remington Lodging.

Caesars passes legal step toward restructuring: Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Caesars Entertainment Operating Company have moved closer to their restructuring following a decision by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC), according to a news release. This major step in its lengthy renewal from Chapter 11 proceedings will give a new lease on life, Caesar executives believe, to the entire company, which includes the 1,753-room Bally’s Park Place and 1,158-room Caesars Atlantic City. According to the corporate website of Caesars, the brand has 38,098 hotel rooms in the U.S.

The NJCCC ruled that the “entities that will own the real property assets of Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Park Place (hotel-casinos) will be licensed as casino service industry enterprise licensees in connection with serving as landlords under a lease agreement.” Caesars said more approvals are needed but that it “anticipates these rulings to be forthcoming by early third quarter of 2017.”

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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