5 things to know: 23 August 2017
5 things to know: 23 August 2017
23 AUGUST 2017 9:50 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Trump warns of government shutdown, ending Wall Street rally
  • Florida could have its first solar-powered hotel
  • Cancellation policy changes give owners ‘more certainty’
  • US State Department upgrades travel advisory for Cancun, Los Cabos
  • Canadian hotel industry ‘firing on all cylinders’

Trump warns of government shutdown, ending Wall Street rally: The morning after President Donald Trump warned of a government shutdown over funding to build a border wall with Mexico and threats to end the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, U.S. stocks opened lower than expected, Reuters reports.

“The pullback is from pretty strong words out of the president ... comments on NAFTA, which brings up a question of a global trade war, is weighing,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York, told the news agency. “You can have a tax cut, but if you have a trade war, that is going to impact the economic growth.”

Florida could have its first solar-powered hotel: An advisory board in Satellite Beach, Florida, approved developer Sun ’N Sea Real Estate’s solar-powered hotel project, a first for the state, Florida Today reports. The project’s architect said the hotel would use “80% less energy than a conventional structure of its type.”

The plans call for a 100,000-watt array of solar panels that would power most of the 25-room boutique hotel, according to the article. There would also be nine residential condos on the third floor and a higher-end chain restaurant. The hotel would have electric vehicle charging stations, as well. The project is estimated to cost $6 million to $8 million overall.

Cancellation policy changes give owners ‘more certainty’: Owners are applauding hotel brand companies’ moves to formalize and extend their cancellation policies to 24- and 48-hour windows, HNN’s Dana Miller reports. Both brand executives and owners have said on earnings calls and interviews that imposing a fee for late cancellations will help manage room inventory better.

Raymond Martz, EVP and CFO at Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, said his company is pleased with the changes in the cancellation policies.

“This is a positive for the hotel industry as over time, this should improve pricing integrity and lengthen booking windows,” he said. “We are very supportive.”

U.S. State Department upgrades travel advisory for Cancun, Los Cabos: Because of a “surge in violence” in the surrounding regions, the U.S. State Department upgraded its travel warnings to U.S. citizens who plan to visit Cancun and Los Cabos, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Turf battles between criminal groups in Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur have intensified, with acts of violence and shootings that have killed bystanders. The newspaper reports the travel warning “could deliver a major blow” to the country’s $20 billion-a-year tourism industry.

Canadian hotel market ‘firing on all cylinders’: Colliers International’s INNvestment Canada Q2 2017 report shows the country’s hotel industry continues to gain strength, Real Estate News Exchange reports. The industry saw $2.1 billion in transactions for the first half of the year—a 200% year-over-year increase, according to the article.

“Several factors beyond regular buyer-seller-lender dynamics have come into play that have dramatically enhanced the appeal of the country’s lodging sector and provided promise for continued activity,” Colliers International hotels senior analyst Fraser Macdonald said in the article. “Four themes that have enhanced liquidity in the lodging transaction market include: shifts in currency markets; capital flight from primarily mainland China; a search for risk-adjusted returns by both domestic and internationally focused investors; and strong operating performance witnessed in most markets across the country.”

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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