From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Starwood buys 30% stake in Yotel for $250 million
- Hoteliers report minor damage from earthquakes in Mexico
- Red Roof Inn launches soft brand The Red Collection
- Supreme Court cancels hearing on Trump travel ban
- Thomas Cook looks to grow hotel portfolio with partnership
Starwood buys 30% stake in Yotel for $250 million: With a $250 million investment from Starwood Capital Group, London-based hotel chain Yotel has plans to add 60 properties over the next five years to its portfolio, which currently consists of two city hotels and four airport hotels, reports Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.
The injection of capital gets Starwood a 30% stake in Yotel, and comes less than two weeks after another London-based hotel brand, De Vere, announced it was relaunching with a £100-million ($134.2 million) investment from Starwood.
Yotel executives see Starwood’s involvement as the next logical step for the firm, whose hotels meld “essential elements of luxury hotels into smaller, smart spaces and deliver a sense of community,” they said.
“It is one more step in long-term business plan we have embarked into. We were a very small startup, which then attracted larger investors, and the next step was institutional capital partners such as (SCG),” said Yotel CEO Hubert Viriot, who added the hotel firm and brand celebrated its 10th anniversary this year.
Hoteliers report minor damage from earthquakes in Mexico: Hopes are dwindling that rescue crews will find any more survivors a week after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck near Mexico City in Mexico, Reuters reports, and according to Mexico’s emergency services chief, rescue operations will cease on Thursday.
At least 326 people have been reported killed, 187 of whom were in Mexico City where dozens of buildings collapsed, The Los Angeles Times reports. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera said at a news conference Monday that “rescuers are still looking for no more than 40 to 50 people amid the ruins of five buildings around the city,” the newspaper reports.
Hoteliers for the most part reported minor damage to their assets with only a few closures, the Hotel News Now editorial staff reports.
Mexican company Posadas, which has more than 155 hotels located throughout Mexico, said in a statement it is still assessing the condition of one of its hotels, Fiesta Americana San Antonio el Puente, located in Morelos, but the rest are operating normally.
According to the statement: “The company carried out all the corresponding security protocols recommended by civil protection authorities for the safety of all guests, clients and staff members. Likewise, we confirm that the hotels in the affected areas continue to operate normally, except for Fiesta Americana San Antonio el Puente, located in the state of Morelos.”
Red Roof Inn launches soft brand The Red Collection: Red Roof Inn announced the launch of its first soft brand, The Red Collection, according to a news release. The collection’s first hotel is the St. Claire Hotel in downtown Chicago.
The company is targeting “upscale economy travelers” who aren’t interested in staying at higher-priced “trendy” or “hip” hotels. The soft brand will offer “modern, accessible and affordable properties with enhanced amenities.” The properties will fit in the “upscale economy” and midscale segments.
“There is already core equity in Red Roof,” President Andrew Alexander said in the release. “Building on our strong brand base, this is a perfect time to grow our portfolio with our first soft brand, The Red Collection. In today’s environment, soft brands allow companies to enter new channels, expand business models and meet specific demands of the new traveler. The Red Collection will give our existing guests unique, more upscale value options while enticing new guests to experience our brand in a new way in the hearts of the cities they love.”
Supreme Court cancels hearing on Trump travel ban: The U.S. Supreme Court canceled oral arguments over President Donald Trump’s travel ban after the president issued a new executive order including three new countries, The New York Times reports. There’s speculation that by adding two countries that are not Muslim majority, the administration might be able to better defend itself against new legal challenges.
This move might mean the administration can reverse a ruling that the previous orders violated the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom, as well as exceeded President Trump’s authority to control the borders, The Times reports.
“With lower courts having ruled against him, Mr. Trump was pinning his hopes for political vindication on an ideologically divided Supreme Court,” the article states.
Thomas Cook looks to grow hotel portfolio with partnership: With the goal of growing its own hotel brand portfolio, package tourism company Thomas Cook has entered into a strategic partnership with Swiss-based hotel developer LMEY Investments, according to a news release.
As part of the partnership, Thomas Cook has bought from LMEY a 42% stake in German firm Aldiana, which manages eight resorts in Europe and North Africa, with plans for another four in the next two years. No price was disclosed in the deal with LMEY, which remains the majority investor.
Thomas Cook launched its lifestyle hotel brand, Casa Cook Hotels, in October 2015.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten, Terence Baker and Robert McCune.