From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Marriott CEO says travelers heading to Canada because of Trump
- Hilton fined for ‘mishandling’ two data breaches
- Hoteliers find room to push corporate rates in 2018
- Wyndham sets deal with AHIP REIT for 46 properties
- No qualifying bids come in for auction of Park Lane Hotel
Marriott CEO says travelers heading to Canada because of Trump: In an interview with Bloomberg, Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said U.S. President Donald Trump’s “divisive language and policies” are making international travelers look to Canada instead of the U.S. as their destination of choice, especially for conferences.
These travelers might view Toronto and other Canadian cities as being “more hassle-free” while the U.S. could be “a little bit riskier,” Sorenson said in the interview.
“You’re going to have people coming in from everywhere, and they’re going to be looking at ‘Can we get our people in? Are they going to want to go to that place?’” Sorenson said. “At the moment there’s a perception around the world that the U.S. is a little less welcoming than it was in the past.”
Hilton fined for ‘mishandling’ two data breaches: Hilton will pay $700,000 in fines for how it handled credit card data breaches in 2014 and 2015, the BBC reports. Investigators with the attorneys general of New York and Vermont said the company took too long to inform their guests about the breaches and the hotels “lacked adequate security measures.”
Hilton discovered the first of the two breaches in February 2015 and the second in July 2015, according to the article, but the company only went public with the breaches in November 2015. The company has said there is no evidence any of the data accessed was stolen, but the attorneys general said the tools used in the data breaches made it impossible to determine what was done.
Along with paying the fines, Hilton agreed to disclose any data breaches more quickly and perform regular security tests, the BBC reports.
Hoteliers find room to push corporate rates in 2018: Hoteliers are leveraging all-time highs in occupancy to seek higher rates in negotiations with corporate clients for 2018, HNN’s Bryan Wroten reports. The increases are relatively modest in most cases compared to previous years, but some hoteliers are able to drive rates a little higher in some markets.
“Some are taking larger than inflationary increases because of the required concessions or stay patterns,” said Cory Chambers, VP and chief revenue officer at Hospitality Ventures Management Group.
Wyndham sets deal with AHIP REIT for 46 properties: Wyndham Hotel Group has worked out an agreement with American Hotel Income Properties REIT to convert 44 of the REIT’s hotels to Baymont Inn & Suites, Travelodge and Super 8 brands and add two newly acquired hotels to Wyndham’s portfolio, according to a news release.
The new properties fit into the midscale and economy chain-scale segments and are located near Nashville, Tennessee; Kansas City, Kansas; Jefferson City, Missouri; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Buffalo, New York.
“Rob O’Neill and his team at AHIP have built a tremendous collection of clean, comfortable and affordable accommodations which guests have come to love,” said Chip Ohlsson, Wyndham's EVP and chief development officer, in the news release. “We could not be prouder to partner with them to help drive incremental revenue to their hotels.”
No qualifying bids come in for auction of Park Lane Hotel: Potential buyers had until last week to submit a bid for the 47-story Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South in New York, the New York Times reports. The location is known as Billionaires’ Row, and the site would allow the buyer to build a taller building with unobstructed views of Central Park.
The problem is no one bid, the article states, or at least there were no bids that came close to the amount the seller hoped for, which is about $1 billion.
One possible hiccup in achieving such a bid is timing, according to Jeffrey Davis, international director at JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group. The other issue is the current ownership group includes Jho Low, who the U.S. Department of Justice alleges stole billions of dollars from a Malaysian development fund to buy a hotel in Beverly Hills, mansions, condos, a yacht, jewelry, art and, of course, the Park Lane Hotel. Low’s whereabouts are currently unknown.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.