5 things to know: 21 December 2017
5 things to know: 21 December 2017
21 DECEMBER 2017 10:30 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • US companies see early Christmas present in tax cut
  • Weather could disrupt Christmas travel
  • New ESA CEO promises consistent strategy
  • RevPAR jumps 8.1% at US hotels in weekly data
  • Boyd announces deal for Pennsylvania casino resort

U.S. companies see early Christmas present in tax cut: Many U.S. corporations are openly celebrating today following the passage of a $1.5-trillion tax cut, which The Wall Street Journal is reporting is “the most sweeping since 1986.”

InterContinental Hotels Group executives were among the first companies to openly discuss how they see the tax plan benefiting the company. According to Reuters, the company is projecting “to reduce the group’s tax rate by a mid-to high-single-digit percentage point next year.”

Weather could disrupt Christmas travel: Weather experts are projecting that ice, snow and rain could disrupt Christmas travel in the central and eastern portions of the U.S., AccuWeather reports.

“The first storm will target areas from the upper Gulf coast to the lower Great Lakes, central and southern Appalachians and the Interstate 95 corridor of the Northeast with rain from Friday to Saturday,” Accuweather reports.

New ESA CEO promises consistent strategy: Extended Stay America CFO Jonathan Halkyard, who takes over as the company’s CEO on 1 January, said it’s safe to assume his company will keep its current trajectory when he takes the helm, writes HNN’s Dan Kubacki. ESA’s growth in franchising is expected to continue and possibly accelerate.

“We have the financial capacity to do (more franchising), we understand the business model and, of course, it’s a proven concept with our 625 hotels,” Halkyard said. “Protecting and improving that core business as it exists right now, and then growing units and picking up the pace of that growth of units, those are really my two main priorities.”

RevPAR jumps 8.1% at U.S. hotels in weekly data: U.S. hoteliers enjoyed a year-over-year spike in revenue per available room for the week ending 16 December, according to the latest data from HNN’s parent company STR.

For the week, occupancy jumped 4.5% to 56.4% and average daily rate increased 3.5% to $115.67, resulting in RevPAR growth of 8.1% to $65.24.

Boyd announces deal for Pennsylvania casino resort: Boyd Gaming Corporation announced plans to buy the Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, for $280.5 million, according to a news release. The resort property, currently owned by Valley Forge Convention Center Partners, includes “nearly 500 hotel rooms” along with “a 40,000-square-foot casino with 600 slot machines (and) 50 table games.”

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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