5 things to know: 3 January 2018
5 things to know: 3 January 2018
03 JANUARY 2018 10:19 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • HNA Group falls behind on loan repayments
  • Q1 2018: Analysts project US hotel performance
  • Marriott’s Delta Hotels officially enters APAC market
  • California next to propose ‘panic button’ for hotel staff
  • Versace mansion converted into luxury hotel

HNA Group falls behind on loan repayments: China-based HNA Group is delaying loan repayments to its employees and investors on an internet-lending platform, which suggests that the airlines-to-hotels conglomerate is struggling to meet some of its debt obligation, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Employees were notified of a delay in repayment through an email on Tuesday from a unit of HNA. This is the second notification employees have received since early December.

Originally, employees were promised a repayment by 2 January. That now has been extended to 30 January, the report states. The group is estimated to have around $100 billion in outstanding debt.

Q1 2018: Analysts project U.S. hotel performance: Industry data analysts STR (parent company of HNN), PwC and CBRE gave their predictions for supply, demand and the three key performance indicators for the U.S. hotel industry during the first quarter of 2018.

“STR is projecting a continued healthy demand environment for the U.S. hotel industry, setting another room demand record for the most rooms sold—ever,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s SVP of lodging insights. “Supply growth will tick up to outpace the demand increase, and we expect occupancy to slightly decline in 2018.”

For more from Freitag and other analysts, read the full story here

Marriott’s Delta Hotels officially enters APAC market: Marriott International’s Delta Hotels brand has made its way into the Asia/Pacific market through the opening of the 339-room Delta Hotels by Marriott Shanghai Baoshan in China, according to USA Today.

Delta Hotels—which Marriott purchased from British Columbia Investment Management Corporation in 2015—has about 40 locations spanning across the U.S. and Canada, but Marriott is looking to plant 66 properties into the brand's global portfolio by the end of 2018.

California next to propose ‘panic buttons’ for hotel staff: A California state lawmaker proposed on Tuesday to require employers to provide “panic button” devices to its staff in case of abuse by a guest, according to the Los Angeles Times. This decision comes after a survey indicating that sexual harassment of hotel housekeepers is “widespread.”

The bill, which will also require hotels to enforce a three-year ban on guests who engaged in harassment at the property as well as a posted notice in guestrooms about consequences of sexual harassment actions, will be introduced today by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi. Miami Beach looked at a similar proposal in mid-December, which is also modeled after legislation in Chicago and Seattle.

In other hotel safety news, Hilton is joining Disney hotels and others in reconsidering the use of “Do not disturb” signs on guestroom doors, following the mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip in October, according to USA Today.

Versace mansion converted into luxury hotel: What once was Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace’s mansion in Miami Beach before his murder in 1997 has been converted into boutique hotel The Villa Casa Casuarina, according to the Associated Press.

The hotel is now part of Victor Hotels , which purchased the property through in auction in 2013 for a total of $41.5 million.

“We actually have preserved what Versace created here and just augmented it with some modern touches for the convenience of our hotel guests and restaurant patrons,” the hotel’s GM Chauncey Copeland told the Associated Press.

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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