From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Deutsche announces new chief executive
- Interstate announces closing of White Lodging deal
- California sees record-setting development pace
- US oil industry bouncing back
- London’s Dorchester hotel site of controversial fundraiser
Deutsche announces new chief executive: Deutsche Hospitality/Steigenberger Hotels AG has announced that Thomas Willms, who joined the company in June 2017 as COO, has been promoted to CEO of the company effective immediately, according to a news release. Willms now holds the position vacated in October by current Indian Hotels Company Limited CEO Puneet Chhatwal.
In the news release, Chairman Ralf Corsten noted Willms “has shown considerable commitment in getting up to speed within a very short space of time.”
“We are confident that he will be able to deliver robust and effective leadership and secure the future development of Steigenberger Hotels AG,” Corsten said.
Interstate announces closing of White Lodging deal: Interstate Hotels & Resorts officials say they have officially closed the previously announced deal with White Lodging to take over a set of 83 properties, including 82 hotels and one restaurant, according to a news release.
Around the time of the deal’s initial announcement in December, Interstate President and CEO Mike Deitemeyer had said the geography of the portfolio, which spans across eight states, will give his company useful scale in key markets.
“That component is pretty exciting,” Deitemeyer told Hotel News Now. “We’ll have density in various markets, which gives us the opportunity to cluster sell and do things that will create market advantages for us.”
No price was disclosed for the deal.
California sees record-setting development pace: The 2017 California Hotel Development Survey from Atlas Hospitality Group shows California saw a record number of rooms (10,793 in 66 hotels) open during the year, and Alan Reay, president of Atlas, told Hotel News Now senior reporter Bryan Wroten development doesn't seem to be slowing down.
“It could be another record,” he said. “It’s on track to beat 2017 handily, just looking at the number of rooms under construction.”
Reay pointed to the strength of the state’s economy, record revenue growth, low interest rates and the availability of financing as top contributors for the supply growth in the state.
U.S. oil industry bouncing back: The oil industry has been a source of consternation for U.S. hoteliers in recent years, as lagging oil prices pushed down performance in oil markets across the country. But The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. energy sector is enjoying a renaissance as crude oil prices rebound.
Capital investment in that industry was so strong that it buoyed overall use number in 2017.
“The biggest turnaround in business investment was the recovery in rig counts and energy infrastructure last year, so those big swings can matter,” Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley, told the newspaper.
London’s Dorchester hotel site of controversial fundraiser: A prominent London hotel has become a fixture in British news over the past few days as scandal has emerged related to a men’s-only fundraising gala where female hostesses were repeatedly harassed and groped. Reuters reports The Dorchester was the site of the Presidents Club gala where the hostesses were instructed to wear “skimpy black dresses with matching underwear and to sign non-disclosure agreements.”
Several prominent U.K. figures were present at the event.
Compiled by Sean McCracken.