From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Detainees released from Riyadh Ritz-Carlton
- Boston Wynn hotel and casino under review
- IREFAC members assess developments in US hotel industry
- 2017 Caribbean hotel performance
- Hotels in Malaysia withdraw hijab ban
Detainees released from Riyadh Ritz-Carlton: Officials and businessmen who were being detained in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton since early November by investigators, have been released by Saudi Arabian authorities, Reuters reports, after being moved to a regular prison earlier this month.
The attorney general last week said that most of the people who were detained agreed to settlements, and that “90 had been released after charges were dropped, and 95 remained in custody,” according to the article.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal had been among those detained at the hotel, and was released after agreeing to a settlement in which he admitted to unspecified “violations,” Reuters reports.
Boston Wynn hotel and casino under review: The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is reviewing a license issued for a Wynn Resorts casino in Boston, set to open in 2019, after a story published last week in The Wall Street Journal that detailed sexual misconduct allegations against company CEO Steve Wynn, Action News Now reports.
The planned project, the 671-room Wynn Boston Harbor hotel and casino, was given a license of $2.1 billion by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission in 2014, the news station reports.
Elaine Driscoll, director of communications for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, told the station that “the Commission is now aware of and is taking very seriously the troubling allegations detailed in The Wall Street Journal article.” She added that “the suitability and integrity of our gaming licensees is of the utmost importance, and ensuring that suitability is an active and ongoing process.”
IREFAC members assess developments in U.S. hotel industry: During the recent Americas Lodging Investment Summit, members of the Industry Real Estate Financing Advisory shared their thoughts on where the U.S. hotel industry stands at the start of this year, HNN’s Bryan Wroten reports.
One factor that’s had “a huge impact” on the industry is the slowing of Chinese investment over the past year, Michael Shannon, chairman of KSL Capital Partners, said.
“When (Chinese capital) went away at the very last moment, it became a much more level playing field for a lot of us with domestic capital,” he said. “Will that continue to be the case, or will they selectively come back and engage around the world in M&A? That’s a question we should all talk about.”
2017 Caribbean hotel performance: Data from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, shows that hotels in the Caribbean reported mixed year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during 2017.
Occupancy in the Caribbean decreased 1.2% to 66.4%, average daily rate rose 1.9% to $204.64 and revenue per available room increased 0.7% to $135.85.
The region saw the lowest absolute occupancy level since 2012, but the highest ADR value for any year on record.
Hotels in Malaysia withdraw hijab ban: Thirteen hotels in Peninsula Malaysia withdrew standard operating procedures that didn’t allow frontline staff to wear hijabs, Utusan Malaysia reports.
A total of 88 hotels were investigated by the Labor Department of Peninsula Malaysia, and the department found that 13 hotels had a “no-headscarf policy,” the newspaper reports.
Compiled by Danielle Hess.