From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Wynn Resorts CEO resigns
- Survey shows positive lender outlook in UK
- Tax reform, disasters to dominate Q4 earnings calls
- Taiwan earthquake leaves six dead, at least 60 missing
- Mandalay hotel to renumber floor of shooting site
Wynn Resorts CEO resigns: The Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts announced Steve Wynn has stepped down as CEO and chairman of the board effective immediately, according to a company news release. The resignation follows allegations against Wynn of sexual misconduct spanning decades, The New York Times reports.
Wynn said in a statement that he is stepping down due to being the focus of “an avalanche of negative publicity” in the last couple of weeks. He has denied all allegations, according to The Times article, and the board of directors said in a statement that it accepted his resignation “reluctantly.”
Immediately replacing Wynn is Matt Maddox, president of the company since 2013. Boone Wayson has been appointed non-executive chairman of the board, the company release states.
Survey shows positive lender outlook in U.K.: Despite uncertainty following Britain’s exit from the European Union, lenders have a positive outlook for United Kingdom hotel projects, according to the 2018 European Hotel Lending Survey from HVS.
Debt is widely available for multiple types of hotel projects in the region, including hotel property acquisitions, refinancing, renovations and expansions, despite there being less financing for new developments compared to other projects, HVS noted in the survey.
Fixed interest rates remained below 4%, which is a historic low, in all major markets. Hotels with management agreements in Western Europe saw a slight decrease of 0.28% in interest rates because of increased competition from lenders in the last year. The survey showed lenders favored upscale and midscale projects.
Tax reform, disasters to dominate Q4 earnings calls: The fourth quarter in 2017 was not a normal one for the hotel industry, reports HNN’s Sean McCracken, with lingering impacts of natural disasters artificially spiking performance in certain markets.
Wall Street analysts who watch the hotel industry indicated this will be a short-lasting positive for companies.
“I think it’s going to be one of the better quarters we’ve seen in years based on how (companies) guided, but one of the caveats is hurricanes were certainly an intense driver to that upside,” said C. Patrick Scholes, managing director of lodging and leisure equity for Suntrust Robinson Humphrey. “Companies historically don’t give a lot of credit to the impact from natural disasters.”
Taiwan earthquake leaves six dead, at least 60 missing: Taiwan tourist destination Hualien suffered from a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday night, which left at least six dead, 258 injured and approximately 60 missing, and collapsed at least four buildings, including a hotel, Reuters reports.
The lobby of the Marshal Hotel caved in as the road pavement “cracked like thin ice,” the news agency reports. The Washington Post reported a second hotel, the Beautiful Life, was also left “listing like a half-fallen tree,” along with the city’s hospital.
Mandalay hotel to renumber floor of shooting site: The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino will rename several floors of the guest tower where a gunman opened fire into an outside crowd in October, killing 58 people, Reuters reports.
Floors 31 through 34 of the hotel will be renumbered as 56, 57, 58 and 59. Reuters notes this is not unusual, as the tower already had an unconventional floor-numbering system, with the top four floors of the 43-story tower numbered 60 through 63.
Compiled by Dana Miller.