From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Manhattan RevPAR decline turns around in Q4
- Reversal on joint-employer status prompts frustration
- Bank of America shares 2017 consumer spending habits
- Armed authorities enter Trump hotel in Panama during dispute
- ‘Beast from the East’ hits Europe, disrupts travel
Manhattan RevPAR decline turns around in Q4: Revenue per available room grew 1.4% year over year in Manhattan, reversing a 10-quarter-long decline, according to PwC’s Manhattan Lodging Index for the fourth quarter of 2017. The report cites the market’s “resilient occupancy levels,” not a turnaround in rate, as the driver for the growth in RevPAR.
Supply grew in Manhattan by 2.6% year over year in 2017, but demand outpaced it with 3.7% growth, according to the report. Pricing remained an issue throughout the year, however, as average daily rate fell 1.6% year over year, which led to full-year RevPAR dropping 0.5% year over year.
Reversal on joint-employer status prompts frustration: In a surprise move, the National Labor Relations Board reversed its December 2017 ruling on joint-employer status, itself a reversal of the 2015 Browning-Ferris case decision, which installed indirect control as the new standard, HNN’s Bryan Wroten reports. The NLRB vacated its latest ruling because of a conflict of interest issue with a board member.
It’s likely the reversal will be temporary until a new case is heard, said Andria Ryan, partner at Fisher & Phillips, but hotel companies will need to revert to the indirect control standard for now. At this point, the hotel industry should just wait and see if the NLRB decides to “loosen the reins again,” she said.
Bank of America shares 2017 consumer spending habits: In reviewing the spending habits of consumers, Bank of America is reporting interesting developments among travelers. Consumers are more likely to book trips in March, which represented the highest overall travel spend month per active customer at $422, according to the findings. Airline spend peaked in March at $578. Hotel spend per active customer reached its highest during the summer months, hitting $457 in July, $445 in June and $444 in August.
When it comes to dining, millennials had the most hotel transactions of any age group, but they spent the least per meal. Conversely, diners 65 and older dined out the least, but they spent the most. Food delivery spend increased by 8% year over year while the number of delivery transactions remained about the same. Most delivery food was ordered online.
Armed authorities enter Trump hotel in Panama during dispute: In an escalation of the ongoing dispute between the Trump Organization and the hotel’s owner, armed Panamanian authorities entered the Trump International Hotel and Tower Panama and stayed for a number of hours, CNN reports. The Trump Organization and the hotel owner have been locked in a legal battle as the owner has been trying to remove the Trump name from the hotel.
It is unclear which government agency the armed officials belonged to, CNN reports. Panama’s labor ministry has been investigating allegations employees were not being paid, but the labor minister said his agency did not send them in.
‘Beast from the East’ hits Europe, disrupts travel: A polar vortex swept from Siberia over Europe this week, bringing freezing temperatures and snowstorms to the continent, including cities such as Rome and London that usually don’t see that much snowfall, The New York Times reports.
Reuters reports that while Heathrow, Europe’s largest airport, states its runways were fully operational, dozens of flights were canceled or delayed because of weather issues at other airports in Europe.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.