From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Displaced Texans dropped from FEMA hotel program
- CityCenter to sell Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas
- How hoteliers can better manage employee behavior
- STR data shows strong week for US, Canada hotels
- Blackstone Group buys Arizona Biltmore for $403.4m
Displaced Texans dropped from FEMA hotel program: The Federal Emergency Management Agency removed more than 1,300 Texans displaced by Hurricane Harvey from its program that pays for hotel stays while the residents repair or find new homes, the Texas Tribune reports. Homeowners who are making efforts to repair their houses received an extension until 31 May, but renters were dropped this week as the agency believes Harris County has “adequate renting resources.”
FEMA has stopped paying for hotel rooms for 1,178 people in Harris County, 56 in Brazoria County, 35 in Montgomery Country, 33 in Nueces County and 16 in Fort Bend County, the article states. There are 650 homeowners in Harris County who are still in the program and another 6,764 applicants who remain.
CityCenter to sell Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas: CityCenter, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Infinity World Development, announced it will sell the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas and adjacent real estate parcels for $214 million, according to a news release.
The hotel has 392 guestrooms, including 57 suites, 12,000 square feet of meeting space, five food-and-beverage outlets and a two-level 27,000 square-foot spa. The transaction is expected to close this summer.
How hoteliers can better manage employee behavior: Managing employee behavior isn’t an easy task, especially when it comes to disciplinary matters, but a presentation at the recent Hospitality Law Conference shared with attendees how clear policies and consistency can help supervisors and human resources departments, writes Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten.
“Consistency in the actions you’re taking is critical,” said Tom Posey, partner at Faegre Baker Daniels. “One of the biggest problems in a lot of employment disputes is there wasn’t consistency in how the same or similar situation was handled in the past. It had the opposite results with virtually the same conduct.”
STR data shows strong week for U.S., Canada hotels: The U.S. and Canadian hotel industries reported positive year-over-year results for the week ending 21 April 2018, according to data from STR, parent company of HNN.
The U.S. hotel industry reported occupancy grew 3.1% to 70.1% and average daily rate increased 5.4% to $131.15, which led to an 8.7% increase in revenue per available room to $91.89.
The Canadian hotel industry reported occupancy grew by 7.5% to 65.6% and ADR grew 5.9% to 148.43 Canadian dollars ($115.67). As a result, RevPAR grew 13.7% to CA$97.35 ($75.87).
Blackstone buys Arizona Biltmore for $403.4m: Blackstone Real Estate Advisors bought the 740-room Arizona Biltmore for $403.4 million, according to AZ Central. This is the largest hotel transaction in the state since Host Hotels & Resorts acquired The Phoenician for $400 million in 2015.
The property opened in 1929 as a winter retreat because the property did not have air conditioning, according to the article. Albert Chase McArthur, a former student of Frank Lloyd Wright, designed the property. Along with being the place where Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas,” the property hosted every president since Herbert Hoover until Barack Obama broke the streak.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.