From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Oil prices continue to rise
- Millennium & Copthorne deals with investor upheaval
- Park expected to buy some non-Hilton hotels in ‘18
- NAFTA negotiations resume
- Soap dispensers catching on in hotel industry
Oil prices continue to rise: On Monday, oil prices reached the highest point since 2014, with Brent crude climbing to more than $70 a barrel, according to The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper pins some of the increase on tensions over whether the White House will pull out of a 2015 agreement with Iran. Prices have increased 10% since U.S. President Donald Trump said he was likely to withdraw from that deal.
The Journal notes the possibility of the European Union reinstating sanctions on Iran could boost oil prices further.
Strong oil prices have long been tied to hotel demand in oil-producing regions.
Millennium & Copthorne deals with investor upheaval: Minority shareholders for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels are upset about the re-election of some board members for the company, according to Reuters. The board members in question are ones that supported majority shareholder Kwek Leng Beng, a Singapore-based billionaire, in his attempt to buy out the 34.8% of the company he does not own.
International Value Advisers, MSD Partners and Classic Fund Management are all pushing for new independent board members at the company, but an official statement from M&C notes “the board takes the views of the company’s shareholders seriously and will continue to engage with them to understand their concerns.”
Park expected to buy some non-Hilton hotels in ‘18: Officials with Park Hotels & Resorts continue the work of reshaping their portfolio roughly a year and a half after spinning off from Hilton, and company officials said they expect to acquire properties outside the Hilton family of brands at some point in 2018, writes Hotel News Now’s Sean McCracken.
“Both Marriott and Hyatt come to mind, among others,” President and CEO Tom Baltimore said. “We certainly want to grow and expand our relationship with (those companies), and we think that's important. Really over time, we want to diversify. You'll see a lot of effort towards that in the coming months with the hope and expectation that we can add another flag to the portfolio during calendar year 2018.”
NAFTA negotiations resume: This week is shaping up to be a big one for business in North America, as Cabinet-level negotiators from the U.S., Canada and Mexico return to the table to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Bloomberg reports that the three officials will have a monumental task ahead of them if they intend to stick to plans to have a new deal in place by the end of May.
The news outlet reports that the top American negotiator—U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer—“hasn’t shown signs of softening on proposals that Canada and Mexico see as damaging to their interests,” while negotiators from those countries “have pledged not to back down.”
Soap dispensers catching on in hotel industry: Several hotel companies have been incorporating soap dispenser shampoo bottles instead of single-use bottles in guestroom bathrooms, and The Los Angeles Times notes InterContinental Hotels Group and Marriott International are embracing that shift.
“The two hotel giants cited several reasons for the switch,” the newspaper reports. “The tiny empty bottles are rarely recycled and end up in landfills; the small bottles run out, especially when multiple guests stay in one room; and the caps to the bottles often fall into the drain, causing maintenance problems.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.