From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Las Vegas casino employees authorize strike
- Fed minutes show interest-rate increase likely in June
- Urban hotels rely on unique family promotion packages
- US, Canada hotel results for week ending 19 May
- Thailand’s Minor ups stake in NH Hotels to 8.6%
Las Vegas casino employees authorize strike: The largest labor union in Nevada representing tens of thousands of cooks, servers, bartenders and housekeepers voted to authorize a strike, The Washington Post reports. The strike could begin as early as 1 June when the current contract expires, which falls right before the third game of the Stanley Cup schedule.
The union is seeking higher wages as well as stronger job protections against automation and “enhanced safety procedures” to thwart sexual harassment and assault, according to the article, citing studies showing hospitality employees are “particularly vulnerable to automation and sexual harassment.”
The timing of the strike could give the union leverage as the Las Vegas Golden Knights are a contender for the championship and will host at least two of the games.
“A full-scale walkout, without a doubt, would hurt business,” Anthony Curtis, publisher of Las Vegas Advisor, told the newspaper.
Fed minutes show interest-rate increase likely in June: Minutes released from the Federal Reserve meeting held earlier this month show officials indicated they would likely raise the short-term interest rate in June, The Wall Street Journal reports. The current interest-rate range is between 1.5% and 1.75%.
The Fed is expected to raise rates three times this year, including the potential June increase, the article reports, but there is division among the officials whether they should raise rates for a fourth time.
The minutes also show they are determining the neutral settings for the fed-funds rate because they expect the economy “to grow faster than is sustainable over the long run,” according to the newspaper. The next step would be to figure out how much higher rates should go “to prevent the economy from overheating.”
Urban hotels rely on unique family promotion packages: City-center hotels are coming up with different packages aimed at families to help lift business during the summer when business travel tends to drop, HNN contributor Laura Koss-Feder writes. Staycation packages have proven to be effective, but there are other considerations just as important, such as having the right room type available, offering easy access to parking and other services and amenities.
"We want to be a wonderful retreat for families; this can help boost our weekend occupancy by 15%," said Mary Perino-Fleming, GM of the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Chicago, about her property’s Baby Butler service. "This means addressing the needs of our families and making sure we are making them comfortable and able to have a happy and easy stay."
U.S., Canada hotel results for week ending 19 May: The United States and Canadian hotel industries posted mixed and positive year-over-year results, respectively, for the week ending 19 May, according to data from STR, parent company of HNN.
The U.S. hotel industry reported somewhat mixed results. Occupancy dipped slightly by 0.5% to 70.2%, but average daily rate grew by 3.5% to $132.36, resulting in revenue-per-available-room growth of 3% to $92.92.
The Canadian hotel industry saw positive performance through the week. Occupancy grew by 0.7% to 68.5%, which combined with ADR growth of 2.7% to 158.87 Canadian dollars ($123.09) led to RevPAR growth of 3.4% to CA$108.66 ($84.19).
Thailand’s Minor ups stake in NH Hotels to 8.6%: Thailand’s Minor International announced it will acquire 30 million shares of NH Hotel Group, a transaction valued at €192 million ($225.5 million), according to a news release. This share acquisition brings Minor’s stake in the company up to 8.6%.
“We are excited by the opportunity to accelerate our global exposure with our investment in NH Hotel Group, which has a highly complementary business and asset portfolio to MINT,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, in the news release. “The investment is financially attractive, with high liquidity on the Madrid Stock Exchange and proven performance by the business. Over the past few years, NH Hotel Group’s board of directors and management team have re-invigorated the business and delivered strong business performance in line with its five-year strategic plan.”
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.