5 things to know: 28 June 2018
5 things to know: 28 June 2018
28 JUNE 2018 9:55 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Marriott, TLG, Concord Wilshire announce deal for Phoenix Sheraton
  • UK government IDs concerns with OTAs
  • Hotels getting hyper-local to woo guests
  • Economists lift US growth projections
  • Rate pushes RevPAR for US hotels

Marriott, TLG, Concord Wilshire announce deal for Phoenix Sheraton: The Sheraton Grand Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, has sold for $255 million, according to a pair of news releases from Marriott International and TLG Investment Partners.

The TLG release notes the company partnered with Concord Wilshire Capital to purchase the 1,000-room hotel with Marriott acting as the major capital partner and manager of the property.

The Marriott news release notes the company purchased the property for $255 million, marking Marriott’s first real estate asset acquisitions since the purchase of the Charlotte Marriott City Center five years ago. Based on information from Marriott's most recent earnings report, the Phoenix Sheraton would be one of only 65 properties owned by the company, along with 133 unconsolidated joint ventures.

Barbara DeLollis, director of global corporate communications for Marriott, clarified via email that TLC Phoenix, a subsidiary of TLG with Concord Wilshire as a partner, had an existing purchase agreement for the hotel in place earlier in the year but formed an affiliate to purchase the hotel of which Marriott has a 100% controlling interest. TLG will exit the affiliate after one year leaving Marriott as sole owner, she said.

Marriott officials noted the strategy for the Phoenix property is similar to the Charlotte Marriott in that they are both related to efforts to turn around brands, this time the Sheraton brand that Marriott purchased in 2016.

“Like the Charlotte property, Marriott International expects to sell the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, subject to a long-term management agreement,” the release states.

U.K. government IDs concerns with OTAs: The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority has announced it has “identified widespread concerns” related to hotel booking sites, according to an announcement from the organization.

Those concerns include how hotels are ranked in search results and if they are influenced by things like commission rates paid by hotels; using false information to create pressure for consumers when making booking decisions; whether discount claims are fair and accurate; and if there are hidden charges like taxes or booking fees.

CMA Chief Executive Andrea Coscelli said “it’s also important that no one feels pressured by misleading statements into making a booking.”

“Our next step is to take any necessary action—including through the courts if needed—to ensure people get a fair deal,” Coscelli said in the announcement.

Hotels getting hyper-local to woo guests: Hoteliers that dig into local history for design inspiration are likely to strike gold, according to a group of experts who spoke with Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller on the importance of hyper-local design.

Rob Polacek, chief creative officer and partner for Puccini Group, said it’s important to find the off-the-beaten path spots in a city to bring in a truly local feel.

“Those spots are where you start to understand the truth behind locality—the pride of a community shown by way of authentic lives,” he said. “It’s like finding the soul for your inspiration. From there, a designer can pull from multiple touch points, embrace a local lifestyle and, at base level, produce honest interiors.”

Economists lift US growth projections: More positive-than-expected trade figures for May spurred some economists to revise up their projections for second-quarter gross domestic product growth, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper notes The U.S. Commerce Department announced exports climbed 2.1% from April to May and imports rose just 0.2%.

The past three months have seen a reverse in a trend of widening trade deficits following the rash of hurricanes in 2017, The Journal reports.

“The storms late last summer disrupted port traffic and were followed by an imports surge as American companies restocked depleted inventory,” the newspaper wrote. “That could mean the deficit won’t continue to narrow.”

Rate pushes RevPAR for US hotels: U.S. hoteliers enjoyed revenue growth spurred by a growth in rates for the week ending 23 June, according to data from Hotel News Now’s parent company STR.

For the week, occupancy grew just 0.1% to 75.9%, while average daily rate increased 2.9% to $133.28 and revenue per available room jumped 3% to $101.12.

Orlando, Florida, saw the largest RevPAR increase among the top 25 markets, up 15.3% to $104.69, with ADR up 9.9% to $125.71.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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