5 things to know: 24 August 2018
5 things to know: 24 August 2018
24 AUGUST 2018 9:35 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Glass Lewis advises LaSalle shareholders vote ‘no’
  • Federal Reserve warns against ignoring low unemployment
  • Hotel executives share insights into creating strategy
  • US State Department releases travel warning for Mexico
  • Thomas Cook removes guests from hotel after death of couple

Glass Lewis advises LaSalle shareholders vote ‘no’: Glass Lewis & Co., a shareholder advisory firm, has recommended that shareholders of LaSalle Hotel Properties vote against the proposed deal with Blackstone, Reuters reports. LaSalle has scheduled a shareholder vote for 6 September.

“Under the circumstances, we believe cause exists for investors to question the value offered in LaSalle-Blackstone proposal, and the 21 August 2018 revised offer only bolsters our view as it widens the spread over the board recommended cash offer,” the Glass Lewis report said, referring to Pebblebrook’s latest “enhanced” offer.

Though Pebblebrook was not available for comment for the Reuters article, the company put out a news release in which Pebblebrook Chairman, President and CEO Jon Bortz stating they are pleased with the recommendation and specifically cites from the report that “the Blackstone agreement ‘does not clearly represent the greatest possible value available to (LaSalle) shareholders.’”

LaSalle declined to comment, referring to its news release from 22 August.

Federal Reserve warns against ignoring low unemployment: Research by the Federal Reserve before a speech by Chairman Jerome Powell offers a warning to policy makers about the danger of not watching closely enough the effects low unemployment can have on inflation, the Wall Street Journal reports. It refers to the debate the Fed faces about how it should set rates when inflation doesn’t seem to be accelerating while unemployment is falling to the point that it should increase wages and prices.

“Because monetary policy acts with a lag, waiting for inflation to materialize is undesirable,” the research paper states.

Once unemployment falls below the “natural level of unemployment,” which is the level needed for maintaining stable inflation, inflation pressures can build, leading the Fed to raise interest rates, the WSJ reports.

Hotel executives share insights into creating strategy: A panel of hotel strategists at the recent Hotel Data Conference shared some of their best practices for creating and implementing a company strategy, writes HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

The two first steps in creating a company strategy is being transparent, so everyone in the company knows what the corporate office is doing to support its hotels, and to make the strategy simple enough to fit on one piece of paper, said Susan Sanders, SVP of strategic planning at Hospitality Ventures Management Group.

“That’s what the strategic plan is doing for the company: aligning your culture, making decisions so you have a solid path moving forward,” she said.

U.S. State Department releases travel warning for Mexico: The U.S. Department of State released a travel advisory for Americans traveling to Mexico after the Mexican government announced the discovery of eight bodies in Cancun, USA Today reports.

While Cancun is a popular tourist destination, none of the killings happened in the city’s hotel zone near the beach, according to the article. The warning itself refers to the Mexican states of Colima, Guerreo, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas, but not the Quintana Roo/Cancun area.

"The State Department travel advisory for Mexico does not include any tourist or beach areas and reaffirms that all major tourist destinations in Mexico are safe," a spokesperson for the Quintana Roo Tourism Board said in a statement provided to USA Today.

Thomas Cook removes guests from hotel after death of couple: Following the death of a British couple at its Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in Egypt, travel company Thomas Cook is removing all of the guests from the property, the BBC reports. While Egyptian authorities are citing heart problems as the cause of death for the husband, the couple’s daughter said both of her parents were “fit and healthy.”

The company shared it received “further reports of a raised level of illness among guests,” according to the article, so it has provided options for other hotels as well as flights for those wishing to return home.

“Safety is always our first priority, so as a precautionary measure we have taken a decision to remove all our customers from this hotel,” the company said in a statement to the BBC. “While we understand this is upsetting for those on holiday, we believe this is the right thing to do.”

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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