5 things to know: 30 August 2018
5 things to know: 30 August 2018
30 AUGUST 2018 9:25 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Consumer spending, inflation both up
  • US-Mexico deal still faces legislative hurdles
  • Strong fundamentals tempered by labor issues
  • Rate drives RevPAR increase for US hotels
  • Two workers killed in accident at Florida hotel development

Consumer spending, inflation both up: U.S. consumer spending saw solid increases in July, according to a report from Reuters citing U.S. Commerce Department data. For the second month in a row, consumer spending rose 0.4%, and the month also saw inflation hit 2% for the third time in 2018.

There were also positive signs for travel and hotels within the Commerce Department data. “Households spent more at restaurants and on accommodation last month,” Reuters reports.

U.S.-Mexico deal still faces legislative hurdles: Even though the U.S. and Mexican governments have approved a revamped version the North American Free Trade Agreement, the legislative bodies of those two countries still must approve the deal. And that might not be automatic, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reports the deal faces a clearer path to ratification in Mexico than in the U.S., particularly because a vote wouldn’t take place until after the November elections.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports the U.S. and Canada still have work to do to reach a deal of their own, but there has been an “increasingly positive tone” around negotiations following “U.S. President Donald Trump’s harsh criticism of Canada in recent weeks.”

Strong fundamentals tempered by labor issues: Hotel company presidents speaking this week at the Southern Lodging Summit in Memphis, Tennessee, still see plenty of reasons for optimism in the hotel industry as demand and operating metrics remain strong, writes Hotel News Now Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Ricca. But those positive signs haven’t been enough to quell worries about an increasingly difficult labor market.

Terri Haack, president of Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, said hoteliers need to find new and novel ways to address the issue, especially at properties like hers, where there are 1,300 employees.

“We have to be very creative; we have to understand how our associates want to work,” Haack said. “We’re using hot scheduling so employees can switch shifts between themselves. We’re trying to give leeway to them if they want to build their careers.”

Rate drives RevPAR increase for U.S. hotels: With occupancy flat year over year, U.S. hoteliers relied on rate gains to drive revenue per available room growth for the week ending 25 August, according to the latest data from Hotel News Now’s parent company STR.

Compared to the same week last year, occupancy remained flat at 69.5% while average daily rate and RevPAR were both up 1.8% to $127.55 and $88.69, respectively.

Atlanta saw the strongest gains among the top 25 markets, with ADR increasing 11.4% to $110.34 and RevPAR increasing 19.8% to $79.61.

Two workers killed in accident at Florida hotel development: Two construction workers died Wednesday after falling seven stories at the site of a future JW Marriott property near Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, according to ClickOrlando.com. The accident apparently happened when scaffolding collapsed as workers were preparing to pour concrete. A third worker was able to climb to safety with only minor injuries.

An official with the property issued a statement of condolences, according to the report.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that took place earlier today,” JW Marriott spokesman Jeff Flaherty told the news outlet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of the workers who died.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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