From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- DC council votes to restrict short-term rentals
- Invincible completes 2018’s largest Caribbean deal
- New brands expected to reshape Best Western
- Resort island in Philippines to restrict tourist flow
- Hotel strike starts in Boston
D.C. council votes to restrict short-term rentals: The Washington, D.C. City Council voted unanimously 2 October in favor of preliminary approval to put restrictions on short-term rentals in the area, The Washington Post reports. The restriction would prohibit property owners in D.C. from renting out second homes on a short-term basis as well as create limitations on renting out spare bedrooms and basements in primary homes.
Airbnb had reacted angrily to a proposed bill to restrict short-term property rentals in Washington, D.C., according to previous reporting by The Washington Post, saying it would cost home owners “tens of millions of dollars in lost income and give Washington the most restrictive legislation of any major U.S. city except New York and San Francisco.”
The Post’s article states there are approximately 9,000 short-term rentals in the city, while there are more than 31,000 hotel rooms.
Invincible completes 2018’s largest Caribbean deal: Tokyo-based real estate investment trust Invincible Investment Corporation has completed the largest deal seen in 2018 in the Caribbean with the acquisition of the Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa and Sunshine Suites Resort for approximately $340 million, according to a news release.
The 343-room Westin recently finished a $50 million renovation, while the 131-room Sunshine asset is directly across the street. Invincible said at completion that the 2018 net operating income of the assets it estimated to be 5.8% greater than that estimated in July when it first entered negotiations on the properties.
New brands expected to reshape Best Western: Reporting from the Best Western Hotels & Resorts brand conference in Grapevine, Texas, HNN’s Robert McCune writes the addition of new brands and prototypes have given Best Western’s owners a new array of options across chain-scale segments. The company launched two new brands, called Sadie and Aiden, at The Lodging Conference last week.
President and CEO David Kong said there is plenty of reason for him to be optimistic about the company’s prospects going forward.
“You look at all our brands, I think all of them are growth brands, so that’s going to allow us to achieve even more scale,” he said.
Resort island in Philippines to restrict tourist flow: Boracay, an island in the Philippines that has been closed to visitors for a “six-month rehabilitation effort,” will restrict the number of tourists allowed to step foot on the island when it reopens on 26 October, Reuters reports.
Viewed as the most popular destination in the archipelago, the island was closed in April as President Rodrigo Duterte called it a “cesspool” due to sewage and construction issues, according to the article. To curtail those issues, only 19,000 tourists will be allowed on the island on any given day, after drawing nearly 2 million people in 2017.
Hotel strike starts in Boston: Workers from seven Marriott International properties began a strike in Boston Wednesday morning, roughly three weeks after authorizing a strike, The Boston Globe reports.
The strike affects more than 1,500 employees at the Aloft Boston Seaport District, Element Boston Seaport District, Ritz-Carlton Boston, Sheraton Boston, W Hotel Boston, Westin Boston Waterfront and Westin Copley Place.
The newspaper notes workers are looking for “more protections as the industry undergoes major changes, namely from technology such as self-check-in kiosks and robot room service.” Unite Here Local 26 is asking for “hotels to protect worker hours, provide more secure schedules, and improve sexual harassment protections and pregnancy accommodations.”
Compiled by Terence Baker and Sean McCracken.