From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Union employees, Marriott reach deal to end Boston strike
- Starwood Capital Group acquires Princeville Resort
- Hotels serve up nontraditional Thanksgiving for guests
- EU leaders tell UK the best Brexit deal is on the table
- US corporate debt load causing concern
Union employees, Marriott reach deal to end Boston strike: Members of Unite Here Local 26 reached a deal on 17 November with Marriott International to end the strike in Boston that started 3 October, the Boston Globe reports. Local 26 intends to use its agreement with Marriott for its negotiations with the other unionized hotels in the city.
While he declined to give specific details of the contract, Unite Here Local 26 President Brian Lang told the newspaper the agreement met the union’s goals, including higher wages, ensuring employees are scheduled for enough hours, sexual harassment protections and paid parental leave. The contract’s term is four and a half years and includes back pay from 1 March.
Strikes continue at Marriott hotels in San Francisco and Hawaii, the newspaper reports.
Starwood Capital Group acquires Princeville Resort: Starwood Capital Group acquired the 251-room St. Regis Princeville Resort for an undisclosed sum, according to a news release. The company plans to invest more than $100 million to transform the property into “what will surely be the 1 Hotel brand's flagship resort, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay.”
Starwood Capital launched the 1 Hotel brand in 2015, and brand had three properties prior to the acquisition.
“We are just thrilled to have this opportunity to acquire and create what will surely be one of the most incredible resort properties in the world, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay,” said Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital, in the release. “There is no better location, nor more perfect microclimate, to create a wellness resort that will reinvigorate our guests and celebrate the intoxicating beauty of nature.”
Hotels serve up nontraditional Thanksgiving for guests: The traditional Thanksgiving dinner is what typically comes to mind as people prepare for the upcoming holiday, but hoteliers have started to offer different options for people who are looking to change things up, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess.
The Stanford Inn in Mendocino, California, offers an organic plant-based dinner that doesn’t leave guests feeling over stuffed. Select hotels in Marriott International’s Tribute Portfolio have “Friendsgiving” packages that include an overnight stay, a communal-style dinner, board games and cocktails. The Salt & Chair steakhouse restaurant at The Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York, creates Thanksgiving meals to-go, which are available for pick up the day of Thanksgiving or the day before.
“A lot of people want to be around their table in their own home with family and friends, but just want to leave the cooking up to the experts, and in the case of our restaurant, why wouldn’t you want to impress your guests with our food?,” said David Burke, culinary director at The Adelphi Hotel and Salt & Char. “Joking aside, customers who serve our Thanksgiving to-go menu are essentially introducing us to a broad spectrum of guests who hadn’t known about us before.”
EU leaders tell U.K. the best Brexit deal is on the table: The deal negotiated by the United Kingdom and the European Union isn’t going to change, EU ministers told U.K. critics of the deal, Reuters reports. British Prime Minister Theresa May presented the proposed deal last week, upsetting many pro-Brexit politicians, Northern Ireland unionists, and those desiring a closer relationship with the EU.
National leaders in the EU will meet 25 November to approve the deal on its side, according to the article, but its fate is uncertain in the U.K.
“No deal better than the one on the table can be reached,” said Michael Roth, European affairs minister for Germany.
U.S. corporate debt load causing concern: The amount and type of debt that companies in the United States have issued are setting up some red flags, Bloomberg reports. Non-financial corporate debt reached 45.6% of gross domestic product, but non-residential investment has remained near 13% of GDP since 2012.
One of the concerns is that the increase in corporate borrowing isn’t sustainable if the motivation behind this debt is to transfer cash to owners instead of investing in assets or innovations to increase cash flow.
“You would think that companies want to add to productivity capacity but we really haven’t seen it,” Priya Misra, head of global rates strategy at TD Securities USA, told Bloomberg. “If they view the economy as in the late stages of the expansion, then there isn’t a lot of confidence about the outlook and it is easier to buy back stock.’’
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.