5 things to know: 26 February 2019
5 things to know: 26 February 2019
26 FEBRUARY 2019 10:39 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • CBRE predicts short-lived slowdown will hit US hotels in 2021
  • Milwaukee a favorite to host DNC, but hotel supply a concern
  • Hotel uniforms designed to evoke comfort for staff, guests
  • International markets set performance records in January
  • Stranded at hotel by storm, teens fill in for absent housekeepers

CBRE predicts short-lived slowdown will hit U.S. hotels in 2021: The U.S. hotel industry is expected to ride revenue growth through 2020, which will slow down in 2021 due to an economic “blip” before getting back on track in 2022, according to a new forecast by CBRE Hotels Americas Research.

“In the near-term, the fundamentals of supply, demand and pricing in the U.S. lodging industry are very similar to what we have observed the past few years,” said Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels Americas Research. “For the most part, the supply of hotel rooms entering the market will be absorbed by newly generated demand buoyed by a healthy economy. Further, while the nominal rate of change may be disappointing, we are projecting average daily rate growth above the pace of inflation for 2019 and 2020.”

Woodworth said a projected economic slowdown in 2021 would be best characterized as a “blip … not a dip.”

“In fact, we see the U.S. hotel market bouncing back strong in 2022 with a 2.5% increase in demand,” he said.

Milwaukee a favorite to host DNC, but hotel supply a concern: A lack of hotel rooms to host the expected 50,000 attendees of the 2020 Democratic National Convention may hurt Milwaukee’s chances of hosting the event, though “many say (the city) is a favorite,” Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

Convention planners are expected to announce this week which city will host the 13-16 July 2020 event, which will have an estimated economic impact of $200 million to $300 million, the news outlet reports.

Contending with Milwaukee, Houston and Miami are also considered finalists to host. According to figures from STR, parent company of Hotel News Now, Milwaukee has approximately 5,500 hotel rooms downtown and a total of 17,884 in its metropolitan area, compared to 91,494 in Houston and 57,282 in Miami.

Hotel uniforms designed to evoke comfort for staff, guests: The continuing trend in hotel staff uniforms is more flexible, casual and individual, reports Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess, who interviewed branding and operations leaders at Dream Hotel Group, InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton.

Uniforms that are less and allow more personality to be displayed not only are more comfortable for employees, they make guests feel more comfortable, said Angela Esposito, director of brand design at InterContinental Hotels Group.

“Our uniforms (were made) to communicate this tone (of flexibility, casualness and connection) … that was the intention with Crowne Plaza’s program was to really make our uniforms more fun, more approachable, comfortable and really help guests see us as trusted allies in that we’re really mirroring what’s going on in their lives,” she said.

International markets set performance records in January: STR data for January highlights record-setting occupancy and revenue per available room in Bangkok, as Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Buenos Aires also reported feats in rooms sold during the month.

Bangkok hotels saw a 2.4% lift in occupancy to 84.1%, which boosted RevPAR by 4% to 3,084.65 Thai Baht ($98.46), the highest ever in both metrics for a January, STR data shows.

Hong Kong’s 90.1% occupancy was the second-highest for a January, down only slightly (-0.6%) from January 2018.

In Abu Dhabi, the Asian Cup football championship helped boost the market to its highest occupancy level (78%) since 2008.

Buenos Aires hotels reported a 4.4% year-over-year increase in occupancy to 62%, marking the highest for a January since 2012.

Stranded at hotel by storm, teens fill in for absent housekeepers: When a snowstorm stranded members of a girls’ youth basketball team at a hotel in Rochester, New York, the players pitched in to help the depleted hotel staff with various housekeeping tasks, the local ABC affiliate reports.

The storm prevented some hotel employees from clocking in for work, so members of the Cottage Grove Athletic Association team volunteered to do laundry, vacuum and take out the garbage, according to the news station.

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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