5 things to know: 1 May 2019
5 things to know: 1 May 2019
01 MAY 2019 9:23 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Vienna House buys 17-hotel Arcona portfolio
  • US wages increased 0.7% in first quarter
  • Wynn receives permission to continue $2.6b asset
  • Brand growth, tech investments propel Choice
  • Study finds hotels see drop in traveler satisfaction

Vienna House buys 17-hotel Arcona portfolio: Austrian hotel firm Vienna House has bought 17 German hotels from Rostock, Germany-based Arcona Group, comprising eight Arcona Living properties, four Arcona Hotels properties and five Steigenberger hotels operated by peer German hotel firm Deutsche Hospitality, according to a news release.

No financial details have been provided, but the deal also includes two upcoming projects that have not been branded as yet but are in the German cities of Greifswald and Mannheim. Vienna House operates hotels under its brands Vienna House, Vienna House Easy and Vienna House R.evo, while Arcona will remain in operation with additional hotels that it owns.

U.S. wages increased 0.7% in first quarter: The U.S. Labor Department said its employment-cost index, which measures wages and benefits for civilian workers, rose 0.7% across the first three months of 2019, according to The Wall Street Journal, although results from a survey conducted by the newspaper revealed economists to believe the increase would be 0.8%.

The department’s nonfarm-payrolls data in March showed average hourly earnings for private-sector workers had risen in year-on-year terms by 3.2%. The newspaper added “workers’ compensation in recent quarters has risen faster than overall inflation, reflecting a tight domestic labor market.”

Wynn receives permission to continue $2.6b asset: An announcement from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has allowed Wynn Resorts to retain its gaming license and thus continue the development of its Encore Boston Harbor asset in Everett, Massachusetts, according to media outlet CNBC.

In its ruling, the commission also fined Las Vegas-based Wynn $35 million. The investigation into Wynn Resorts’ suitability to hold a gaming license stemmed from allegations of “employees’ accusations of rape, sexual harassment and other misconduct against founder and then-CEO Steve Wynn.” Wynn Resorts said it would respond to the ruling soon, with the Everett property due to open in June.

Brand growth, tech investments propel Choice: Pat Pacious, president and CEO of Choice Hotels International, has told his firm’s franchisees during its annual convention that any continued success for the company stems from in-house technology efforts and putting more investment in big data, according to HNN’s Danielle Hess.

Celebrating the company’s 80th year, Choice executives said the speed in which decisions and features can affect any hotel’s bottom line has increased. Pacious said that across those eight decades the company has gone from having 66 rooms to now more than 600,000.

Study finds hotels see drop in traveler satisfaction: The American Customer Satisfaction Index Travel Report for 2018-2019 has come out, and the numbers show hotels experienced a slight drop, USA Today reports. Hotels saw their overall score decline 1.3% to 75 out of 100, with Airbnb being cited as a reason why.

“This is a transforming industry. If corporate hotels aren’t able to step up, they’re going to continue to slide,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI.

In a ranking of the top 10 hotel brand companies, Hilton topped the list, followed by Marriott International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Choice Hotels International, La Quinta Inns & Suites (now part of Wyndham Hotels Group), “all others,” Wyndham Hotels Group and G6 Hospitality (Motel 6).

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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