5 things to know: 9 May 2019
5 things to know: 9 May 2019
09 MAY 2019 9:41 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Brand growth, hiring next generation key for Choice
  • RLJ, RLHC and Choice report Q1 earnings
  • A look at the growth of Minor Hotels
  • Weekly results for the US hotel industry
  • Miami Beach hotels ask for delay on panic buttons

Brand growth, hiring next generation key for Choice: Choice Hotels International is open to new opportunities, but executives said during a media roundtable at the company’s convention last week that taking care of current brands and growing those brands is a priority, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess.

Since the start of 2018, the company has done three main things related to its brands, according to President and CEO Pat Pacious.

“We acquired a brand, WoodSpring Suites; we launched a new brand, Clarion Pointe, which has gotten off to great success; and we’re also going to continue to invest in our current brands,” he said.

To help its franchisees attract and retain talent in a tightening labor market, Pacious said the company offers courses through Choice University to help owners better run their hotels.

“We’re not just teaching people about housekeeping, revenue management and sales; there’s a whole track on small business,” he said. “Getting your workman’s comp the right way, getting your local taxes done the right way, just basics of running a small business, whether it’s a hotel or a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise.”

RLJ, RLHC and Choice report Q1 earnings: RLJ Lodging Trust, RLH Corporation and Choice Hotels International recently reported first-quarter earnings results.

RLJ results show that pro forma revenue per available room increased 1.3% during the quarter, which was driven by a 2% increase in average daily rate. The real estate investment trust also reported net income of $28.3 million for the quarter.

RLHC reported adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $998,000 for the quarter. “With the elimination of the $865,000 of EBITDA from the nine hotels sold throughout 2018, adjusted EBITDA increased $803,000 over the prior year,” according to the earnings release.

Choice saw domestic systemwide RevPAR decrease 0.7% during the quarter, which was primarily due to the transformation of its Comfort brand. The transformation is “progressing ahead of schedule and saw more hotels under renovation during the quarter than forecasted,” the release states.

A look at the growth of Minor Hotels: Bangkok-based Minor Hotels became a major global player with its purchase of 94% of NH Hotel Group for $2.7 billion in 2018, according to a report from Forbes’ “Thailand’s Richest 2019” series. The article takes a look at the growth of the company and CEO William Heinecke’s achievements. 

“We went from about 150 hotels to 550 hotels, making us one of the largest hotel groups in the world,” Heinecke told the news outlet. The company’s buy of Spain-based NH took it from 22,209 rooms in 2017 to 75,241 rooms at the end of last year.

The CEO started Minor in 1967 as an office cleaning and advertising company while studying at Bangkok’s International School.

Heinecke said the company has 150 hotels in the pipeline, and added that it took “40 years to get to 100-150 hotels.”

Weekly results for the U.S. hotel industry: For the week of 28 April to 4 May, hotels in the U.S. saw positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics, according to data from STR, parent company of HNN. 

The industry saw occupancy increase 1.2% to 69.1%, ADR increased 2.3% to $133.43 and RevPAR rose 3.6% to $92.21.

Boston saw the largest increases across all three KPIs among the top 25 markets. Occupancy in the market rose 8.2% to 80.5%, ADR increased 8.5% to $227.08 and RevPAR increased 17.4% to $182.69.

Miami Beach hotels ask for delays on panic buttons: The Miami Beach City Commission passed a law requiring hotels to give housekeepers panic buttons to protect them from sexual harassment and assault by 1 August 2019. Hotels in the area have asked to have the ordinance delayed until 2020, the Miami Herald reports.

“Commissioner Michael Góngora introduced a proposal Wednesday that would delay implementation until 1 August 2020,” the newspaper reports. The commissioner said Dream South Beach and South Beach Group Hotels, which has 16 hotels in Miami Beach, voiced concerns about meeting this year’s deadline.

Dream South Beach’s GM Peggy Benua told the news outlet her hotel is still trying to find a vendor to supply the panic buttons at her hotel.

“The issue is that there’s so many vendors and so many options,” she told the Miami Herald. “Sorting through everything has been a challenge to find the most economical option to comply.”

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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