From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- Park Hotels sells 3 non-core assets for $166 million
- IHG, Sands China announce Macau partnership
- LIIC members see promise in opportunity zones
- Another record year predicted for travel over Fourth of July
- DoubleTree by Hilton cookies headed to space
Park Hotels sells 3 non-core assets for $166 million: Park Hotels & Resorts announced it sold the 507-room Hilton Atlanta Airport, the 317-room Hilton New Orleans Airport and the 274-room Embassy Suites Parsippany for $166 million (approximately $151,000 per key), according to a news release. The hotels are located in non-core airport and suburban markets and, as of 2018, have a combined revenue per available room of $109, about 37% below Park’s portfolio average.
“I am extremely pleased with our continued progress on our capital recycling efforts, having now sold 18 non-core assets for over $750 million since our formation in 2017,” Chairman, President and CEO Thomas Baltimore, Jr., said in the release. “As previously disclosed, proceeds from the sales of these three assets will help to meaningfully reduce our net leverage ahead of the recently announced proposed merger with Chesapeake Lodging Trust.”
IHG, Sands China announce Macau partnership: InterContinental Hotels Group and Sands China announced an expansion of the InterContinental Alliance Resorts partnership with the addition of The Venetian Macao and The Parisian Macao, according to a news release. Sands China’s The Londoner Hotel will join the partnership when it opens in 2020.
IHG and the Sands Corporation launched the InterContinental Alliance Resorts partnership in 2010 with The Venetian Resort Las Vegas, the release states. The partnership allows IHG Rewards Club members to earn and redeem points at properties in the partnership.
LIIC members see promise in opportunity zones: Hotel developers are optimistic about what opportunity zones opening up for them in both location and tax benefits, but members of the Lodging Industry Investment Conference said not every project is a good fit, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.
Opportunity zones are designed to spur investment in low-income and rural areas, and not every opportunity zone can sustain a hotel, said Mary Beth Cutshall, SVP and chief business development officer for Hospitality Ventures Management Group.
“Maybe about 20% of opportunity zones are viable hotel areas,” she said. “You have to find them, because they’re not the majority.”
Another record year predicted for travel over Fourth of July: AAA projects a record 48.9 million Americans will travel for the Fourth of July holiday this year, an increase of about 1.9 million over last year. Of those traveling, 41.4 million are expected to do so by driving, motivated by generally lower gas prices.
Based on AAA’s advance travel bookings, the top 10 domestic destinations for U.S. travelers are Orlando, Honolulu, Seattle, Las Vegas, Anaheim, New York, Boston, Maui, Anchorage and Chicago.
DoubleTree by Hilton cookies headed to space: Astronauts on the International Space Station will soon be able to enjoy chocolate chip cookies provide by DoubleTree by Hilton, Space.com reports. The hotel brand is working on a “specially prepared” cookie dough to launch to the ISS, where it will be baked in a new space oven.
Astronauts aboard the ISS have eaten plants they’ve grown on the space station and brewed espresso in orbit, the article states. The DoubleTree cookie would be the first time they’ve actually baked something in space.
Compiled by Bryan Wroten.