5 things to know: 25 July 2019
5 things to know: 25 July 2019
25 JULY 2019 9:07 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hilton CEO plans for two brands in near future
  • JD Power: Hotels not delivering on great sleeping conditions
  • Kempinski names Pracht as CFO
  • Colorado hoteliers worry new tax will hurt business
  • A look at iconic movie hotels

Hilton CEO plans for two brands in near future: On the company’s second-quarter earnings call with analysts Wednesday, Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta said the company plans to launch two brands in the next couple of years, with the first one launching in the next six months, HNN’s Dana Miller writes.

Nassetta didn’t detail launch dates or names for the brands, but he said they are in the lifestyle space.

“One … is a very large-scale opportunity on a global basis, which I would say is sort of upscale lifestyle. I would describe it as sort of a click above Hilton Garden Inn. … I do think that (new) brand has a huge amount of potential in terms of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hotels around the world,” he said. “We have already soft launched it with our development community. The reception has been spectacular.”

JD Power: Hotels not delivering on great sleeping conditions: The No. 1 thing guests want from a hotel stay is a great night’s sleep, but many hotels “are not delivering better-than-expected sleeping conditions,” according to J.D. Power’s 2019 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index.

“Delivering a superior sleep experience—from the quality of the bed, linens and pillows to the ambient sound and temperature of the room—is a huge opportunity for hotels to differentiate themselves from the pack and earn significant goodwill with guests,” Jennifer Corwin, senior manager of consumer insights for Travel & Hospitality Intelligence at J.D. Power, said in the release.

The brands that ranked highest in guest satisfaction for each segment are as follows:

  • Luxury: Ritz-Carlton
  • Upper Upscale: Hard Rock Hotel
  • Upscale: Best Western Premier
  • Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels
  • Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham
  • Economy: Microtel by Wyndham

Kempinski names Pracht as CFO: Kempinski Hotels CFO Colin Lubbe announced that he would be stepping down from his position on 30 June, and the company announced Thursday that Michael Pracht will take over the role, according to a news release.

Pracht has more than 35 years of experience in hotel finance and operations. He served as GM of HMS before joining Kempinski.

“In my new role I am looking forward to reaching out to our stakeholders inside and outside the organization to ensure efficient workflows and increased ROIs across the network,” he said in the release.

Colorado hoteliers worry new tax will hurt business: Hoteliers in Grand Junction, Colorado, are worried that a new lodging tax that was passed in November will not bring in as much tourism as usual for the area’s Navy Blue Angels Air Show this weekend, a local affiliate of NBC News reports.

The city passed the tax in hopes of bringing in more visitors to the area, but some hoteliers lowered room rates to “even out the tax increase” to bring in business for the air show.

"The consumer doesn't know about it. But after they pay it this year, they're going to know about it,” Robert Feeley, Super 8 owner, told the news outlet. “And are they going to come back here, or are they going to go to another place in Colorado? For example Aspen, for food and wine, where the tax is still 11.1.”

A look at iconic movie hotels: Many movies have been filmed in hotels, and Forbes recently compiled a list of the “most iconic movie hotels of all time.”

New York’s Plaza Hotel, built in 1907, tops the list, and was seen in movies such as “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” and “Eloise at the Plaza.”

Others on the list include the Park Hyatt Tokyo, where “Lost in Translation” was filmed; The Overlook Hotel, where “The Shining” was filmed; and the Bates Motel, where “Psycho” was filmed.

“The actors, the story, and the dialogue are all important, and one of the most critical pieces can be the location. The set of a film often becomes a character of its own, and that seems to be especially true for movies that take place within the walls of a hotel. Whether fictional resorts or real-life venues, these properties can define a plot and garner fanfare for decades after the film's release,” Forbes writes.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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