5 things to know: 28 August 2019
5 things to know: 28 August 2019
28 AUGUST 2019 9:37 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Tropical storm expected to turn into hurricane
  • Johnson wants Queen to suspend Parliament
  • A look at the top 25 markets and beyond
  • Sex-trafficking victims file lawsuit against Atlanta hotels
  • Marriott to eliminate single-use toiletry bottles

Tropical storm expected to turn into hurricane: Tropical Storm Dorian will pass over Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands Wednesday at “near-hurricane strength,” and is expected to become a hurricane and head toward Florida, USA Today reports.

The storm shifted at the last minute and “threatened a direct hit on Puerto Rico, which could bring landslides, flash flooding and power outages,” the news outlet reports. U.S. President Donald Trump declared the storm as an emergency Tuesday and “ordered federal assistance.”

The storm is expected to unleash 4 to 6 inches of rain and, in some areas, as much as 10 inches over southern and eastern Puerto Rico as well as the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

Johnson wants Queen to suspend Parliament: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September—and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline,” BBC News reports.

A suspension would cut the time MPs would have to stop a no-deal Brexit on 31 October. Johnson said the Queen could give a speech to outline his agenda after the suspension on 14 October.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote to the Queen asking to meet with her to request an urgent meeting before a final decision is made, according to the news outlet.

"Suspending Parliament is not acceptable, it is not on. What the prime minister is doing is a smash and grab on our democracy to force through a no deal," he said.

A look at the top 25 markets and beyond: Many of the top 25 U.S. hotel markets are dealing with supply issues, but some areas outside those markets have factors that make them promising areas for hotel development, write HNN’s Danielle Hess and Dan Kubacki.

Supply growth in top 25 markets has been at 2.6% since August 2018, but demand hit a high point before dropping to 1.3% in the same month, said Brad Garner, SVP of client services at HNN’s parent company STR, at the 2019 Hotel Data Conference.

In terms of growth for 2020, Miami is expected to see a 6% increase in revenue-per-available-room growth since it is hosting the Super Bowl and hoteliers should raise rates around the event.

Mathew Jalazo, EVP of development at Winston Hotels, said markets beyond the top 25 that have rising roomnight demand and consistent growth in RevPAR and average daily rate are indicating those markets are healthy. An example of this is the New Mexico South market, which has 15,900 rooms in its sample.

“From October 2017 to December 2018, the market had 15 consecutive months of double-digit ADR growth, and demand has consistently outpaced supply,” Kubacki writes.

Sex-trafficking victims file lawsuit against Atlanta hotels: Four sex-trafficking victims have filed a lawsuit against four hotels in the metro Atlanta area “claiming the hotels profited from and participated in sex trafficking,” WSB-TV 2 Atlanta reports.

The federal lawsuit alleges the hotels overlooked abuse, “and in some cases, employees served as lookouts, even pocketing cash for keeping quiet,” according to the news outlet.

Andersen, Tate & Carr, the law firm representing the victims, named four hotels in the suit:

  • The Red Roof on Corporate Plaza at Windy Hill Road in Smyrna
  • Suburban Extended Stay on Peachtree Industrial Court in Chamblee
  • La Quinta Inn on North Point Drive in Alpharetta
  • The Extended Stay America on Hammond Drive near Perimeter Mall

The Red Roof property sent the firm a statement: "Red Roof condemns, and has zero tolerance for, human trafficking and child exploitation. Red Roof expects its franchisees to follow the policy and as part of our franchise agreement, comply with the law. In light of this pending litigation, Red Roof is unable to discuss specifics of the case, however, Red Roof will continue to work with law enforcement and aggressively enforce these human rights policies and will take all appropriate action."

Marriott to eliminate single-use toiletry bottles: Marriott International started an initiative in 2018 to use large bottles with pump dispensers for shower toiletry bottles rather than single-use ones in some of its brands, and today, the company said “most of its other hotels” will make the switch to larger bottles by December 2020, according to a news release. The company has made the change at about 1,000 of its properties in North America so far.

The expanded program is expected to “prevent about 500 million tiny bottles annually from going into landfills; that’s about 1.7 million pounds of plastic, a 30% annual reduction from current amenity plastic usage,” the release states. The company expects most of its other hotels to make this switch by December 2020.

“This is our second global initiative aimed at reducing single-use plastics in just over a year, which underscores how important we believe it is to continuously find ways to reduce our hotels’ environmental impact. It’s a huge priority for us,” Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in the release.

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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