5 things to know: 25 September 2019
5 things to know: 25 September 2019
25 SEPTEMBER 2019 9:12 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hyatt launches select-service brand Caption
  • Good vibes at the first day of Lodging
  • Vail Resorts completes Peak acquisition
  • Filament, Kokua merge, create Sightline
  • Metrics down in Middle East for August

Hyatt launches select-service brand Caption: Hyatt Hotels Corporation officials announced the launch of a new select-service brand Tuesday called Caption by Hyatt, writes HNN’s Danielle Hess. The brand will key in on travelers who are keen on connecting with others while on the road.

Gary Dollens, head of product and brand development at Hyatt, said that while the brand will be open to brand management, it will be perfect for growth in the franchised space.

“We think this is going to be a large franchise vehicle,” he said. “There will also be managed hotels in the brand, and it depends on the part of the world and where you’ve got fewer franchises. But when you look at North America, you’re going to see this as a highly franchised brand with a lot of appeal from a development perspective and an ongoing runway.”

Good vibes at the first day of Lodging: Hoteliers are maintaining their overall sense of optimism at this year’s Lodging Conference, with Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist of The Economic Outlook Group, saying the outlook is surprisingly strong despite the elongated cycle.

“We’re at a pivotal moment, and we’ve achieved something quite special, growing for more than 10 years,” he said. “Fundamentals of the economy still look great.”

He also noted low unemployment, rising wages, strong consumer spending and ample capital “are not the kind of symptoms of an economy that’s approaching a peak.”

Vail Resorts completes Peak acquisition: Officials with Vail Resorts have completed their acquisition of Peak Resorts’ 17 ski resorts across the U.S., according to a news release. The deal came in with an $11-per-share purchase price. Peak shareholders approved the deal on 20 September.

The purchase brings Vail’s total portfolio size to 37 resorts, adding new locations across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. The company has already committed to making $15 million in improvements at the properties over the next two years.

Filament, Kokua merge, create Sightline: Mergers seem to be all the rage among hotel management companies, and the latest combination is between Kokua Hospitality and Filament Hospitality, creating a new entity called Sightline Hospitality, according to a news release.

In a sit-down video interview with HNN’s Danielle Hess, Sightline President Kirk Pederson, formerly president of Kokua, said the two company’s strengths complement each other, with Kokua having a depth of knowledge on working with brands while Filament holds expertise in marketing.

Metrics down in Middle East for August: The Middle East saw a slide in each of the three key performance metrics for the month of August, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR, while both Africa and Central/South America saw a lift.

Occupancy in the Middle East fell 0.6% year over year to 63.1%, and average daily rate fell 6.8% to $158.79. That combined for a 7.3% drop in revenue per available room to $100.23

African hotels experienced lifts in both occupancy (up 0.3% to 63.2%) and ADR (up 3.4% to $109.54) for a 3.7% increase in RevPAR to $69.25.

In Central/South America, occupancy increased 1.4% year over year to 59.9%, and ADR jumped 11% to $94.48 for a 12.6% increase in RevPAR to $56.63.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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