5 things to know: 24 March 2016
 
5 things to know: 24 March 2016
24 MARCH 2016 9:10 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Ashford Hospitality Prime-Sessa dispute moves to SEC
  • Hyatt’s Unbound buys Thompson Miami Beach
  • Inexperienced owners in Europe fuel white-label growth
  • AH&LA releases second part of Phoenix Airbnb study
  • Airbnb guest-host etiquette explained

Ashford Hospitality Prime-Sessa dispute moves to SEC: Following December 2015 criticism of real estate investment trust Ashford Prime by Sessa Capital—its third-largest shareholder (8.2.%)—Ashford filed an investor presentation Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission highlighting what it saw as inaccuracies in Sessa’s stance. Ashford also announced Wednesday that it had filed a lawsuit against Sessa for approximately $200 million.

Sessa complained that Ashford Prime was not following through quickly enough on its strategic review and, thus, was not “committed to value maximization for outside shareholders.” On Wednesday Sessa responded with its own version of events.

Hyatt’s Unbound buys Thompson Miami Beach: When Hyatt Hotels Corporation unveiled in early March its soft brand Unbound Collection by Hyatt, the hotel company did not mention using its own balance sheet to fuel its growth. But the company has done just that by entering into an agreement to buy the 380-room Thompson Miami Beach hotel from an affiliate of Geolo Capital, according to a newsrelease.

No purchase price was announced. The Miami property with join an already announced list of four Unbound properties, including two in the U.S.: The Driskill in Austin, Texas, and Coco Palms Resort, in Kauai, Hawaii. The Miami deal is expected to close in late April, at which time the property’s name will be changed to The Confidante.

Inexperienced owners in Europe fuel white-label growth: As Europe becomes more brand-friendly and leans toward more of a franchise-operating model, investors new to the hotel industry are opening growth opportunities for third-party management companies, or white labels, writes Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker.

Panelists at the recent Young Hoteliers Summit held at the École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland hinted that increased operations costs and brands concentrating mostly on branding also might lead some owners to migrate to third-party management companies.

AH&LA releases second part of Phoenix Airbnb study: The American Hotel & Lodging Association has released the second part of its study, conducted by Pennsylvania State University School of Hospitality Management, on the commercial aspects of Airbnb activity in Phoenix.

The study’s findings include:
• 85% of operators listed properties for rent more than 30 days per year, accounting for more than $41 million in revenue for Airbnb in Phoenix;
• 14% of operators listed properties for rent more than half the year, accounting for more than $9 million in revenue for the company; and
• multi-unit operators—accounting for 14% of hosts in Phoenix—drove 40% of revenue in the metropolitan area, which generated revenues of more than $17 million in 2015.

Airbnb ‘hanging out with your host’ etiquette explained: Book a hotel room, and no one expects the staff to insist the guest spends time with the GM, or vice-versa. In the world of Airbnb, though, other rules may apply, according to a recent piece on Airbnb etiquette published by Travel + Leisure.

The magazine asked Lizzie Post—great-great granddaughter of famed etiquette advisor Emily Post—to discuss how to properly and politely interact with Airbnb hosts. Among her comments, Lizzie Post said, “hosts should communicate how much they want to be a host. And people searching for Airbnbs should know themselves.” Before they arrive, Post said guests should know what they want and should say things like “I’m really looking for this sort of experience, but I want to make sure it matches up with what you as a host are offering.”


Compiled by Terence Baker.

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