From the desks of the HotelNewsNow.com editorial staff:
• European hotel execs' confidence weak;
• Extended Stay could exit bankruptcy in June;
• Carlson aims to expand portfolio by 50 percent;
• security breach at Westin Bonaventure Hotel ; and
• Fortune: Marriott is most-admired company in the industry.
A survey of 417 European hotel executives by international law firm DLA Piper has revealed weak industry confidence and dealt a blow to hopes of recovery this year. Only 2 percent of respondents expect a sustained upturn this year, despite 37 percent predicting one year ago that 2010 would bring solid growth. These worse-than-expected results are compounded by fears from over half of hoteliers (55 percent) that room rates will not return to pre-financial crisis levels until after 2012.
The DLA Piper 2010 European Hospitality Outlook Report also shows mixed prospects for new build activity–36 percent of respondents expect a rise in new developments, but 32 percent expect a fall.
Extended Stay filed a Chapter 11 reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Shawn A. Turner.
The plan calls for investment firms Centerbridge Partners and Paulson & Company to assume a 22.5-percent stake in the company for US$450 million. Another US$225 million could be raised through a rights offering, the company said in a 5 March filing. The cash infusion is necessary to pay off the company’s debt and invest in its assets, the company said.
Extended Stay, which is valued at between US$2.8 billion and US$3.6 billion, said it could exit bankruptcy in June.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide’s five-year growth strategy was nearly lost in the hubbub of the announcement that Radisson brand will undergo a major rebranding, according to an article by HotelNewsNow.com’s Jeff Higley.
“Ambition 2015” is a plan to expand Carlson’s global portfolio by at least 50 percent by 2015. That type of growth would bring Carlson’s portfolio to more than 1,500 properties among five brands.
The company’s focus on the hotel division means expanding Radisson as a powerful, globally consistent first-class brand; accelerating the growth of Country Inns & Suites in the United States, Canada, India and Mexico; growing Park Inn as a winning midscale brand around the globe; and continue to grow in key emerging markets, with greater emphasis on the midscale segment.
Demand in Europe and Asia-Pacific is showing signs of a comeback, according to Mark Lomanno, chairman of STR Global, who spoke today at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin. Lomanno said he hasn’t been this optimistic in 18 months.
View the Lomanno's presentation. (Free HotelNewsNow.com registration required.)
In further proof that the hospitality industry is becoming a prime target for hackers, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles, California, has admitted a likely data security breach, according to infosecurity.com.
According to Westin, its four restaurants— Lake View Bistro, Lobby Court Bar, Bonavista Lounge, L.A. Prime—along with its valet parking operation may have suffered a data security breach between April and December last year.
According to a statement issued by Westin, compromised data could include names printed on customer credit or debit cards, card numbers, and expiration dates.
Compiled by Elaine Simon.