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5 things to know: 9 September 2013
September 9 2013

• HDC conference coverage continues
• Early Super Bowl demand disappoints
• Value Place, Dinosaur Capital eye growth in Boston
• BRICS leaders prepare for financial disruption
• Internet vendor blames lost contracts for bankruptcy

Coverage of the 5th annual Hotel Data Conference hosted by STR and Hotel News Now continues this week.

On Monday, Hotel News Now’s Ed Watkins lends an ear to the social media conversation, citing speakers who said managing social media at a hotel or within a hotel company isn’t a singular function; it takes a team to create a platform that produces desired results.

Hotel News Now’s Shawn A. Turner discusses transient versus group demand, citing speakers who said the two groups of travelers are melding together rather than representing different streams of business for hotels.

And Hotel News Now’s Samantha Worgull writes that many popular resort destinations in the United States, such as Orlando and Las Vegas, are approaching prior peak performance levels despite decreased sentiment surrounding luxury travel following the AIG scandal.

The Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on 2 February is expected to be a financial win for New York, with hundreds of thousands of people coming to the area. But the hype has not yet translated into the blitz of hotel reservations—and sky-high room rates—the event's boosters had been expecting, according to a Crain’s New York report.

Sources say the National Football League in recent weeks has been eliminating or scaling back the number of rooms it had reserved at local hotels. The league had reserved 18,000 rooms—about the same number it requires every year—in New York and New Jersey. The rooms go to the 32 NFL teams, corporate sponsors, media and vendors.

Although there are still five more months until game day, hoteliers say they are disappointed to lose the room blocks and that the weaker demand has wreaked havoc on their pricing strategies.

Value Place and Dinosaur Capital Partners, a Boston-based development and investment firm, plan to develop 12 new hotels in the Boston area over the next two years, according to a news release.

Boston is Value Place’s latest focus in its continuing rapid expansion across the U.S. The Wichita, Kansas-based extended-stay hotel-apartment hybrid was founded by Jack DeBoer.

Value Place has teamed with Dinosaur Capital Partners to identify, acquire and develop suitable locations, with construction of the company’s first Boston-area 124-unit property slated to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

As speculation emerges that the U.S. may scale back its key economic stimulus program soon, leaders of the BRICS group of nations said they will set up a $100-billion fund to guard against financial shocks, according to a BBC report.

The U.S. announcement has seen investors pull out money, hurting currencies of emerging nations. The BRICS leaders—from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—said the details of the fund were still being worked out.

"The initiative to establish a BRICS currency reserve pool is at its final stage," Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the G20 summit in St Petersburg.

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, said in May the U.S. might start to rein back on its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program.

Lost contracts with Marriott International after the franchisor sought vendor certification in 2009 is being partially blamed for the bankruptcy of IBahn, a hotel Internet provider.

IBahn, seeking bankruptcy protection in Delaware, didn’t achieve the Marriott certification until 2013, and as a result lost a third of the Marriott contracts between 2011 and 2013, according to Bloomberg, citing the bankruptcy filing. Marriott’s standards were implemented “to establish consistent standards at its hotels,” and the franchisor will continue to work with iBahn through the company’s financial restructuring, the filing states.

Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.

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