5 things to know: 10 October 2017
5 things to know: 10 October 2017
10 OCTOBER 2017 9:38 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • What can MGM do with room used to stage shooting?
  • Northern California wildfires join the long list of recent disasters
  • Social media changes lead hoteliers to tweak strategy
  • Highgate reportedly spending $200m on Gansevoort Park Avenue
  • The next stop for hotels: Treehouses?

What can MGM do with room used to stage shooting?: MGM Resorts International is now in the unenviable position of figuring out exactly what to do with the 32nd-floor suite used as a staging ground for the mass shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead and more than 500 injured on 1 October, and Reuters reports options include sealing off the room or possibly the entire floor to “avoid becoming a destination site for gawkers fascinated by its macabre history.”

This is a challenge not unique to the hotel industry, and Reuters points out that the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has remained closed since the June 2016 shooting that killed 49 people and Sandy Hook Elementary School, the site of a 2012 shooting, has since been demolished and rebuilt.

Northern California wildfires join the long list of recent disasters: A series of wildfires “across a wide swath of Northern California broke out almost simultaneously then grew exponentially,” recently, according to reports from various news outlets including Bloomberg. The fires, which impacted both rural areas, urban subdivisions and tourist destinations like Napa Valley wineries, is the latest to impact the travel industry of late, joining a parade of devastating hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico.

Among the properties damaged in the blazes, according to USA Today, was the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa, California.

“Many wineries and businesses in the area are unreachable,” USA Today reports. “The power appeared to be out and phone lines down.”

Social media changes lead hoteliers to tweak strategy: Some changes on platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are prompting hoteliers to change their own social media strategies, writes Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess.

Stephanie Ofreneo, social marketing and digital branding manager at social media consultancy The Social Element, said the addition of “buy now” options on some platforms has been key for the hotel industry.

“Often special offers or experiences are sold directly via social, making the process to buy a holiday or hotel room incredibly simple and quick,” she said. “But understanding who your audience is and how they behave online is a vital step in understanding which aspects of social will work best.”

Highgate reportedly spending $200m on Gansevoort Park Avenue: The Real Deal reports Highgate has signed a contract to buy the 249-key Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC at a price tag of nearly $200 million, which translated to almost $800,000 per key.

The Real Deal reports the 19-story, 214,000-square-foot property has been open since 2010 and was put on the market this summer.

Officials with Highgate have not yet publicly confirmed the deal, and could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

The next stop for hotels: Treehouses?: Business Insider reports that EOA, Inc., a California-based engineering consulting firm, has won this year’s Radical Innovation Award with concepts of a treehouse hotel, which they describe as “essentially an elaborate system of eight hovering tents.”

The concept from the consulting firm was titled “Living the Till” and is designed for “season inhabitation in remote areas, such as the stunning and perfectly preserved forests of Ecuador, Malaysia, Borneo, the Amazon, California, Australia or Japan,” according to Business Insider.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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