5 things to know: 9 January 2018
5 things to know: 9 January 2018
09 JANUARY 2018 9:59 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Revel Casino Hotel sells for $200m, will rebrand
  • Survey shows rise in U.S. hotel trades, dollar volume
  • Soft brands no longer just convenient portfolio add-ons
  • Japan’s Nikkei hits 26-year high
  • ‘Game of Thrones’ hotel opens in Finland’s Lapland

 Revel Casino Hotel sells for $200m, will rebrand: The 1,399-room Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been bought for $200 million and will be rebranded as the Ocean Resort Casino when it reopens this summer, according to a news release.

The new owners, AC Ocean Walk, said the property, which first opened in April 2012, will provide between 2,500 and 3,000 jobs. The asset will include a 5,700-seat entertainment venue.

 Survey shows rise in U.S. hotel trades, dollar volume: The U.S. hotel sector saw nine more single-asset deals, 182 in total, in 2017 than it did in 2016. That business included approximately $13.6 billion and approximately 51,000 hotel rooms, according to LW Hospitality Advisors’ 2017 Major U.S. Hotel Sales Survey.

The average sale price per key in 2017 equaled $267,000, an 11% decline over 2016, the survey added. Apart from the number of trades increasing in percentage terms in 2017, the total dollar volume was also up 7%. The largest single-asset trade of 2017 was the $1.14 billion paid for the 2,530-room Harrah’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, the survey added.

 Soft brands no longer just convenient portfolio add-ons: Soft brands are no longer just convenient add-ons to chain portfolios; they’ve become a major thrust to the overall industry as guests’ wants change and experiences become important aspects of any trip, reports Hotel News Now contributor Elly Earls.

In terms of performance, soft-brand hotels—which are defined by the Highland Group as properties that are unique in design, individually named and branded and affiliated with a major national franchise distribution system—have held their own. Overall occupancy was 71% in 2016, above the overall U.S. hotel industry of 66%, while average daily rate has increased 3.4% and revenue per available room rose 4.9% on an average annual basis from 2011 to 2016.

Japan’s Nikkei hits 26-year high: Japan’s Nikkei Index stock exchange has reached its highest level in 26 years, according to the BBC.

The record rise comes, according to the article, from the country’s longest period of economic growth in more than two decades and “Abenomics,” the reform packages and business-investment boost engineered by current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December 2012.

 ‘Game of Thrones’ hotel opens in Finland’s Lapland: TV channel subsidiary HBO Nordic and the Lapland Hotels SnowVillage have opened the world’s first “Game of Thrones”-themed ice and snow hotel, reports CNN. In the Finnish Lapland town of Kittilä, the property has temperatures of no higher than -2°C (28°F), hence the need for thermal sleeping bags and regularly heated cabins if the mercury plummets too much.

Each of the 24 rooms features ice sculptures from the George R.R. Martin “Game of Thrones” books, according to CNN. The hotel, approximately 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle, opens every winter, but now in its 17th year, it has taken on the “Thrones” theme for the first time.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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