5 things to know: 11 December 2018
5 things to know: 11 December 2018
11 DECEMBER 2018 10:39 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Jin Jiang-led consortium seeks rest of Radisson
  • Hotel workers in Southern California prepare to strike
  • California’s wildfires cause spikes in hotel demand, ADR
  • Business travelers look for speedy hotel services
  • Number of unfilled jobs in low-skilled fields grows

Jin Jiang-led consortium seeks rest of Radisson: A consortium of companies led by Jin Jiang International continues its pursuit of Sweden’s Radisson Hospitality, Reuters reports. The consortium, which owns a 50.2% stake in Radisson already, has made a cash offering of 40 Swedish crowns ($4.41) per share.

The consortium’s offer for the full equity of Radisson values the hotel company at 7 billion Swedish crowns ($771.4 million). The current per-share offer represents a premium of 10% to the closing price of Radisson’s stock on Monday.

The independent committee of Radisson Hospitality’s board of directors stated in a news release it will evaluate the consortium’s offer.

Hotel workers in Southern California prepare to strike: Union employees at about two dozen Southern California hotels are getting ready for a potential strike now that their contracts have expired, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 7,500 employees voted 96% in favor of a strike at their hotels, which include the Westin Bonaventure in downtown L.A., the JW Marriott in the L.A. Live entertainment district and the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood.

The Unite Here union members are seeking, among other benefits, higher wages, more affordable healthcare and panic buttons for housekeepers, according to the article. Kurt Petersen, co-president of Unite Here Local 11, said workers are seeking a wage of $25 an hour because Los Angeles has one of the highest costs of living in the country as well a “booming tourism industry.”

Marriott said in a statement to the newspaper that the company has “always taken the negotiation process seriously and reached agreements.”

“We respect the right of our associates to voice their opinions on issues that are important to them,” the statement said. “Should the union and our employees choose to strike, our hotels will continue to operate and work to minimize any disruption.”

California’s wildfires cause spikes in hotel demand, ADR: The Camp and Woolsey wildfires in California burned more than 250,000 acres combined, displacing thousands of people and bringing in emergency crews. As a result, the affected regions in California saw jumps in hotel demand and average daily rate, write STR’s Claudia Alvarado and Hannah Smith. STR is the parent company of HNN.

Demand jumped by 46% on average during the Camp Fire, peaking at 120%. The impact on hotel performance was greater in areas near the Camp Fire than in those in the vicinity of the Woolsey Fire, as the counties near the Camp Fire have “significantly fewer” hotel rooms with a higher concentration of midscale and economy rooms, the research shows.

Business travelers look for speedy hotel services: Hotels are starting to offer more grab-and-go food-and-beverage options, short workouts and express beauty treatments as business travelers look to take advantage of what their hotels offer while on a tight schedule, The New York Times reports.

The need for speedy service is two-fold, according to the article. Business travelers have grown accustomed to instant gratifications through smartphone apps for services such as food delivery and banking, but the current generation of business travelers is expected to be on call at all times to respond to emails and other work responsibilities.

“Business travelers are spending more, but they have so many hotels to pick from, and they want the properties that give them efficiency and value,” said Scott Berman, U.S. hospitality & leisure practice leader at PwC.

Number of unfilled jobs in low-skilled fields grows: Data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that employers continue to open up new unskilled job positions, but far fewer people are applying, The Wall Street Journal reports. In a year-over-year comparison of October’s figures, the number of unfilled jobs in the U.S. grew by more than 1 million, and more than a third of those were retail and hospitality positions.

Because there are so many companies hiring and unemployment remains at “a near half-century low,” it’s believed that job seekers are applying for higher-paying positions instead.

“Many people who might otherwise look at those sectors are finding better alternatives in industries they view as more secure with better room for advancement” such as office and medical jobs, Julia Pollak, labor economist at employment site ZipRecruiter, told the newspaper.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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