5 things to know: 9 January 2019
5 things to know: 9 January 2019
09 JANUARY 2019 10:25 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • HNA has plans to sell off more hotels
  • How developers are responding to tariff, labor concerns
  • Stocks rise as US-China trade talks come to a close
  • Seattle hotels lure commuters looking to beat Viaduct jams
  • Coworking spaces move into hotels

HNA has plans to sell off more hotels: Chinese conglomerate HNA Group met with bankers this week “to tout the latest assets that the sprawling conglomerate is putting on the block as it looks to raise funds and stave off an intensifying cash crunch,” Reuters reports.

This round of asset sales include a hotel project in Harbin, in northern China. HNA began the “process of unwinding a $50 billion acquisition spree” over a year ago, which included the sale of stakes in hotels, airlines and other assets.

The company sold Radisson Holdings to Shanghai-based hospitality group Jin Jiang International Holdings in August.

How developers are responding to tariff, labor concerns: Labor challenges and tariffs are forcing some hotel developers to rethink their current investment strategies, writes HNN’s Dana Miller.

Bruce Collins, regional director of development, east, at OTO Development, said his company is looking into different opportunities, though for the most part, the company will continue to focus on deals in high-barrier-to-entry markets.

“But I think you’ll see us shift a little bit and put a little bit more of a focus on the acquisition side,” he said.

Stocks rise as U.S.-China trade talks come to a close: Investors were optimistic about trade talks between China and the U.S. coming to a close on Wednesday, which pushed up global stocks, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“In the U.S., futures put the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq Composite Index on course to rise 0.2%,” according to the news outlet. The Stoxx 600 index in Europe was up 0.9%.

Oil prices were also up. Brent crude was at $59.83 a barrel, up 1.9%, and West Texas Intermediate futures rose 2.2% to $50.84 a barrel.

Seattle hotels lure commuters looking to beat Viaduct jams: As Seattle’s Viaduct is expected to close on Friday, causing traffic jams for many, hotels in the city are offering incentives to encourage commuters to book stays to beat the congestion, Komo News reports.

The Alexis Hotel and three other hotels in downtown Seattle are “offering steep discounts” to travelers who don’t want to sit through viaduct traffic, Tom Waithe, regional VP of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, told the news outlet. January is a slower month for business at hotels, which is why properties are able to offer rates at 30% 40% less than what they would normally be, he said.

Coworking spaces move into hotels: In recent years, many hotel lobbies have transformed into spaces where guests can go to socialize and work. But now, some hotels are going beyond that idea by setting up “WeWork-style coworking areas,” The New York Times reports.

Lobbies can sometimes be too busy or loud for business travelers who need to get work done, which makes communal spaces where others are working an attractive alternative for many.

Jessica Collison, research director at the Global Business Travel Association, told the news outlet that the hotel coworking spaces work well for millennials who “tend to be more nomadic than the older generation of travelers and spend more time outside of their room.”

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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