In this week’s roundup of news from the Americas region: HNN editors recap NYU 2019; the brand that built Choice; Accor’s LatAm strategy; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s review covers the Americas.
NYU 2019 coverage
HNN editors covered the recent 2019 NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, and the general sentiment on the opening day of the event was that times are good for the hotel industry. However, Jonathan Tisch, conference chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, said “the best time to be paranoid is when things are good.”
For example, some in the industry are pumping the brakes on the pace of investing and making deals as costs are rising, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.
For more coverage of NYU, continue to check back here.
80 years of Quality, the brand that formed Choice
The brand that eventually created Choice Hotels International first began as an association called Quality Courts, and formed 80 years ago by seven Southern hoteliers, writes Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess.
The association became Quality Courts United in 1941 and was the country’s first hotel chain. It became known as Quality Courts Motels in 1963, Quality Inns International in 1972, and in 1990 officially became Choice Hotels International. Today, the brand is known as Quality Inn, and sits in Choice’s midscale segment of its portfolio.
“There’s a very specific lane that Quality swims in,” said Anne Smith, VP of brand management and design compliance at Choice. “It’s different from Comfort, and it’s different from Econo Lodge. That brand segmentation that we have across all of our brands is really, really important.”
Accor sees LatAm growth shifting to luxury brands
Accor historically has had a large presence in the midscale and economy space; now it is shifting focus to more high-end segments, which is paying dividends in Latin America, writes HNN’s McCracken.
The company has particularly seen “a huge shift over the last two or three years,” according to Alexis Ralph, Accor’s VP of development for Central America, Cuba and Mexico.
“Now it’s a robust portfolio, and Mexico is one of the markets where we’re moving on with that expansion. We’ve got some great openings coming soon,” he said.
Playa leveraging Hyatt, Hilton deals to grow all-inclusive
Executives of Playa Hotels & Resorts expect deals with Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Hilton to provide better distribution for Playa and help propel growth in the all-inclusive segment, writes HNN’s McCracken.
“We need to, at this time, strengthen (the relationship) and help these two brands to grow (in the all-inclusive space),” said Fernando Mulet, EVP and chief development officer. “We have a lot of growth potential to add Hiltons and Hyatts both in new destinations and in (existing) destinations.”
Deals, developments, people on the move
- Propst Development, Chartwell Hospitality and Hilton announced the development of the 237-room Conrad Nashville hotel that will anchor a $540-million mixed-use project in Nashville.
- Choice Hotels International announced its Cambria Hotels brand will expand to Vermont, following Choice’s agreement with Hospitality Funding Inc. and TQP Capital Partners to develop a 142-key Cambria. The hotel is slated to open in 2021.
- Mereté Hotel Management has appointed Terry Goldman as its VP of operations. He will oversee the operation of the 16 hotels in company’s management portfolio as well as two projects in Bend, Oregon, under development.
- KSL Resorts announced James Struthers, the company’s longtime CFO, has been promoted to president.
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts officially named John Davison as president and CEO. He had been serving as interim CEO since the end of 2018.
- Viceroy Hotels & Resorts announced the brand has been selected by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust to assume management of the 193-room Donavan Hotel D.C. and 178-room Mason & Rook Hotel D.C. effective 1 July.
- Aiden by Best Western opened its first hotel in the U.S. with the Aiden by Best Western @ Austin City Hotel in Austin, Texas.
- Hilton’s Tapestry Collection announced its debut property in the Caribbean with the signing of the 168-room ROK Hotel, Kingston, slated to open in 2020. The owner is PanJam Investment Limited, and the hotel sits in a multi-purpose complex.
- Park Hotels & Resorts reopened the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico, following a $150-million restoration after damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017. This was the first Hilton property to open outside of the continental U.S. in 1949.
- InterContinental Hotels Group opened the 118-room, new-build Holiday Inn Piura hotel in Peru. This is the company’s first brand to open in Piura.
Compiled by Dana Miller.