5 things to know: 23 August 2019
 
5 things to know: 23 August 2019
23 AUGUST 2019 9:23 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • MGM buys 50% stake in boutique Sydell Group
  • Oyo to rebrand Las Vegas Hooters hotel
  • People, planning paramount in a downturn, hoteliers say
  • Dallas developers see value in ‘aparthotels’
  • Why travel sites delete reviews

MGM buys 50% stake in boutique Sydell Group: MGM Resorts International has made moves to get into the boutique hotel business by acquiring a 50% stake in Sydell Group, which operates boutique NoMad hotels and five other brands, The Wall Street Journal reports.

An MGM spokesman told the newspaper that the acquisition of Sydell Group “is part of the next evolution of our growth opportunities.” The price of the deal has not been disclosed. The stake in Sydell marks the first time that MGM has taken a position in a U.S. hotel operator that isn’t linked to gambling, MGM said.

In 2018, Sydell partnered with MGM to open the 293-key NoMad hotel on the top four floors of the Park MGM Las Vegas hotel and casino.

Oyo to rebrand Las Vegas Hooters hotel: India-based Oyo Hotels & Homes announced Friday it is partnering with a real estate investment and hospitality management company Highgate,* which runs the Hooters hotel in Las Vegas, to rebrand it to the 657-key Oyo Hotel and Casino, Reuters reports. The hotel will remain under Highgate’s management.

“The deal, Oyo’s first such in the United States, suggests the startup is setting its sights high, but founder Ritesh Agarwal told Reuters in an interview that the company would continue to focus on its mainstay: large numbers of middle class travelers looking for affordable accommodation,” the news outlet writes.

People, planning paramount in a downturn, hoteliers say: As the hotel industry prepares for a downturn, now is the time to evaluate your company culture from the top down because “those are the people who will make or break your hotel through the good times and the bad times,” Vinay Patel, treasurer of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association, said during a panel at the Hotel Data Conference covered by Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess.

For more ways hoteliers are preparing for a downturn, click here to read the story and watch a video interview with the panelists.

Dallas developers see value in ‘aparthotels’: One strategy that developers are using to fill up new apartments is partnering with hospitality companies, Dallas News writes.

“A growing list of these ‘aparthotel’ firms offer travelers the ability to reserve furnished apartments in cities around the country,” the newspaper writes. One example is Locale, an Austin, Texas-based boutique aparthotel brand that started in 2016.

“We can take up to 10% of a building—usually an entire floor,” said Nitesh Gandhi, founder of Locale. “We also have landlord relationships where we take five to 10 units to start and build up over time.”

Gandhi said about 40% of its guests are business travelers and are coming for corporate housing. Locale only rents high-end apartments, but will discount its long-term rentals to incentivize guests to stay longer.

Why travel sites delete reviews: Some hotel guests who book on online travel sites are upset when posting reviews of their hotels to later see the review is deleted or not published, but as USA Today reports, there are a number of reasons for reviews to not appear.

“It violates their review policy: Every major review site has a review policy. For example, it may require that a review be noncommercial, relevant and unbiased. Break any of those rules and your review could be history,” the newspaper reports.

Other reasons: “You didn’t stay at the property: Some sites require that you show proof of your stay. If you can’t show that you were a guest, your review may disappear. … (Or) you wrote something offensive: Avoid abusive language, swearing, discriminatory remarks, threats of violence and political or religious commentary. Also, don’t promote illegal activities. Some sites also don’t allow you to post a phone number or email addresses to avoid doxing.”


Compiled by Dana Miller.
 
*Correction, 26 August 2019: This story has been updated to correct a description of Highgate.

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