5 things to know: 1 June 2018
5 things to know: 1 June 2018
01 JUNE 2018 9:18 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • AccorHotels completes sale of 57.8% of owned assets
  • Vegas workers continue to negotiate as contracts expire
  • Wyndham, CorePoint spinoffs completed
  • Analysis of FEMA spend at hotels after hurricanes
  • First Hospitality Group names new president

AccorHotels completes sale of 57.8% of AccorInvest: AccorHotels has completed the sale, first announced in late February, of the portion of AccorInvest it had put on the sales block, according to a news release.

It was previously announced the company had sold 55% of AccorInvest (its owned assets portfolio) for €4.4 billion ($5.4 billion). But the latest news says in fact 57.8% of AccorInvest was sold for a gross cash contribution of €4.6 billion, which at 31 May’s exchange rate also equals $5.4 billion. The buyers include sovereign wealth funds Public Investment Fund and GIC as well as institutional investors Colony NorthStar and Crédit Agricole Assurances.

AccorHotels retains 42.2% of AccorInvest.

Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin told Hotel News Now’s Terence Baker for a story in February that the “entry of new shareholders and the deconsolidation of AccorInvest will provide AccorHotels with substantial leeway to enhance our dynamic growth and innovation strategy and create value for shareholders.”

Vegas workers continue to negotiate as contract expires: No call to strike has been issued this morning after contracts expired between culinary and bartender unions and major Las Vegas resort and casino operators, HNN’s Bryan Wroten reports. The Culinary Workers Union Local 226 sent out a tweet saying a tenative agreement between the culinary union and Caesars Entertainment has been reached. 

Members of Unite Here’s affiliates Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165 voted earlier this month to authorize a citywide strike if the two sides could not agree to terms for new contracts in time. The unions represent approximately 50,000 workers at 34 casino resorts. If it occurs, this would be the first citywide strike since 15,000 Culinary Union members walked off the job in 1984 for 67 days.

Mark Ricciardi, managing partner at Fisher Phillips’ Las Vegas office, told Wroten that he expects the unions would hold off on a strike as long as contract negotiations were continuing in good faith.

 Wyndham, CorePoint spinoffs completed: Spinoffs of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and real estate investment trust CorePoint Lodging (previously owned assets of La Quinta Holdings) into standalone, publicly traded companies have been completed, according to news releases.

The CorePoint spinoff was timed to coincide with Wyndham’s acquisition of La Quinta’s hotel franchising and management business, which closed Thursday. CorePoint President and CEO Keith Cline rang the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange to honor the occasion. 

The spinoff of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts also creates Wyndham Destinations, the parent company formerly known as Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, which now trades on the NYSE under the symbol “WYND,” according to the news release.

Analysis of FEMA spend at hotels after hurricanes: An analysis of government records obtained by STR’s Jan Freitag and Claudia Alvarado shows that the Federal Emergency Management Agency spent nearly $2 million at hotels during the fourth quarter of 2017 to shelter residents displaced by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.

“FEMA payments to displaced residents provide a welcome revenue boost to local hotels,” Alvarado and Freitag write. “The impact is very regional and focused on areas around the impact area and mostly benefit mid- to lower-tier hotels.”

First Hospitality Group names new president: David Duncan has been hired as president of First Hospitality Group, according to a news release. He plans plans to focus on developing and expanding the hotel management firm’s portfolio, which currently includes 19 brands and 46 properties throughout the Midwestern U.S., according to a news release.

Duncan previously served as CFO of southern California-based JC Resorts and before that, president of Denihan Hospitality Group, which he grew from six hotels in New York City to 14 hotels operating throughout the U.S., the release states.

“David’s forward-thinking nature, proven leadership skills and vast experience in the hospitality industry make him a great fit to lead our company and take First Hospitality Group to the next level,” FHG Chairman Stephen Schwartz said in the news release. “As we continue to develop and operate high quality hotels, David will be instrumental in ensuring First Hospitality Group’s superior results throughout our portfolio. Now more than ever, we know that the best is yet to come for First Hospitality Group.”

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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