5 things to know: 5 June 2018
5 things to know: 5 June 2018
05 JUNE 2018 9:28 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • NYU day one: Much has changed in 40 years
  • Caesars to enter non-gaming hotels sector
  • Restel hotels rebranded as Scandic
  • US hotel industry forecasted to continue record streak
  • Pacific Hospitality Group, Sunseeker appoint new executives
NYU Day one: Much has changed in 40 years: This year’s NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference seems to have moved beyond discussion of whether the hotel industry is approaching a down cycle, reports Hotel News Now’s editorial staff.

Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, kicked off the conference reflecting on how different the industry was in 1978 when the conference began, noting much of the actual work for booking travel was through travel agents, while today booking is mostly on mobile devices.

“As we know, our industry has become global; it’s changed and evolved. Forty years ago, travel was still considered a luxury and traveling by air was a really big deal,” he said. “Today, travel has become routine; travel has become democratized. Today, travel represents an $8-billion international market, roughly 10% of the world’s GDP.”

For more coverage out of NYU, check back with Hotel News Now during the week.

Caesars to enter non-gaming hotels sector: The timing is right for Caesars Entertainment to enter the non-gaming hotels space, said President of Hospitality Bob Morse. The company has been considering such a move for a few years, reports HNN’s Jeff Higley.

“As the gaming business was beginning to level off a little bit, the hospitality business was growing like crazy. I’m a brand guy, this is what I come from … I said, ‘We’ve got a great brand here, and we’re not taking advantage of this,’” Morse said during an interview at the launch party at New York City’s Rainbow Room on Monday. “Our board gave us the green light to go.”

Restel hotels rebranded as Scandic: Sweden-based Scandic Hotels Group announced in a news release that it has completed the rebranding of Restel’s hotels, most of which were under the Cumulus brand. Scandic acquired Restel’s hotel operations in December 2017, according to the release.

The acquisition and rebranding added 43 hotels and about 7,600 rooms to Scandic’s portfolio, leveraging Scandic as the market leader in Finland as well as strengthening its position in the leisure segment, the release states.
“We now have a strong presence in Finland, which during the first quarter accounted for a quarter of Scandic’s net sales,” Even Frydenberg, president and CEO of Scandic Hotels Group, said in the release. “We are pleased to have completed the rebranding of Restel’s hotels, and we see great potential for revenue synergies when the hotels are fully integrated into our strong distribution system. We estimate that the acquired hotels will start contributing positively to Scandic’s EBITDA during the second quarter.”

U.S. hotel industry forecasted to continue record streak: The U.S. hotel industry is expected to continue posting “record-breaking performance levels through 2019,” according to a revised forecast by STR and Tourism Economics. STR is the parent company of HNN.

Record-level industry fundamentals are being lifted by strong demand from business and leisure as well as “solid economic indicators and a room construction total that represents just 3.6% of existing supply,” said Amanda Hite, STR’s president and CEO.

For 2019, STR and Tourism Economics projects a 0.1% occupancy increase to 66.2%, a 2.3% rise in average daily rate to $132.74 and a 2.4% increase in revenue per available room to $87.93.

 Pacific Hospitality Group, Sunseeker appoint new executives: Pacific Hospitality Group has appointed Paul McCormick as president and COO to oversee the operations of the company’s current portfolio of 11 hotels. Most recently, McCormick was SVP at Miraval Group, according to a news release.

“I look forward to continuing to assist with the development of a world-class team to diligently drive a strong performance at our hotels & resorts,” McCormick said in the release. “Our goal is to create a ‘win-win’ relationship with our investors, community, guests and team members by developing exceptional guest experiences while increasing our portfolio’s overall asset value.”

In other C-suite news, Las Vegas-based Allegiant has appointed Micah Richins as EVP and COO for Sunseeker Resorts, according to a news release. Richins’ most recent position was chief commercial officer for MGM Resorts International.

“Micah is a seasoned leader who brings a unique depth of knowledge across the full spectrum of the hospitality industry—from customer experience and entertainment development to revenue and organizational leadership,” Allegiant Travel Company President John Redmond said in the release. “He shares an innovative spirit that’s been a hallmark for Allegiant throughout its history, making him the ideal person to lead Sunseeker Resorts.”

Compiled by Dana Miller.

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