5 things to know: 7 October 2020
5 things to know: 7 October 2020
07 OCTOBER 2020 9:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Trump sends mixed messages over second stimulus
  • Service Properties Trust ends agreements with Marriott
  • Travelodge UK decision day looms as competitors hover
  • Ashford Trust stockholders approve stock issuance offer
  • Airlines gear up for expected Thanksgiving travel demand

Trump sends mixed messages over second stimulus: U.S. President Donald Trump announced abruptly on Twitter last night he was stopping the negotiations over a second stimulus bill between Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin until after the election, The Wall Street Journal reports. Hours later, the president tweeted that Congress should pass bills providing additional assistance to airlines and small businesses as well as another direct payment to individuals.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had earlier in the day warned against doing too little to support households and businesses. Following Trump’s first tweet, stocks dropped, with the S&P 500 ending its session down 1.4%, the article states. However, after his subsequent tweets, U.S. stock futures rose Wednesday morning.

Service Properties Trust ends agreements with Marriott: Service Properties Trust has terminated its management agreement with Marriott International for 122 hotels after Marriott did not meet the 5 October deadline to make $11 million in missed payments, according to a news release.

“(Service Properties Trust) did not receive any payment from (Marriott), and based on discussions with (Marriott), (Service Properties Trust) does not expect (Marriott) to pay the cumulative shortfall for the balance of 2020,” the release states.

The real estate investment trust intends to convert 98 of the hotels under several Marriott brands to Sonesta, according to the news release. It will sell 24 of the remaining hotels for $153 million.

Marriott did not respond to a request for comment by press deadline.

Travelodge U.K. decision day looms as competitors hover: Landlords of Travelodge U.K. properties have until 18 November to decide whether to stay with their brand contract or convert to another brand, reports HNN’s Terence Baker. Competing brands are eager to pick up dissatisfied parties.

“For Travelodge, I do not think it matters if none or 300 properties go. It has more debt now, and it is not carrying our rent reviews in 2020 or 2021, so when they are in January 2022, 200 or more rent reviews will all come into force at the same time,” said Viv Watts, managing partner of Oasis Holding, which owns two Travelodge properties.

“I would have thought (Travelodge) would have used the opportunity of this year to step back and take the emotion out of picture,” said Watts, who also set up the Travelodge Owners Action Group.

Ashford Trust stockholders approve stock issuance offer: Stockholders of Ashford Hospitality Trust approved a proposal from the company to issue up to 126,048,813 shares of common stock in connection to its offer to exchange any and all shares of preferred stock for cash or shares of common stock, according to a news release.

An earlier news release about the proposed exchange stated: “These strategic steps are crucial to the long-term viability of our business due to the severe impact of COVID-19 on the entire travel industry. Without your support, there is substantial doubt as to the company’s ability to continue as a going concern and the value of your shares will be imperiled. We urge you to vote ‘for’ the proposals to enable the exchange offers.”

Airlines gear up for expected Thanksgiving travel demand: Airlines are anticipating increased demand from holiday travelers in the U.S., many of whom have not flown since the start of the pandemic, NBC News reports. The airlines are adding new routes and shifting crews in preparation.

The Hopper’s Holiday Travel Confidence Report found that 39% of people intend to travel for Thanksgiving while 21% said they normally would but won’t because of the pandemic, the article states. Of those traveling, 55% said this would be their first trip since the pandemic started.

“People will be flying, and this year, we can expect most of the flights will be full over the Wednesday through Monday Thanksgiving period,” said Michael Boyd, chairman of Boyd Group International, an aviation research and forecasting company. “But there will be at least 30% fewer flights than last year.”

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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