From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- UK under tough COVID-19 restrictions
- How forecasting shifted amid pandemic
- Hotel leaders call Chicago hotel proposals unsafe
- Three groups form luxury investment division
- Peachtree to manage Zenique portfolio
U.K. under tough COVID-19 restrictions: As of 6 January, the United Kingdom will be placed in tough lockdown restrictions similar to those seen at the beginning of the pandemic, CNN reports.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said restrictions would remain in England until mid-February. Citizens have been ordered to stay at home except for emergencies and exercise.
In addition to business rates relief and employment furlough scheme having been extended until the end of April, Financial Times reports the government announced a package of aid worth £4.6 billion ($6.2 billion) to further help businesses affected by the pandemic, with new grants worth up to £9,000 ($12,234) per property.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said in a release that “while this announcement is most welcome, make no mistake that this is only a sticking plaster for immediate ills. It is not enough to even cover the costs of many businesses and certainly will not underpin longer-term business viability for our sector. To address the inevitable and existential challenges that hospitality faces, we need confirmation of extensions to the business rates holiday and of the 5% (value-added tax) rate.”
According to the BBC, Monday showed a record 58,784 positive coronavirus cases and 407 deaths of those showing symptoms within 28 days of a positive test.
How forecasting has shifted amid pandemic: At the onset of 2020, forecasts projected moderate growth for the hotel industry that year, but expectations took a sharp downward turn in March when the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic started to come into focus, which led analysts to respond quickly to changing data, HNN’s Robert McCune writes.
Hotel industry forecast partners STR (parent company of Hotel News Now) and Tourism Economics moved to a monthly, rather than quarterly, forecast schedule because of the pandemic.
“We didn’t really wrestle with it from a forecasting perspective until March … and then in a rush, everything was changing so quickly, we realized we had to put something out,” said Aran Ryan, director of lodging analytics at Tourism Economics.
Hotel leaders call Chicago hotel proposals unsafe: Park Hotels & Resorts’ Thomas Baltimore Jr., Pebblebrook Hotel Trust’s Jon Bortz, Tishman Hotel Corporation’s Robert Snyder and Service Properties Trust’s Tamara Brown wrote a piece for the Chicago Sun-Times on proposals being considered by Chicago City Council that the group has deemed as unsafe and unconstitutional for hotel workers.
One proposal would require housekeepers to clean rooms daily, which is a risk to their health and safety amid the pandemic, the contributors write.
The group cites that these proposals contradict guidelines from the CDC.
Three groups form luxury investment group: Oaktree, Paris Inn Group and Maison Albar Hotels* have formed a strategic partnership to create a group structure named Centaurus, which has five wholly owned divisions focused on luxury properties, according to a news release.
The five divisions focus on hotel management, majority owners, partially owned assets, lease management and brand. The brand division focuses on those who own and operate Maison Albar Hotels properties.
Peachtree to manage Zenique portfolio: Peachtree Hotel Group has formed a strategic partnership with Zenique Hotels to manage the California-based developer and operator’s portfolio of four hotels, according to a news release.
The agreement also states that Peachtree will operate all of Zenique’s future hotels as the company grows.
Rupesh Patel, president and COO of Zenique, said the “strategic partnership allows us to grow beyond our historic stomping grounds of California.”
Compiled by Danielle Hess.
*Correction, 6 January 2021: This article has been updated to correct the name of the Maison Albar Hotels brand.