5 things to know: 12 January 2021
5 things to know: 12 January 2021
12 JANUARY 2021 10:44 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hyatt ends management deal with Service Properties for 22 hotels
  • Casino, resort magnate Sheldon Adelson dies
  • European hoteliers see growing staycation demand
  • DC hoteliers struggled with guests after Capitol attack
  • US State Department names Cuba sponsor of terrorism

Hyatt ends management deal with Service Properties for 22 hotels: Service Properties Trust (SVC) announced it received a termination notice from a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels Corporation regarding the management agreement for 22 hotels owned by the real estate investment trust, according to a news release. Hyatt is current on its payments to Service Properties; however, it has exhausted its $50 million guaranty.

The management agreement allowed Hyatt to end its deal with the REIT with 90 days’ notice once it had fully used its guaranty, the release states. The effective date of the termination is 8 April.

The two companies are discussing possible changes to the agreement that could allow some or all of the 22 properties to remain Hyatt Place hotels under Hyatt management. If they don’t reach an agreement, SVC expects it will transition management of the 22 hotels to Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, of which the REIT owns 34%, under the Sonesta Select brand when the current agreement ends.

Over the course of the last year, Service Properties has already converted hundreds of IHG, Marriott International and Wyndham hotels to Sonesta.

Casino, resort magnate Sheldon Adelson dies: Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, died Monday night at age 87 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, The New York Times reports.

In 1979, Adelson and four partners started a Las Vegas computer trade show called Comdex, the article states. In 1989, his partnership acquired the Sands Hotel and Casino and added a convention center. Over time, he grew the company, taking it public in 2004 and expanding its presence in Las Vegas and around the world, opening casino resorts in Macau, Singapore and Pennsylvania.

European hoteliers see growing staycation demand: With European travelers saving money by not flying for leisure trips, they are spending their time and money at destinations closer to home, HNN’s Terence Baker reports. In return, hoteliers are upping their sales and marketing strategies to stay competitive.

Grégory Pourrin, managing director of Paris Inn Group, said contemplating the growing staycation market has been eye-opening.

“It has been new for us. Most of time when you have a hotel, especially in Paris, you do not care if your guest comes from the U.S. or China. They are your welcome guest, but now we are discovering a new type of guest,” he said.

D.C. hoteliers struggled with guests after Capitol attack: After reeling from the news of the attack on the U.S. Capitol on 6 January, hoteliers in Washington, D.C., faced another challenge: hosting those who attended the rally earlier in the day and, potentially, those who stormed the Capitol, The Washington Post reports.

Hamilton Hotel Managing Director Mark Driscoll told the newspaper the crowd at his hotel was “tough” and after the 6 p.m. curfew went into effect is “when it got a little hairy from a standpoint of the protestors all coming back and being revved up.”

There were confrontations between police and some hotel guests outside of the hotel, leading to some arrests, the article states. Hotel staff had difficulties getting guests to comply with mask requirements, especially later in the night. Eventually, all guests in the lobby went to bed without anyone getting hurt.

“Most people left without incident the next day, and we were thrilled,” Driscoll said, adding that he asked one person not to return.

U.S. State Department names Cuba sponsor of terrorism: The U.S. Department of State has named Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, citing the country’s hosting of 10 Colombian rebel leaders, a handful of American fugitives and its support for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, The New York Times reports. The designation complicates President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to restore a friendlier relationship.

President Barack Obama had restored diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015, opening up business opportunities for U.S. companies. The designation triggers sanctions against Cuba, but with the number of already “existing American penalties against Havana,” the effects are expected to be negligible, the article states.

However, being designated a state sponsor of terrorism could deter U.S. businesses, adding “another among many disincentives to seek opportunities to export to, import from or provide services for Cuba,” John Kavulich, the president of the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, told the newspaper.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten. 

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