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5 things to know: 6 January 2012
January 6 2012
Highlights

• STR releases weekly U.S., Canada hotel data;
• revenue managers in 2012 resolve to raise rates;
• hotel litigation explodes as economy deteriorates;
• union poster requirement delayed until April; and
• Hooters Hotel sale expected in March.

STR, the parent company of HotelNewsNow.com, reported key hotel operating data for the United States and Canada.

U.S.: In year-over-year comparisons for the week, occupancy rose 3.4% to 49%, average daily rate increased 4.3% to US$107.56 and revenue per available room finished the week with an increase of 7.8% to US$52.69.

Canada: In year-over-year measurements, the Canadian hotel industry’s occupancy ended the week with a 3.9% increase to 43.1%, its ADR rose 4.3% to CAD$126.30 (US$123.63) and its RevPAR increased 8.4% to CAD$54.45 (US$53.30).

The likely primary resolution on the minds of many revenue managers this year? Raise rates, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Patrick Mayock.

It’s something with which the global hotel industry has had only moderate success. Through November 2011, the Americas region posted a 3.9% increase in average daily rate in dollars, according to STR Global, sister company of HotelNewsNow.com.

“The most important thing of the new year is don’t be rate shy,” said Ron Pohl, senior VP of brand management and member services for Phoenix-based Best Western International, which has more than 300,000 guestrooms worldwide in its portfolio.

There has been a surge in hotel litigation as the economic downturn has progressed, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.

Experts say the increased pressure from both sides during this part of a recovery cycle often leads to an amplified amount of disputes. Many disputes are resolved by the parties without any legal action. However, a record number of disputes have advanced into arbitration or litigation with the filing of a complaint, said Jim Butler, hotel attorney with California-based Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell. 2011 saw a number of high-profile hospitality-related complaints filed in courts across the United States, and most of those lawsuits will carry over into 2012 before they are settled.

“The number of disputes between hotel owners and hotel operators has risen dramatically over the past few years. Many are resolved at the bargaining table, but record numbers of these disputes have erupted into lawsuits and arbitrations,” Butler said. 

FiveThings Ad Will Appear Here

The effective date mandating that employers display a new poster advising employees of their rights to unionize has been pushed back to 30 April 2012, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

The National Labor Relations Board complied with a federal court’s request to delay the requirement while the move is challenged in court. The poster requirement initially was going to go into place on 31 January 2012.

The sale of the Hooters Hotel in Las Vegas could close by March, according to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The property filed for bankruptcy in August. It later reached an agreement with its main creditor, Canpartners Realty Holding Company IV (an affiliate of private equity firm Canyon Capital Realty Advisors) to sell the hotel to the highest bidder.

The property is valued by Canpartners at US$80 million, but carries US$181 million of debt.

Compiled by Shawn A. Turner.

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