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5 things to know: 9 January 2012
January 9 2012

• NYC hoteliers mixed on new convention center plan;
• U.S. preliminary hotel results show RevPAR gains;
• Green Street Advisors: U.S. commercial property values plateau;
• Travelodge and Chatwal target aggressive expansion; and
• Louvre opened 63 hotels during 2011.

New York City hoteliers are mixed on the governor’s proposed plan to redevelop the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan and build the nation’s largest convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, which is approximately 16 miles from Midtown Manhattan.

Several hoteliers say the new center could only help the city, drawing even more international and domestic visitors. But others, such as Alan Gonzalez, director of distribution and e-commerce for Warwick International Hotels, isn’t so sure. Part of the draw to have a convention in New York City is that it’s actually in New York City, he said. Many guests might not want to commute more than an hour on public transportation or pay higher cab fares to Queens.

STR , the parent company of, released its preliminary December performance results for the U.S. hotel industry. Overall, the industry posted an occupancy gain of between 3% and 5%. Meanwhile, revenue per available room was up between 6% and 8%.

The luxury segment recorded the largest increases among the chain scales. The segment posted a 5% to 7% increase in occupancy, followed by the upper-midscale segment with a 4% to 6% increase. The luxury segment was one of three chain scales to post a RevPAR gain of between 7% and 9%; the other two were upper upscale and upper midscale.

The Green Street Advisors Commercial Property Price Index was unchanged last month.  Property values have drifted sideways for the past several months after a two-year rally that saw them rebound to within 10% of their all-time highs.  Low return hurdles continue to provide pricing support, but this  recently has been offset by uncertainty surrounding the economic outlook.

By property type, apartment values have been strongest, while office and hotel properties still are well below their past highs. Office buildings in Manhattan, the country’s largest office market, are 20% below their prior peak.

At least two major hotel chains this morning announced hefty growth targets for the coming year (or years):

Budget chain Travelodge will open 41 new hotels with 3,610 rooms across the United Kingdom, reports Caterer and Hotelkeeper. The new properties, at an investment of £246 million (US$380 million), will boost the company's portfolio to 537 hotels and more than 39,000 rooms.

Meanwhile, New York-based Chatwal Hotels & Resorts plans to expand into India and operate approximately 100 hotels during the next 10 years in partnership with Wyndham Hotel Group, reports The Economic Times.

Paris-based Louvre Hotels Group has recounted its busy development cycle of 2011. The company opened 63 hotels during the past 12 months, including 28 properties in France under its Première Classe, Kyriad and Campanile brands.

Louvre has also boosted its 4-star Golden Tulip brand on the French market, which previously had seven hotels in France, through the opening of a new site at Lyon Millénaire and the conversion of the Kyriad Prestige hotel at Roissy.

Compiled by Patrick Mayock.

Bob S.
1/9/2012 1:37:00 PM
Building a Convention Center all the way out in Queens is truly a silly idea. No one wants to be out there. Conventioneers come to NYC to experience the restaurants, Broadway Theatre/shows, shopping, etc. Queens has none of that. This money should be spent doubling the size of the existing (small) Javits Convention Center instead...
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