Gaylord Entertainment Company’s second-largest shareholder has now said it is opposed to the hotel operator's plans to convert itself into a real-estate investment trust and will vote all of its shares against the plan, according to a Reuters report.
Gabelli Funds, which has a 15.12% stake in Gaylord, said it opposes the plan to sell its namesake brand and hotel management rights to Marriott International.
Gabelli recommended Gaylord, which also owns and operates several attractions, spin-off the assets related to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.
"As a public company, with dedicated and focused management, Opry should better flourish and be an enormous success for shareholders," Gabelli said in a letter to Gaylord.
TRT Holdings, Gaylord Entertainment Company’s biggest shareholder, in late July had made a similar announcement but then reversed course once it struck a deal with Gaylord to sell back approximately 50% of its interest in the company.
TRT, which owned approximately 20% of Gaylord’s shares, said it will vote in favor of the proposed move, sell 5 million shares of Gaylord stock—at $37 per share—back to Gaylord, and sell its remaining 5.6 million shares to ultimately exit its investment.
The shareholder vote, scheduled for 25 September, will go on as planned, Brian Abrahamson, Gaylord spokesman, told The Tennessean.
More than three-fourths of travelers turn to social networks to find some type of shopping-related deal, and 30% specifically seek out travel-related deals.
However, travel suppliers that have implemented booking tools, widgets or full-fledged booking engines within Facebook have so far reported mixed results, citing a range of challenges, according to PhoCusWright's “Social Media in Travel 2012: Social Networks and Traveler Reviews.”
Most significantly, travelers do not appear to engage in social networks with the primary intent of shopping or purchasing travel, as they would when using search or travel sites. While Internet users are accustomed to using Facebook to share their travel photos and stories, making purchases is another matter.
“Everybody and their grandma may be on Facebook, but for many in the travel industry, that has not made social into a reliably actionable and demonstrably profitable marketing medium,” said Douglas Quinby, senior director, research at PhoCusWright. “The potential of social for travel may lie less in any one platform and more in the ecosystem of social data to socialize a traveler's experience across a variety of online travel websites and mobile applications.”
Committed occupancy for August to December 2012 is up 5.4% and average daily rate is up 5%, according to TravelClick’s “North American Hospitality Review.” The growth is driven by the transient segment, which is seeing an occupancy increase of 5.6% and an ADR increase of 5.5% compared to last year.
Committed occupancy for the fourth quarter continues to be strong, showing an increase of 8% year over year, as well as a 4.7% increase in ADR based on reservations on the books. Group and transient demand is showing a 6.7% and 13.1% respective increase compared to last year. The ADR increase is driven with increases in the transient and group segments, up 5.3% and 3.4%, respectively.
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index reported a 2.9% increase during August to 2,397 and was up 18.4% year-to-date 2012. The index ended 2011 at 2,025.
The index outperformed both the MSCI REIT (RMZ) (-0.4%) and the S&P 500 (+2%) during August 2012.
“The hotel industry recorded favorable performance during August,” Randy Smith, co-founder and chairman of STR, the parent company of HotelNewsNow.com, said in a news release. “With the third quarter coming to a close, investors are starting to look toward 2013. STR is expecting 2012 to finish the year with reasonable increases though 2013 may be a softer year for the hotel industry.”
“Fifty Shades of Grey” might reign supreme atop The New York Times’ list of best sellers, but it appears less memorable for travelers. The novel, written by E.L. James, also tops Travelodge U.K.’s list of books left behind at its more than 500 hotels.
Trilogies, in general, dominated the list. The first nine spots on the list comprise entries from the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy, Steig Larsson’s “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series and Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games.” Filling in the 10th spot was “The Help” from author Kathryn Stockett.
During the past 12 months, approximately 21,786 books have been left behind in 36,500 Travelodge hotel rooms.
Compiled by Patrick Mayock and Jason Q. Freed.