After many months—nay, years—of speculation, Virgin Group officially announced the launch of Virgin Hotels, a new 4-star lifestyle hotel brand. The company plans to develop and operate up to 25 hotels within seven years, with the first property expected to open within 12-18 months, according to a report from HotelNewsNow.com’s Patrick Mayock.
The group has six projects under active development, executive director Anthony Marino said.
“We’re open for business, we’ve got capital, we’re aggressively seeking properties in major gateway cities … and we’re very excited because we’ve got one of the world’s most exciting brands,” he said.
• Read “Virgin Group enters the hotel space.”
The Americas region recorded positive results in the three key performance metrics when reported in United States dollars for August 2010, according to data compiled by STR and STR Global.
The region’s occupancy rose 6.3% to 64.2%, average daily rate went up 1.7% to US$100.45, and revenue per available room increased 8.1% to US$64.48.
• Read “STR Global: Americas performance for August 2010.”
Hotels in the Asia/Pacific region experienced increases in all three key performance metrics for August 2010 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.
In year-over-year measurements, the Asia/Pacific region’s occupancy rose 5.8% to 67.2%, average daily rate increased 10% to US$129, and revenue per available room jumped 16.5% to US$86.74.
• Read “STR Global: Asia/Pacific results for August 2010”
The European hotel industry posted mixed results in year-over-year metrics when reported in U.S. dollars, euros and British pounds for August 2010, according to data compiled by STR Global.
“The recovery in the European hotel market continues in August with increases across all three performance measures when measured in euros”, said Elizabeth Randall, managing director of STR Global. “Whilst these results are still influenced by the weak comparables last year, the better economic conditions and the return of the business and MICE segments have assisted the recovery. This demand pick up has helped hoteliers to start rebuilding their average daily rates which is for year to August, however, still about €10 (US$13.38) below the YTD results achieved in 2008.
• Read: “STR Global: Europe results for August 2010”
The Middle East/Africa region reported mixed results in the three key performance measurements for August 2010 when reported in U.S. dollars, according to data compiled by STR Global.
The region’s occupancy ended the month with a 9.4-percent decrease to 53.0 percent, average daily rate increased 7.4 percent to US$137.83, and revenue per available room fell 2.8 percent to US$73.05.
• Read "STR Global: Middle East/Africa results for August."
Big news out of the Wyndham Hotel Group global conference, according to HotelNewsNow.com’s Stacey Higgins. The company announced a license agreement with Planet Hollywood International to franchise the Planet Hollywood Hotel brand, making it Wyndham’s 13th brand.
Planet Hollywood currently has one 4,000-room hotel in Las Vegas. It will retain the management rights to that hotel.
It will be a few months before Wyndham can discuss franchise opportunities, according to Eric Danziger, president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group, but the lion’s share of growth will come from management contracts.
• Read “Wyndham adds Planet Hollywood, reaffirms strategy.”
Business and tourist travel is picking up, but the number of Dallas-Fort Worth hotels facing foreclosure this year has more than tripled, according to an article in The Dallas Morning News.
So far in 2010, 94 north Texas hotel foreclosure filings have been recorded. There were 30 filings for the same period in 2009, according to Foreclosure Listing Service.
The hotels threatened with forced sale include the Crowne Plaza Hotel North Dallas-Addison, the Radisson Hotel & Suites Dallas-Love Field and the Element Dallas Fort Worth Airport North. Hotels with more than US$120 million in debt are up for auction next month by the lenders, Foreclosure Listing Service reports.
The Architecture Billings Index increased for the third consecutive month in August, but is still not in positive territory.
As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine- to 12-month lag time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects reported the August ABI score was 48.2, up slightly from a reading of 47.9 the previous month. This score reflects a continued decline in demand for design services (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was also up, moving from 53.1 to 54.6.
Compiled by Elaine Yetzer Simon.