Weekly performance results for both U.S. and Canada for the week of 31 July to 6 August were released by STR today.
In the U.S., the midscale segment was the only segment to report decreases in all three key performance metrics. The segment’s occupancy ended the week with a 0.1% decrease to 66.4%, average daily rate fell 1.6% to US$78.88, and revenue per available room dropped 1.7% to US$52.35.
Overall, the U.S. hotel industry’s occupancy rose 1.4% to 71.2%, ADR increased 3.3% to US$102.52, and RevPAR finished the week up 4.8% to US$72.99.
In Canada, the hotel industry reported mixed results in the three key performance metrics for the week. In year-over-year measurements, the Canadian hotel industry ended the week with a 1.9% decrease in occupancy to 71.8%, ADR rose 1.3% to CAD$132.76 and RevPAR ended the week virtually flat with a 0.7% decrease to CAD$95.29.
After a surprising number of hotel groundbreaking announcements in the news, HotelNewsNow.com editor Jason Q. Freed decided to take a look at the hotel pipeline to get a better idea of when new construction will return and, when it does, what kind of new hotels will be popping up in the U.S.
First, Freed determined that for private hotel real-estate investors who can wait a few years for big returns and don’t need to visit the banks for help, now is the time to break out the shovels.
“The smart money is building right now. The really smart money is opening right now, because they were building in 2009. But the smart money is also building right now,” said Jan Freitag, SVP of global development at STR.
Second, Freed took a look at the “smart” developers breaking ground on properties that will open at the height of the cycle and asked if the industry would finally see an influx of new brands.
For the most part, the conclusion was no. Save Home2 Suites by Hilton, the brands that will emerge from the construction pipeline and add the most supply in the coming years are the same brands we’ve been accustomed to during the past decade.
And for additional reference, STR today released an updated U.S. hotel pipeline for July. According to the data, the total active U.S. hotel development pipeline comprises 2,990 projects totaling 323,070 rooms. This represents a 10.1% decrease in the number of rooms in the total active pipeline compared to July 2010.
In an industry where the shortage of skilled labor is a recurring issue, hoteliers have but only a handful of choices: accept the dearth of talent; widen the recruiting net; improve the quality of existing staff; or take proactive steps to attract the workforce of tomorrow.
At least two U.S.-based hospitality programs are seeing positive results by championing that last approach: the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism; and the American Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Institute’s LMP and START programs.
HotelNewsNow.com editor Patrick Mayock takes an in-depth look at both programs that work with public high schools across the country to implement career-themed courses in schools with work-based learning experiences outside of the classroom.
Previous research from the Cornell University School of Administration has shown that one of the most difficult problems facing the industry is hiring and training line-level staff. Therefore, when HotelNewsNow.com columnists Cathy Enz and David Solnet chatted with a polite and energetic 20-year-old new employee at an upscale hotel, they asked the young woman a few basic questions about the hotel.
As you might guess, the woman was unable to answer questions even though employees at the hotel in question were given a loose-leaf folder full of information, the two write in a new column. Her response to their questions was telling:
“To be honest, I have not read the material very thoroughly … maybe if it was online or a video/podcast I would have paid more attention … I’m so sorry. … And please don’t tell my manager!”
Home Inns & Hotel Management’s pending US$470-million deal for Motel 168 is expected to close in the early fourth quarter this year, company officials said during a conference call Wednesday night.
The acquisition of Motel 168, and its 281 hotels comprising 45,669 rooms, should be finalized in September or October this year. The needed anti-trust and other Chinese regulatory approvals are “proceeding well,” Home Inns CEO David Sun said.
“This acquisition will create the most geographically diverse (economy) hotel (chain) in China. … We are confident this acquisition will help further Home Inns’ future in the industry,” Sun said. Already, Home Inns is the largest hotel company in China.
Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.