At the end of the day, Blackstone’s purchase of Motel 6 and Studio 6 is a win-win for Accor and Blackstone, writes HotelNewsNow.com’s Shawn A. Turner because Accor is able to wash its hands of its U.S. economy business and Blackstone has yet another brand to work its magic on.
Blackstone, owners of such mainstay hotel brands as Hilton and La Quinta, has the know-how to push the former Accor brands forward. The private-equity firm intends to invest from its deep pockets in the brands to put Motel 6 and Studio 6 on level footing with all the other refreshes taking place around the industry, Turner says. Blackstone has the resources available to push roll out of Motel 6’s Phoenix room prototype through at a much faster pace.
Also, it appears that Blackstone has no ideas of merging either Motel 6 or Studio 6 with the other hotels under the Blackstone umbrella. So the two brands will be given the full attention of Blackstone executives; a good thing considering the success Blackstone has had with the other limited-service properties in its portfolio.
As for future development, don’t be surprised if you see Motel 6 and Studio 6 hotels, which comprise 1,102 hotels and 107,347 rooms, popping up in locations outside the United States and Canada, Turner says.
Most revenue managers might argue they already practice optimal revenue management strategies in the way they find the most profitable mix of business. However, the industry is not practicing “total revenue management” in enough detail and with enough analysis as it should be, according to revenue management experts who spoke Tuesday on an HSMAI University webinar.
“Hotels and resorts must sophisticate the approach to profit optimization,” said Bonnie Buckhiester, president of Buckhiester Management.
The hotel industry is in its second generation of revenue managers. The second generation tends to be very analytical, can crunch numbers quickly and loves spreadsheets, Buckhiester said. The third generation of revenue management is where the industry should aim to be, she said. This third-generation revenue manager’s title would lean more toward “director of demand management” and the role would be held by someone who possesses a strategic point of view.
Third-generation revenue managers are going to need more training, Buckhiester said. Those who are doing the best at strategic thinking are the ones who have gotten guidance from senior staff members. These revenue managers are also going to need help from junior staff members to help doing some of the leg work.
The ongoing debt crisis and continued political and economic uncertainty has seen confidence in real-estate markets diminish, especially across Southern Europe. While this will weigh heavily on growth in 2012, short term opportunities remain, especially in non-Eurozone countries and in Germany, according to Invesco Real Estate’s H1 2012 Real Estate House View.
Invesco sees a macro trend driving local dynamics benefiting both retail and hotel sectors as visitors to Europe, particularly from emerging nations, are increasing with greater passenger flows through European airports. Luxury brands continue to have a presence and primary destination hotel assets on long leases to strong brands are likely to offer strong income returns, the report says.
“The debt funding gap is causing issues but the shortage of financing does offer investors some opportunity,” said Simon Mallinson, senior director of European Research for Invesco. “Some investors have embarked on distressed opportunity strategies across Europe in an attempt to capitalize on the gap between fund requirements and debt availability. We see opportunities to get access to prime assets in core markets at potentially very attractive levels. Lending is available for good quality assets across most sectors and relationships with lenders will be vital to unlocking any opportunities and finding available debt.”
The route may be different, but the destination is the same–summer vacations remain a fixture in America’s hardworking culture despite current economic challenges, according to an online survey conducted by TNS on behalf of Marriott’s SpringHill Suites.
The survey data provides a complex portrait of the state of American attitudes with the following highlights:
- Almost half of the Americans surveyed admit to checking their email on vacation, with 37% confessing that they check it at least once a day.
- Travelers with children tend to start planning less time in advance (48% plan within a month) than those without kids (60% plan two months or more out).
- When planning and researching summer vacations, 58% of Americans use a travel website. Of those, 45% use reservation sites while only 26% use travel review sites. 14% use social buying, such as Groupon or Living Social.
- 84% of Americans report gas prices have not changed their summer vacation plans.
- 78% of Americans believe it is important to maintain a healthy routine while traveling on vacation.
Americas Best Value Inn reported the company is adding hotels at a record pace in 2012.
In April, ABVI—parent company of Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, Chinas Best Value Inn, Value Inn Worldwide, Lexington Hotels and Lexington Inns—added properties in Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Estes Park, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky; Warren, Michigan; and East Syracuse, New York.
ABVI now has more than 1,000 properties worldwide.
Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.