Malaysia’s Starhill Real Estate Investment Trust and The Trump Organization have made notable, separate hotel acquisitions.
First, Starhill REIT said it bought a portfolio of three Marriott-branded Australian hotels, comprising more than 1,000 rooms, for $415 million Australian dollars ($414.2 million). The hotels involved are the 563-room Sydney Harbour Marriott; the 267-room Brisbane Marriott; and the 186-room Melbourne Marriott.
On the other side of the world, Trump acquired the 700-room Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Doral, Florida, out of bankruptcy for $150 million. The Trump Hotel Collection will take over management of the property.
Trump is also preparing to embark on a “major” renovation of the property that is expected to finish in the fall of 2013.
The data trackers at Deloitte are confident U.S. consumer confidence will continue to gain strength, according to a report from HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman of and global leader of U.S. tourism, hospitality and leisure for Deloitte, said consumer confidence regarding summer travel has been positive since Memorial Day. Respondents to a Deloitte survey indicated in May they were more eager to take a vacation than they were in May of 2011, he said.
“It was up from last year where I think 31% of respondents compared to 24% said they were going to take a Memorial Day vacation trip,” Weissenberg said. “Summer travel was kind of flat but still a slight increase—54% compared to 52% said they were going to take a trip.”
Deloitte’s optimism mirrors the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final index of consumer sentiment, which ended May at its highest level since 2007, according to Bloomberg.
Global hotel brands are grinding away at trying to establish an e-commerce footprint in China, according to a report from HotelNewsNow.com’s Stephanie Wharton.
More than 500 million Internet users reside in China, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, but factors including government restrictions on the Internet will impact how successful players will be in the e-commerce space.
“China has been very closed over the years,” said Steve Lapekas, executive VP of corporate business development at Pegasus Solutions. Non-domestic brands now have the opportunity to expand into the emerging market and are doing so aggressively, but the new challenges lies in selling rooms online, Lapekas said.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s Luxury Collection has opened 10 properties in the Asia/Pacific region during the past 12 months, the company said.
The openings have been focused on gateway cities and resort locations in such places as Shanghai and Sanya in China; Australia’s Blue Mountains; and Jaipur and Chennai in India.
The Luxury Collection, with more than 80 hotels today, is on track to surpass 90 hotels by 2016, Starwood said.
Mike Leven, the president and COO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has signed a contract extension with LV Sands that will keep him in the position until the end of 2014.
"Under Mike Leven's leadership our company has experienced tremendous success, and I am very grateful and honored that he has committed to be here with us for a longer period of time," Sheldon G. Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, said in a news release. "Mike has brought a very high level of professionalism to the company. He is not only the nicest guy, he's also probably the most competent and productive businessman I've worked with—and that's 66 years in business."
Compiled by Shawn A. Turner.