Executives from Red Lion Hotels Corporation are focused on growth as a key component of their ongoing campaign to appease investors and increase shareholder value, hiring last week Ron Burgett, formerly of Northcott Hospitality and Choice Hotels International, to lead the mission.
Hiring Burgett as executive VP of brand development comes several months after the Spokane, Washington-based owner, operator and franchisor received a letter from Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund, which owns 28.8% of Red Lion’s outstanding shares, “requesting that the board hire an advisor to run a full and transparent process to sell Red Lion in whole or in parts.”
The letter kicked off an avalanche of support from other investors who voiced concerns, forcing Red Lion executives to explore “strategic alternatives” to maximize the company’s value.
While those efforts remain ongoing, Red Lion also is focusing on growth, writes HotelNewsNow.com’s Stephanie Wharton.
“I’m on board with the goals that have been set with the company,” which include Red Lion’s plans to have 30 to 40 franchise contracts within the next 24 months, Burgett, who was appointed executive VP of brand development 9 July, told HotelNewsNow.com. The company has 18 franchise contracts in its portfolio of 48 hotels.
An increase in total revenues for Host Hotels & Resorts’ second quarter reflect the improved performance in comparable hotel revenue per available room of 6.1% and improvements in comparable food-and-beverage revenues of 5.7%, the company reported in its earnings statement Tuesday.
In addition, the improvement in operating results for year-to-date 2012 includes operations for 10 hotels acquired in the first half of 2011, which increased revenues by an incremental $56 million.
The increase in comparable hotel RevPAR was primarily driven by improvements in average room rates coupled with continued occupancy growth. For the quarter and year-to-date, ADR improved 3.7% and 3.3%, respectively, while occupancy improved 1.7 percentage points to 77.6% and 1.9 percentage points to 73.7%, respectively.
Host also announced Tuesday the acquisition of the 888-room Grand Hyatt Washington, D.C., for approximately $400 million.
Viceroy Hotel Group on Tuesday announced the appointment of Bill Walshe to CEO.
Walshe brings senior management experience with hospitality companies such as Jumeirah Group, The Doyle Collection and Kempinski Hotels & Resorts. As the CEO of The Doyle Collection, Walshe led the brand through its reinvention into a modern luxury urban hotel group that includes 11 hotels in the USA and Europe. Prior to that, Walshe served as chief marketing officer for Dubai-based Jumeirah Group at a time of tremendous growth for the international luxury hospitality group.
Year to date, Viceroy has added three new properties in the Maldives, New York and San Francisco, and recently announced the opening of Viceroy Istanbul in 2013 and Viceroy Bodrum in Turkey in 2014, totaling 18 hotels under management by the group worldwide.
Global hotel sales rose 9% in 2011, reaching a total of $457 billion, according to a Euromonitor report titled “Trends in the Global Hotel Industry.” This was a new record for the industry, 2.2% higher than its previous peak in 2008. Euromonitor attributes the growth to the recovery in business travel from the 2009 decline.
The best performing countries in 2011 in absolute sales:
U.S. ($7.4 billion)
China ($7.2 billion)
France ($2.6 billion)
Italy ($2.2 billion)
Spain ($1.7 billion)
The worst performing countries in 2011 in absolute sales:
Egypt (-$1.8 billion)
Venezuela (-$0.5 billion)
Turkey (-$0.4 billion)
Algeria (-$0.01 billion)
Syria (-$0.01 billion)
New details into the investigation of Sheldon Adelson, the largest Republican donor in the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign, bring into question some of the methods Adelson used in Macau to save Las Vegas Sands Corporation and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion.
Las Vegas Sands has turned desolate land in Macau into a glittering strip of casinos, hotels and malls. Adelson has since provided tens of millions of dollars to Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and other GOP causes.
Internal email and company documents now show that Adelson instructed a top executive to pay approximately $700,000 in legal fees to Leonel Alves, a Macau legislator whose firm was serving as an outside counsel to Las Vegas Sands, according to a report by ProPublica.
The company's general counsel and an outside law firm warned the arrangement could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It is unknown whether Adelson was aware of these warnings. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bars American companies from paying foreign officials to "affect or influence any act or decision" for business gain.
Compiled by Jason Q. Freed and Stephanie Wharton.