Depending on who you talk to, the results of November’s presidential election in the United States may or may not determine the future success of the hotel industry. But one thing is certain: The success of the economy and the success of hotels are in direct correlation, writes HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
“The president sets the tone, so anyone who supports the lodging industry is key,” said Marlene Colucci, executive VP of public policy for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “The philosophy the president has trickles down to the industry.”
Colucci said the AH&LA does not endorse or support any one particular candidate, but rather the lobbyist organization aims to help officials in Washington, D.C., understand the importance of the hospitality industry to the overall economy.
Hoteliers, however, come down on opposite sides of the fence.
Hoteliers in Chicago are downplaying any negative effects moving a meeting of world leaders from industrialized democracies from their city to Camp David might have, saying the larger gathering of NATO allies still will showcase the United States’ third-most-populous city and provide plenty of demand.
NATO will hold its 25th summit 20-21 May in Chicago, aimed at driving forward key alliance policies. President Obama chose to relocate the Group of Eight Summit from his hometown of Chicago to his country retreat Camp David in Frederick County, Maryland, in early March; it’s the smaller of the two meetings originally scheduled for the same weekend.
Robert Habeeb, COO of First Hospitality Group, which owns and operates six hotels in the Chicago metropolitan area and dozens more just outside city limits, said much about the NATO and G-8 summits remains unknown.
“The government still hasn’t released a lot of their rooms and where they’re going to be,” Habeeb said. “That’s going to be the tale of the tape.”
A similar move would’ve devastated Pittsburgh when it hosted the Group of 20 Summit in September 2009, writes HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
With temperatures on the rise, hotel prices in Europe are beginning their climb into the summer season, according to the Trivago Hotel Price Index for April. Birmingham (£71, or $113.12, down 8%) and Dublin (£78, or $124.27, down 7%) are the best value destinations to visit in April, the report said, as both reported the greatest price decreases compared to March and also fall within the top five least expensive destinations.
Prague (£104,or $165.70, up 50%) and Venice (£196, or $312.31, up 52%) are experiencing the greatest rise in prices, according to the report. Istanbul (£131, or $208.74, up 35%) also experienced an unusual spike in its average hotel price.
Amsterdam (£143, or $227.86), Rome (£135, or $215.13) and Barcelona (£130, or $207.16) all experienced price increases of 26%.
The U.S. Travel Association continues to fight negative meetings rhetoric surrounding the General Services Administration controversy, actively working with policymakers to reinforce that this is an issue of poor decision-making and not the value of government conferences or meetings.
Roger Dow, the company’s president and CEO, sent a message this week to U.S. Travel’s membership seeking information from meeting planners so his company can better tell their story on Capitol Hill.
“With this being an election year and with the highly partisan political climate in Washington, this story has the potential to lead to further attempts to cut travel for meetings and conferences and could pose serious consequences for our industry,” Dow said in the letter.
Dow said leaders on Capitol Hill have been receptive to a message that this controversy is about poor decision-making and not the value of travel.
Since, U.S. Rep. John Mica, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said GSA officials spent a week in Hawaii for a one hour ribbon-cutting ceremony, and issued a news release expressing concern about the Las Vegas conference and one held in Palm Springs, California.
Major investments in two local casinos, a convention center, numerous leisure attractions and private-sector industry have contributed to a revitalization and diversification of Dubuque, Iowa, according to a market snapshot from HVS.
The market serves as a good example of how the addition of a casino can affect the local hotel industry and surrounding hotel values. The Mystique Casino completed a $33-million expansion in 2005, and the Diamond Jo Casino completed an $82-million expansion in 2008, doubling its size and becoming a land-based casino.
The Dubuque market has experienced rapid changes in supply during the past decade and demand also increased significantly during the past decade in the Dubuque market.
Hotel transaction activity increased in Dubuque the past two years as a result of a reduced bid-ask gap and the availability of commercial real-estate lending. As transaction volumes increased, the average sale price per guestroom has been increasing as well. Average sale prices in Dubuque spiked in 2011 to nearly $80,000 per guestroom.
Compiled by Jason Q. Freed.