In this week’s roundup of news from the Americas region: U.S. hotels end March on a high; tightened hotel security unlikely; challenges ahead for Mexican hotels; and more.
Hotel News Now each week features a news roundup from a different region of the world. Today’s review covers the Americas.
US hotels end March with hot streak
Despite several calendar shifts in March, U.S. hotels continued a performance hot streak, writes Jan Freitag, STR’s SVP of lodging insights (STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now). However, a cooldown could be around the corner.
March continued the revenue-per-available-room growth streak, sitting at a healthy 3.9%, marking 97 consecutive months. Freitag noted this was primarily driven by a 3% increase in average daily rate.
As for calendar shifts, March 2018 had one additional Saturday compared to March 2017. Good Friday and the first day of Passover were also in March, which ended up not negatively affecting performance. RevPAR grew 0.7% during that week.
“Easter Sunday was 1 April, which had a negative impact on April, but the full Easter effect comp should lift April, so it’s going to be an interesting month to watch,” Freitag writes.
How hoteliers can better manage costs during projects
There’s a lot of planning that goes into a new-build hotel or renovation project, writes HNN’s Dana Miller, especially when it comes to controlling costs. Sources said much of it has to do with the education process and open communication with all parties involved.
“It’s all about relationships, being an open book, being transparent and sharing everything … making sure that you represent their (owners and developer’s) best interest from everything that you do,” said Suzanne Saunders, VP of design and construction at Hospitality Ventures Management.
Where hotel security stands
Despite the shooting at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino last October in Las Vegas, a panel of hotel security experts at the recent Hospitality Law Conference don’t believe the U.S. hotel industry or its guests are at the pace to take the same steps as hotels in dangerous conditions around the world are taking when it comes to increasing security measures on-property, writes HNN’s Bryan Wroten.
“We don’t know how to do it,” Alan Orlob, VP of global safety and security for Marriott International, said. “We do it all over the world. I don’t think the U.S. is ready for it. I don’t think we need to do it in the U.S. yet.”
What to expect from Mexico’s hotel industry in 2018
While several new stakeholders have favored Mexico’s tourism industry over the last few years, a variety of macroeconomic and sector-specific challenges lie ahead for 2018, writes HNN contributor Jonathan Kracer.
One challenge includes geopolitical effects. This year, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia—as well as for other Latin American nations—will have presidential elections, which could bring big changes to the region.
“As presidential elections create volatility, they will generate quick market responses to policies. The potential rise of nationalistic and protectionist movements in the region threaten open markets and legal certainties and may trigger capital flight,” Kracer writes.
Deals and developments
- The 220-key Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Fort Lauderdale broke ground on 30 April.
- The 374-room Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos opened in early April. The hotel is 35 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport.
- Sapir Corp acquired the remaining 49% interest in the NoMo-SoHo Hotel in Manhattan, New York. The company will now indirectly hold 99% of the hotel.
- China-based developer Oceanwide Holdings has officially topped off its three residential and hotel towers for the mixed-use Oceanwide Plaza in Los Angeles.
- Strategic Property Partners broke ground in Tampa Florida for a 519-room JW Marriott, expected to open in 2020.
Compiled by Dana Miller.