5 things to know: 17 January 2020
 
5 things to know: 17 January 2020
17 JANUARY 2020 10:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hotels far more fully fit for purpose in 2025
  • IHG and Asset World sign deal for 1,200-plus rooms in Thailand
  • Harrah’s Reno to become non-gaming hotel
  • China economic growth hits near three-decade low
  • Google’s parent fourth firm to be valued at $1 trillion-plus

Hotels far more fully fit for purpose in 2025: The art of hospitality will not change dramatically by 2025, but the hotel itself—what it offers, how that is offered, what is more in line with guests’ needs and aspirations—will see distinct change over the next five years, Hotel News Now’s Dana Miller reports in the final installment of an HNN Special Report dedicated to what the industry can expect over the next half-decade.

Robots, living room-style lobbies, more standalone food and beverage, many more charging points and even a different length of bed are among the predictions made by a select group of hoteliers and designers.

IHG and Asset World sign deal for 1,200-plus rooms in Thailand: InterContinental Hotels Group and Thai owner Asset World Corporate have signed an agreement to develop more than 1,200 rooms across Thailand, according to a news release.

The deal includes the 306-room InterContinental Chiang Mai Mae Peng in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai. Other destinations earmarked are Hua Hin and capital Bangkok. IHG has 29 hotels and six brands in Thailand, and a pipeline of another 30 assets.

Harrah’s Reno to become non-gaming hotel: Caesars Entertainment Corporation and VICI Properties Inc. have agreed to sell the 928-room Harrah’s Reno Hotel & Casino in Reno, Nevada, to an affiliate of CAI Investments for $50 million, with 25% of the proceeds going to Caesars and the rest to VICI, according to a news release.

The release adds that Caesars will stop operations at the hotel in the second half of this year, at which point operations will be transferred to the new owner and the hotel will cease gaming activities. In the meantime, annual rent payments under the current lease between Caesars and VICI are to remain unchanged.

China economic growth hits near three-decade low: The Chinese economy is showing signs of “sluggishness,” with official figures indicating the economy in 2019 posted its worse growth in 29 years (+6.1%), according to the BBC.

Reasons given for the slowed growth include weaker domestic demand and the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S., which did show signs of abating this week with a deal signed between the two nations. The news outlet also reports banks in China have been encouraged to lend, especially to small firms, with new loans in 2019 reaching a record figure of $2.44 trillion.

Google’s parent fourth firm to be valued at $1 trillion-plus: Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has become the fourth firm, all from the U.S., to have shares valued at more than $1 trillion, joining Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Apple and Amazon, the newspaper reported, reached that mark in 2018, while Microsoft joined in April 2019. Alphabet stock has steadily surged since December when it was announced the firm’s two founders were to step back from the top roles.

Compiled by Terence Baker.

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