Article Summary:

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Interest rates down again, but more cuts unlikely
  • How some hotels lean on spooky history
  • Hotel earnings season continues
  • US hotels see little movement in metrics
  • More hotels have in-house bakeries

Primary Category: 5 Things to Know

Secondary Categories: News

Interest rates down again, but more cuts unlikely: The Federal Reserve has officially announced the third interest rate cut of the year, according to The Wall Street Journal, but indicated that more cuts are unlikely.

“The current stance of (interest-rate) policy is likely to remain appropriate,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said.

However, Powell did not completely rule out another cut in the event the economy takes a turn for the worse.

How some hotels lean on spooky history: HNN’s Danielle Hess writes some historic hotels leverage their pasts of “paranormal sightings and experiences” as marketing tools. These hotels are tracked and catalogued by Historic Hotels of America.

Lee Johnson-Lowe, director of sales at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, said his property sprinkles bits and pieces about a macabre story of a family jumping to their deaths at the hotel during the Great Depression and a ghost named “Molly” for interested travelers.

“We do have little storybooks throughout the hotel, we do have a little hint in our elevator that shares a little teaser, but most often, the stories are done through guests engaging with the staff,” he said. “We focus heavily on history. When history comes up and the jumpers come up during (talk about) the Great Depression, it’s natural to mention the ghost. Depending upon reaction, we continue on. If it’s not something (guests) are interested in, then we don’t.”

Hotel earnings season continues: The latest in hotel and related companies reporting third-quarter earnings includes MGM Resorts International posting results better than industrywide trends and Ashford Hospitality Trust continuing to sell properties to reduce leverage.

HNN’s Bryan Wroten writes that MGM performed well in the face of disruption.

“This represents, we believe, excellent performance given the various disruptions in that marketplace,” MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO Jim Murren said.

Danielle Hess reports Ashford has sold $71.8 million in properties in the quarter.

U.S. hotels see little movement in metrics: The key performance metrics we basically flat in U.S. hotels for the week ending 26 October, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR.

RevPAR was flat year-over-year at $95.15 as a 0.2% drop in occupancy to 70.5% wiped out a 0.2% increase in average daily rate to $135.

Dallas, Texas, was the top performer among the top 25 markets with a 16.6% increase in RevPAR to $95.48 fueled by a 10.5% increase in occupancy to 79.1%.

More hotels have in-house bakeries: A rising trend in hotel food and beverage is the addition of in-house bakeries, Forbes reports. Hotel Praktik in Barcelona is one such property.

“The first thing guests see is the glass-walled kitchen and watch the bakers kneading away under the eye of watchful bakery owner Anna Bellsola, the fourth generation of her family to become a baker,” the report notes.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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Headline: 5 things to know: 31 October 2019

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Article Time: 10:20:00 AM