Article Summary:

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Huazhu Group to buy Deutsche Hospitality for €700m
  • California wildfires are mostly under control
  • Brands’ push to grow loyalty membership paying off
  • Chicago hotels struggle with tough year, new supply
  • Pocono Manor Resort and Spa burns down

Primary Category: 5 Things to Know

Secondary Categories: News

Huazhu Group to buy Deutsche Hospitality for €700m: Through its subsidiary China Lodging Holding Singapore, Shanghai-based Huazhu Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Frankfurt-based Deutsche Hospitality for €700 million ($781 million) in cash, according to a news release. Huazhu intends to share more details during its third-quarter earnings call on 12 November.

As of 30 September, hotel franchisor and operator Huazhu has 5,151 hotels open, comprising 504,414 guestrooms. Its brands include Hi Inn, Elan Hotel, HanTing Hotel, Crystal Orange Hotel and more. Deutsche Hospitality operates 118 hotels with another 36 under development in 19 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

California wildfires are mostly under control: Fire crews battling the many wildfires in California are saying the blazes have been largely contained at this point, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, they warn that hot and dry conditions will continue, meaning the risk for further fires remains.

Fire crews said the Maria fire in Ventura County was 70% contained as of 3 November, the newspaper reports. The Kincade fire in Sonoma County that reached almost 78,000 acres and destroyed at least 370 buildings has been 78% contained. Crews were able to completely contain several fires, including the Easy fire in Ventura County and Getty fire in Los Angeles.

Brands’ push to grow loyalty membership paying off: Hotel brand companies have increased their efforts over the past several years to further grow their loyalty programs’ membership numbers, HNN contributor Danny King reports. As a result, many have moved beyond discounted loyalty rates for direct bookings and finding new ways to attract and retain guests.

“Where this campaign began, and how it’s evolved, is very much rooted in consumer feedback and insights,” said Kasey O’Leary, VP of global enterprise marketing at Hilton, about the “Expect Better. Expect Hilton” campaign. “We’ve done a lot of qualitative research to understand what drives consumer travel shopping and booking behavior, as well as which specific benefits and services truly matter to consumers.”

Chicago hotels struggle with tough year, new supply: Hotel demand in Chicago has not kept up with the pace of new supply, the Chicago Tribune reports. In the last five years, the market added 37 new hotels, comprising more than 8,100 guestrooms, representing a 22% increase. Citing data from STR, parent company of HNN, demand has fallen behind, as occupancy has fallen 2.5% year over year to below 75% through September, and rates fell by 3.2% year over year to $205.74.

“The market has kind of blown up over the last five years,” said Stacey Nadolny, managing director of HVS Chicago, a hospitality consulting firm. “You reach a point of saturation, and that’s sort of where Chicago is at this point.”

Pocono Manor Resort and Spa burns down: The 117-year-old Pocono Manor Resort and Spa in Pocono Manor, Pennsylvania, burned down after 20 different fire departments spent two days trying to stop the blaze, New York Daily News reports. Although 20 people were in the resort at the time of the fire, there are no reported injuries.

The fire started in the kitchen and spread because of high winds, which later posed a challenge for fire crews trying to contain the fire, the article states. Investigators are still working to determine the cause. The hotel was scheduled to close at the end of the month to begin a two-year renovation.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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Headline: 5 things to know: 4 November 2019

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