Leap day helped lift hotel bookings during February, according to the latest edition of the Pegasus View.
February global distribution system results were boosted by leap day, though an increase over January would have come even without the extra day, according to the report. Although reservations in February were up by 5.1% with the extra day, they still would have increased by a half percentage point regardless.
And in business travel, guests aren’t staying more nights per trip, but booking lead times are increasing. The average global booking lead time during February was 22.2 days, up 8.4% from 20.5 days a year ago.
The Valencia Group has been bitten by the growth bug, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Jason Q. Freed.
Executives at the Houston-based development, ownership and management company are so confident in a hotel recovery they’re planning to introduce a new mini-brand of unique, 150-room roadside hotels they’ll build and manage themselves.
Valencia recently broke ground on Lone Star Court just outside Austin, Texas, which is scheduled to open in early 2013 and will debut a new boutique concept the company hopes to spread across the Southeast United States rather quickly.
“It’s an entirely new concept. While Lone Star will be specific to Austin, the court concept will be a new brand. They won’t all have the Lone Star name,” said Roy Kretschmer, VP of operations for Valencia. “Just as Lone Star picks up the locale, so will hotels we develop near (Louisiana State University) or in Baton Rouge (Louisiana).”
Valencia isn’t the only company expanding its portfolio these days. With new leader Robert Cook at the helm, De Vere Group has growth in its sights as well, reports HotelNewsNow.com’s Patrick Mayock.
The company has plans to grow its Village brand by adding between 15 to 18 ground-up constructions during the next few years.
“A lot of people think we’re just a budget hotel with a pool,” he said. “We’re a lot more than that. We’re an affordable urban retreat.”
Cook added, “That is our model. I would not say I would never do a conversion, but it’s not my preference.”
Inland American has closed on its $262.5-million acquisition of a three-hotel portfolio previously owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Company.
The hotels involved in the deal are: the 409-room Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa in Lexington, Kentucky; the 521-room Renaissance Waverly in Atlanta; and the 492-room Renaissance Austin in Austin, Texas.
AmericInn announced its first new prototype construction opening in two years.
The new prototype is located at the 63-room AmericInn Fairfield in Fairfield, Iowa, and is owned by Apollo Development LLC. Opened this month and managed by Three Rivers Hospitality, the prototype will feature a new lobby concept that houses a beverage bar and breakfast dining area as well as wide-screen TVs and complimentary Wi-Fi. Other amenities include an indoor pool, a business center and meeting room plus 64 guestrooms and suites.
AmericInn has 260 properties open or under development in 27 states.
Compiled by Shawn A. Turner