5 things to know: 17 February 2017
5 things to know: 17 February 2017
17 FEBRUARY 2017 10:32 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Could LA real estate development halt?
  • Want a former Starwood hotel? They’re all for sale
  • Resort fees jumping in Las Vegas
  • Millennium & Copthorne on CEO change, revenue drop
  • Study questions value of fitness centers

Could LA real estate development halt? Citizens of Los Angeles are currently considering a ballot measure that would “effectively halt major real-estate projects,” according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The move is viewed as pushback against a wave of real estate development, focusing largely on luxury properties, in major metropolitan areas around the U.S.

A vote will take place in early March on the measure, which if passed would halt development requiring changes to planning rules for two years. Those types of rule changes have been viewed as routine in the past, the newspaper reports.

Want a former Starwood hotel? They’re all for sale: Marriott International is looking to unload $1.5 billion of former Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide assets over the next two years, and many of those properties are the subject of ongoing negotiations, company officials said during their most recent earnings call, according to senior reporter Bryan Wroten.

Speaking during a fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 call with analysts and investors, EVP and CFO Leeny Oberg noted there are a few things at play while negotiating the sale of property.

“Our approach to selling owned assets reflects the importance of getting the full value of the hotel, as well as a strong management agreement and property improvement plan where needed,” he said.

For more reports on publicly listed hotel companies during the current earnings season, including Hyatt’s plans to grow brands through first-party development, click here.

Resort fees jumping in Las Vegas: A new report from the Los Angeles Times points out that several hotels attached to casinos in Las Vegas will soon increase resort fees. The 10 hotels increasing fees on 1 March are Bally’s, Caesars Palace, The Cromwell, Flamingo, Harrah’s, The Linq, Nobu, Paris, Planet Hollywood and Rio.

The total resort fees at those hotels range between $30 and $35 a night. This increase follows on the heels of several Las Vegas hotels bucking the long-term trend and adding parking fees in 2016.

Millennium & Copthorne on CEO change, revenue drop: Officials with Millennium & Copthorne Hotels have announced a planned change of CEO, according to Reuters, with Tan Kian Seng set to work as interim group CEO starting 1 March.

The company’s current CEO, Aloysius Lee, announced his planned resignation in mid-2016.

Company officials also discussed the difficulties they faced in 2016 with securities worries across Europe driving down revenue.

Study questions value of fitness centers: In news that probably won’t surprise most people who tend not to make it to the gym often, it was revealed that hotel guests don’t actually use fitness centers as much as they say they will, according to a study from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration as reported by Quartz.

In the study, 46% of respondents said they planned to use the gym, but only 22% followed up on those plans. The study also gauged the planned versus actual usage of bottled water and in-room WiFi, and showed a dropped off—albeit a smaller one—for each of those amenities, as well.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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