5 things to know: 16 May 2017
5 things to know: 16 May 2017
16 MAY 2017 9:37 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • La Quinta reportedly exploring sale of company
  • AccorHotels pursues stake in Groupe Noctis
  • A look at what’s driving last-minute leisure bookings
  • Almost 10,000 new hotel rooms could come to Orlando
  • More US workers testing positive for drug use

La Quinta reportedly exploring sale of company: In hopes of securing a high valuation while seeking to spin off its real estate assets, La Quinta Holdings is reportedly looking to sell the hotel chain, Reuters reports, citing anonymous sources. The company is expecting the sale to help make the tax hit “more palatable to shareholders.”

La Quinta is preparing to enter discussions with potential buyers after it files a Form 10 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sometime in the second quarter of 2017 for its spinoff and will publicly list its real estate in a real estate investment trust while keeping its franchise and management agreements, the report said. Blackstone Group currently still owns about one-third of the company.

A La Quinta spokesperson told Hotel News Now they would not “comment on market rumors or speculation.”

The company’s shares increased as much as 15% on Monday, according to Reuters, and ended trading in New York up 13.4%, placing its market capitalization close to $1.8 billion.

AccorHotels and the FCDE talk acquiring stake in Group Noctis: AccorHotels announced today it is in exclusive talks with the Fonds de Consolidation et de Développement des Entreprises about acquiring FCDE’s minority interest in Groupe Noctis, according to a news release.

Between 2013 and 2014, the FCDE invested €11 million ($12.2 million) “to help roll out its strategically important events business, in particular through acquisitions, enabling it to grow into one of the key groups in its market and build one of the most remarkable asset portfolios in Paris,” the release states.

Accor’s investment in FCDE, particularly after FDCE signed agreements to open 10 new restaurant/entertainment venues, will allow Accor to “cement its leadership” in Paris, the release said.

A look at what’s driving last-minute leisure bookings: Hoteliers are adapting their revenue-management strategies in order to accommodate the increasing levels of last-minute leisure demand, writes Hotel News Now contributor Brendan Manley. Experts said last minute bookings are driven by a series of technological, economic and social factors.

“People are booking in a shorter duration from when they want to go. They are deciding in less than a week, ‘OK, let’s take a small vacation to Chattanooga,’” Navin Shah, chairman of Royal Hotel Investments, said. “There are two reasons why this is happening: Number one, people have more confidence in the economy than before. … The second is that unemployment is going down, so people have a little more money.”

Almost 10,000 new hotel rooms could come to Orlando: The hotel development pipeline in the metro Orlando area has 16% more hotel rooms in planning or construction than last year, according to the Orlando Sentinel citing data from STR, Hotel News Now’s parent company, and 61% more than five years ago. A total of 9,904 rooms are currently in planning or in construction.

Visit Orlando reported a record 68 million visitors during 2016, a 2 million year-over-year increase, the newspaper reports.

More U.S. workers testing positive for drug use: American workers are testing positive for “illicit drugs” at a rate higher than that seen in the past 12 years, according to data from Quest Diagnostics, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Workers testing positive for marijuana use grew 4% year over year along with other drugs, the Journal states, and the increases “come against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an apparent resurgence in the use of drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine.”

The number of workers testing positive in states that permit recreational marijuana use grew. Colorado reported an 11% increase and Washington rose 9%--more than double the increase nationwide, the paper reports.

Compiled by Dana Miller

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