From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- MGM disputes shooting timeline
- Hyatt suffers new data breach
- Hoteliers put a piece of themselves in charitable works
- HNA pursued Mantra before AccorHotels deal
- Airbnb profitability under the microscope in NYC
MGM disputes shooting timeline: MGM Resorts officials are contradicting the timeline provided by Las Vegas police for the 1 October mass shooting at the Mandalay Bay, according to various news outlets including NPR. Claims by authorities that a security guard was shot six minutes before the gunman opened fire on a country music festival are “not accurate,” the company said in a statement.
The official police timeline actually puts the shooting of the guard at 9:59 p.m., with the gunman opening fire on concertgoers six minutes later at 10:05 p.m., raising questions about when hotel security alerted police. But MGM officials claim that timeline was based on a “report manually created after the fact without the benefit of information we now have.” That new information, MGM states, indicates the guard was shot within 40 seconds of shots fired at the crowd.
Hyatt suffers new data breach: Officials with Hyatt Hotels Corporation have indicated the company fell victim to a breach of payment card information at corporate-managed properties, Reuters reports. This would mark the company’s second breach in as many years.
The breach affected 41 properties across 11 countries from 18 March to 2 July. Eighteen of the affected properties were in China, the most of any country in this particular breach. No affected hotels were in the continental U.S., but three were in Hawaii, three were in Puerto Rico and another was in Guam.
Compromised data includes cardholder names, numbers, expiration dates and internal verification codes from cards manually entered or swiped at front desks.
Hoteliers put a piece of themselves in charitable works: It’s not hard to find people and companies devoted to philanthropic causes across the hotel industry. Hotel News Now’s Robert McCune spoke to some particularly charitable hoteliers to highlight some of the works going on in the industry.
One of the most obvious examples of giving hoteliers is Harris Rosen, president and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, whose many charitable works include adopting the Tangelo Park community in central Florida.
Rosen’s works in that area include starting a preschool program and paying college tuition for any high school graduate.
“I don’t know how many more communities like this we have in America, but if every one of them had a Tangelo Park Program, it would change America relatively quickly, and so much that we wouldn’t recognize ourselves,” Rosen said.
HNA pursued Mantra before AccorHotels deal: China-based HNA Group, which has been a target of regulatory scrutiny for its overseas investments, was apparently an early suitor for Australia’s Mantra Group before AccorHotels managed to sign a deal for the company, according to reporting by The Australian.
The newspaper claims HNA “had been aggressively targeting the Australian market in the past year before it started being investigated by authorities.” HNA already owns a 20% stake in Virgin Australia.
Airbnb profitability under the microscope in NYC: A new study, which combined efforts from New York University professors and Airbnb’s internal economists, claims short-term rentals offered by the site are less profitable than leasing space to long-term tenants.
This study could be specifically designed to counteract criticisms from groups like the American Hotel & Lodging Association, which have long derided Airbnb for offering a platform for what AHLA officials call illegal, unregulated hotels.
“In 2016, a host would need to rent out a unit for an average of 216 days as a short-term rental to match the annual average revenue from a long-term lease,” The Journal writes. “That was up from 194 nights a year in 2012. As of June 2017, the median number of nights booked for a typical entire-home listing in New York City was 46.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.