5 things to know: 13 March 2018
5 things to know: 13 March 2018
13 MARCH 2018 9:07 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Trade issues could stymie global economic growth
  • Strong California deals pace expected to continue
  • HNA’s travel sell-down continues
  • Great Wolf elevates former Avis exec to CEO
  • Trump Hotels considering third-party management

Trade issues could stymie global economic growth: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is warning the possibility of trade conflicts could wipe out the positive benefits of U.S. tax cuts and government spending, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

In the absence of trade wars, the organization is predicting “significant” acceleration of economic growth in the U.S., Germany, France, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa, but a wave of tariffs and trade conflict could derail that.

“Escalation would not be the road we would want to go down because we know from history what will happen,” OECD acting chief economist Álvaro Pereira said. “Escalation usually goes down fairly badly for everybody. It’s important to rely on global solutions to excess capacity in the steel industry.”

Strong California deals pace expected to continue: The hotel industry in California saw more transactions than expected in 2017, with dollar volume hitting $6.2 billion, and experts in the state believe that pace will continue through 2018, writes Hotel News Now’s Bryan Wroten. Alan Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group, told Wroten the deals volume in 2017 was the fourth highest he has seen since his company started tracking hotel sales in California.

He said all signs are pointing to another strong year.

“The pace has not slowed down,” he said. “If anything, those we’re tracking in escrow is up above where we were in beginning of 2017.”

HNA’s travel sell-down continues: China-based HNA Group, which until very recently was one of the most active buyers in the hotel industry across the globe, continues efforts to sell down its stakes in several companies, and the next might be Hilton Grand Vacations, according to an article by The Wall Street Journal.

HNA purchased a 25% stake in Hilton from Blackstone in early 2017, and at the same time acquired a corresponding stake in both the companies it recently spun off—HGV and Park Hotels & Resorts. The Journal reports HNA had originally committed to holding its stake in HGV for two years, but got permission from the board to sell down after just one year.

Park recently confirmed the completion of a secondary offering of nearly 40 million shares owned by HNA for $25.75 a share and the repurchase of an additional 14 million shares at $24.85 a share.

Great Wolf elevates former Avis exec to CEO: Murray Hennessy, former CEO of Avis Europe and former chief executive for Trainline, has taken over as CEO at Great Wolf Resorts, according to a news release from the company.

Hennessy has been serving in the role in an interim capacity since the departure of Rubén Rodríguez in December. The company, which owns and operates family resorts, has 15 properties across the U.S. and Canada.

Trump Hotels considering third-party management: Trump Hotels wants to be a large scale player in the hotel industry, and a new report from Bloomberg notes the company is looking into doing third-party management deals. Trump’s foray into third-party management could notably start with another politically connected entity: Kushner Cos., which is developing a new hotel in Long Branch, New Jersey.

In an email to Bloomberg, Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said third-party management is a natural extension of the company’s growth objectives.

“I came to help grow this business from a single brand to a multibrand hotel company that licenses, franchises and manages hotels—exactly the way most major hotel companies work,” he said. “This includes management of properties that are not branded by us.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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