5 things to know: 12 July 2019
5 things to know: 12 July 2019
12 JULY 2019 9:52 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • NOLA hotels see storm-related cancellations
  • Thomas Cook Group in £750m recapitalization talks
  • How the makeup of downtown hotels has changed
  • Braemar converts San Fran Courtyard to Autograph
  • A look at a pet shelter hotel coming to Utah

NOLA hotels see storm-related cancellations: As Tropical Storm Barry crosses the Gulf of Mexico and nears making landfall, New Orleans-area hotels are seeing a wave of cancellations tied to storm-related fears, Nola.com reports.

“We’ve experienced quite a few cancellations,” Ben Turner, GM of the Holiday Inn Chateau LeMoyne French Quarter told the news outlet. “We were projecting to be pretty close to full for the weekend, especially with the Rolling Stones in town, but right now we’re at about 60% occupancy.”

Thomas Cook Group in £750m recapitalization talks: Package vacation company Thomas Cook Group, which owns hotel brand Casa Cook, is in advanced discussions with its largest shareholder, Chinese firm Fosun International, and banks for a £750 million ($941.3 million) cash injection, according to a news release.

If successful, the deal would make Fosun the majority shareholder in Thomas Cook’s tour-operations business and a significant minority interest in the group’s airline.

In the release, Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said the deal “would provide sufficient liquidity to trade over the winter 2019/2020 season and the financial flexibility to invest in the business for the future” and “while this is not the outcome any of us wanted for our shareholders, this proposal is a pragmatic and responsible solution.”

How the makeup of downtown hotels has changed: As traveler interest in hotels in central business districts booms, so does investor interest, notes HNN contributor Will Sanford. In an STR analysis of CBD hotels, Sanford said “supply growth rates in CBDs are surging ahead of non-CBD rates,” which is a reversal of past trends favoring suburban hotels. (STR is HNN’s parent company.)

Sanford also notes that CBD hotel development skews to the higher end.

“In the 1990s, these CBD submarkets were marked by economy and midscale hotels, which comprised nearly 30% of hotel supply,” he writes. “By 2018, economy and midscale hotels accounted for less than 15% of hotel supply.”

Braemar converts San Fran Courtyard to Autograph: Luxury hotel-focused real estate investment trust Braemar Hotels & Resorts has announced in a news release its plans to spend $30 million on the renovation and conversion of the former Courtyard San Francisco Downtown into The Clancy, which will join Marriott International’s Autograph Collection upon completion in January.

“With its prime location, offering easy access to a wealth of notable attractions and global businesses, the conversion of the hotel to an Autograph Collection property fills a desirable niche in the attractive downtown San Francisco market," Braemar's President and CEO Richard Stockton said in the release.

A look at a pet shelter hotel coming to Utah: The Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, is taking the novel approach of opening its own hotel, the Roadhouse and Mercantile, this August. It is designed specifically for guests traveling with pets. Staying at the hotel will also support the pet shelter’s operations, Simplemost reports.

“(Our) visitors need a lodging complex that will cater not only to them, but pets, too, including those who travel with their own furry companions and others who might be considering adopting from our sanctuary,” said Brooks Bradbury, director of hospitality for Best Friends Animal Society.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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