5 things to know: 29 May 2018
5 things to know: 29 May 2018
29 MAY 2018 9:42 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Hotel housing extended for Houston hurricane victims
  • How hotels in ‘cool’ European districts live up to vibe
  • Vegas prepares for far-reaching effects of hotel worker strike
  • EU urged to lead way on plastics ban
  • No strong correlation between snowfall, ski resort performance

Hotel housing extended for Houston hurricane victims: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that Texans displaced by Hurricane Harvey can remain in temporary housing at Houston hotels through 1 July, reports the Houston Chronicle.

This is the seventh time that FEMA has extended the deadline, and gives the displaced residents another month in temporary housing, the newspaper reports, but it will be the final time the deadline will be pushed back.

Meanwhile, as another hurricane season revs up, the first named Atlantic storm of 2018, tropical storm Alberto, “fizzled into a subtropical depression … as it rolled into southern Alabama on Tuesday,” Reuters reports.

How hotels in ‘cool’ European districts live up to vibe: On a panel at last week’s Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel Summit in London, hoteliers with properties in Europe’s “coolest” districts shared their strategies for remaining relevant and vibrant to bring guests and locals back repeatedly, writes HNN’s Terence Baker.

Being unique and matching the local vibe, these hoteliers said, requires research and a local staff.

“There is a lot of time spent investigating that community, and the focus is on a 15-minute radius around the hotel, which is quite tight, especially in some cities,” said Henry Reeve, director of design and innovation at InterContinental Hotels Group’s Hotel Indigo brand. “We partner with as many locals as we can, and it is important to partner with local owners and design agencies who understand the brand and the neighborhood. Sometimes that does not work as in some cities, design has not quite kept up with trends.”

Vegas prepares for far-reaching effects of hotel worker strike: With the contracts of 50,000 casino-hotel workers employed at more than 30 Las Vegas resorts set to expire at midnight Thursday, “local and state governments stand to lose millions from the impact on tourism,” reports The Associated Press in a story published by The Salt-Lake Tribune.

The last citywide strike by casino-hotel workers in Vegas lasted 67 days, and “cost workers and the city more than $1 million a day each in lost wages and revenues, not counting gambling losses,” the news agency reports. “The price could be much higher this time if the two sides can’t reach agreements: The city has 90,000 more hotel rooms and gets an additional 29 million visitors a year.”

Meanwhile, in Surrey, British Columbia, union workers at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel voted Monday to accept a new contract and end a four-week strike, according to a news release.

Unifor Local 3000 represents 120 guest services, lounge, banquet, kitchen, laundry, housekeeping and maintenance workers at the hotel, the release states. Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers.

“The new contract includes reduced workloads for room attendants, a $0.40 per hour increase to maintain current benefit levels, and wage increases of up to eight per cent during the term of the agreement,” the release states.

EU urged to lead way on plastics ban: Meeting in Brussels this week, the European Commission has proposed a ban on single-use plastics by the European Union as part of “an ambitious set of measures to clean up Europe’s beaches and rid its seas and waterways of disposable plastics,” The New York Times reports.

The commission, which is the EU’s executive arm responsible for proposing legislation, said the EU should lead the way worldwide to reduce marine litter.

Meanwhile, global hotel companies are taking the initiative to eliminate single-use plastic at their properties, with Hilton being the latest to announce such a measure.

No strong correlation between snowfall, ski resort performance: An analysis by STR, HNN’s parent company, shows that despite snowfall totals well below four-year averages, hotel performance in three ski markets did not suffer this past winter, STR’s Nathan Rael writes.

The Colorado ski market was hit the hardest, with a 5.2% year-over-year decline in hotel occupancy, while Park City, Utah, and South Lake Tahoe, California, saw occupancy gains of less than 1%. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, had an 11.9% leap.

Still, Colorado posted the highest winter season occupancy (62.6%), Rael writes, “which is impressive when you take into account that the Colorado ski market also boasts a higher supply (492,807 available room nights in December) than the three competing markets combined.”

Also, Colorado hotels’ winter-season average daily rate, at $353, “would be a huge success for virtually any tourism-reliant market,” Rael writes. “Factor in a seasonal RevPAR of $232, and things suddenly don’t seem quite as bleak in the Rockies.”

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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