5 things to know: 26 September 2019
5 things to know: 26 September 2019
26 SEPTEMBER 2019 8:39 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Impeachment efforts could have unpredictable business effects
  • International markets projecting losses from Thomas Cook closure
  • Don’t expect more Wyndham M&A, for now
  • RevPAR jumps 7% for US hotels
  • North Carolina city bans hotel development

Impeachment efforts could have unpredictable business effects: Wall Street is going to have a hard time guessing which way the markets will move in reaction to an impeachment inquiry of U.S. President Donald Trump, with Bloomberg reporting the news will ultimately affect “the price of everything from soybeans to stocks, bonds and the U.S. dollar.”

It seems that from a market perspective, the only thing predictable right now is the unpredictability.

“You can’t trade this stuff right now, it’s impossible,” Tallbacken Capital Advisors LLC CEO Michael Purves told Bloomberg TV. “There’s so many different scenarios. Does this support (Democratic presidential candidate Joe) Biden? Does it hurt Biden? Does this support (candidate Elizabeth) Warren? Ultimately if her momentum keeps building, what happens to Trump? If impeachment goes through, is it ever going to become a reality with the Senate being Republican-controlled? There’s so many different scenarios, you almost have to just ignore it and keep just investing the way you would.”

International markets projecting losses from Thomas Cook closure: International destinations are already expecting to feel some pain from the collapse of U.K. travel company Thomas Cook, with the top tourism organization in Morocco noting the country’s hotels are “facing unpaid bills of about 200 million dirhams ($20 million),” according to Reuters.

Thomas Cook’s business impacted roughly 50 hotels in Marrakech and Agadir. Before its collapse, the company had two flights a week from Manchester to Marrakech.

Don’t expect more Wyndham M&A, for now: Speaking with the media during Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ annual brand conference, President and CEO Geoff Ballotti said his company doesn’t expect to spark new growth with additional acquisitions in the short term, HNN’s Dan Kubacki reports. Ballotti said his company averages a deal roughly every 18 months, and while it’s been about that long since it picked up the La Quinta brand, nothing is imminent.

That doesn’t mean the company wouldn’t be open to the right deal at the right time, though.

“We’re very dominant, powerful and strong in economy, and with the last two acquisitions, they were more in the midscale and upper-midscale space, but we’d never preclude any segment out there as an acquisition (target),” he said. “But to the extent that midscale and above fits better in our system and brand lineup, that would be more likely where you’d see us acquire.”

RevPAR jumps 7% for U.S. hotels: Hoteliers in the U.S. enjoyed strong revenue per available room growth for the week ending 21 September, largely driven by calendar shifts, according to data from HNN’s parent company STR.

Occupancy was up 2.1% year over year to 71.3% for the week. That combined with a 4.8% increase in average daily rate to $134.70 for a 7% increase in RevPAR to $96.04.

STR analysts point to the shift of Yom Kippur as the reason for the big jump.

North Carolina city bans hotel development: While moratoriums on new hotel construction might be nothing new in Europe, they’re a bit more novel stateside. But one U.S. city is following a similar tact with the City Council in Asheville, North Carolina, banning new development for at least a year, The Citizen Times reports.

Those hotels already under construction will be completed, the newspaper notes, but no new developments will be permitted after several residents voiced concerns about how tourism is affecting the city.

“City staff will use this time to work with the Urban Land Institute Charlotte on a planning process to include two community engagement sessions, analysis of the hotel industry, assessment of impacts, research of best practices, and a report on best land use practices and policy recommendations for hotel development,” according to a statement from the city.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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