5 things to know: 1 October 2019
5 things to know: 1 October 2019
01 OCTOBER 2019 9:43 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now Editorial staff:

  • CoStar to buy STR for $450 million
  • Investors see growth in alternative accommodations
  • Fed says economy should grow by 2.25% this year
  • Economist currently doesn’t see signs of recession
  • Hotel for women only opens in Spain

CoStar to buy STR for $450 million: CoStar Group, a commercial real estate platform, announced today that it has plans to buy STR, Hotel News Now’s parent company, for $450 million in cash, according to a news release. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

STR will continue to benchmark data for the hotel industry, and the deal will “allow for the creation of new benchmark products for commercial leases and multifamily operating metrics that would be extremely valuable to owners, brokers, lenders, tenants and property managers,” the release states.

STR President and CEO Amanda Hite, who will remain as president of STR following the deal, noted hoteliers should see this as a positive in expanding and improving the data offered to them.

“STR’s industry relationships and standard of service have remained a focal point of acquisition discussions from the start,” she said. “In the short term, there will be no change in either of those areas. Long term, the combined resources of CoStar and STR, along with the investment that will be made in the business, will accelerate our offerings at a time of evolution for the industry.”

Investors see growth in alternative accommodations: Hoteliers might think of alternative accommodations as unsophisticated and unruly, but speakers at the Hospitality Asset Managers Association's fall meeting see the segment as competition for investment, writes HNN’s Sean McCracken.

Bryan Auchterlonie, founder of Destination Capital, said there’s increasing interest in alternative accommodations from investors and lenders.

“If you look at the alternative side, the capital cost is so much lower and the return on that cost is relatively higher,” he said. “If you’re going to be building a $500,000- to $600,000-a-key asset, you can ask yourself if you can build something like AutoCamp or Collective (Retreats) for less and that will yield more.”

Fed says economy should grow by 2.25% this year: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said recent rate cuts were needed to keep the economy on “its current path, which remains generally healthy despite some key risks,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

The U.S. economy is expected to grow by 2.25% in 2019, which Evans said in a speech to be delivered in Frankfurt is “a solid number, as it exceeds my view of the economy’s long-run potential growth rate.”

Evans believes the unemployment rate should remain at a level below 4%, and inflation is “slowly moving up to the central bank’s 2% target over the next several years,” according to the news outlet.

Economist currently doesn’t see signs of recession: The Economic Group’s Chief Global Economist Bernard Baumohl said at The Lodging Conference that the U.S. economy seems to be in good shape and not headed toward a recession, but trade wars, slowing business spending and human folly are still things to worry about, writes HNN’s Stephanie Ricca.

When talking about the current economic cycle, he said “we’ve achieved something quite special, growing for more than 10 years.”

“The fundamentals of the economy are still great—unemployment rates are the lowest we’ve seen, wages are still moving up, people are spending, borrowing costs are among the lowest we’ve seen, there’s ample capital looking for investments. These are not the symptoms of an economy that’s approaching a peak,” he said.

While the economy isn’t here now, “there’s an undercurrent of fear and alarm that a recession is possible, and probably next year,” he said.

Hotel for women only opens in Spain: A women-only hotel created by Som Hotels has opened on Spain’s island of Mallorca, reports USA Today. 

The 39-room Hotel Som Dona, which translates to “we are women,” opened on 14 June and offers amenities such as massages, beauty treatments, sports and excursions.

Joan Enric Capellà, CEO of Som Hotels, told the news outlet "every single detail here is women oriented: from rooms to the outdoor pool, to the restaurant or to the rooftop bar."

Compiled by Danielle Hess.

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