From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:
- New York hotel union wielding increasing influence
- Recession is the top fear for CEOs
- How some hoteliers are maintaining profits
- Service Properties Trust announces new Marriott deal
- A hotel room that brings art to life
New York hotel union wielding increasing influence: The New York Times reports that the city’s Hotel Trades Council is growing increasingly influential, particularly in local politics, noting the union played a significant role in pushing for regulations on Airbnb. The newspaper also notes the union is pushing for new regulations on hotel development in the city.
“With a potent mixture of campaign cash, canny bets on local races and union members ready to take to the streets, (council president Peter) Ward has transformed his union of 33,600 hotel workers into one of the most imposing political forces in New York,” The Times reports.
Recession is the top fear for CEOs: A new survey of chief executives from the Conference Board notes their top concern heading in to 2020 is an economic recession, The Wall Street Journal reports. Recession ranked third among U.S. CEO worries heading in to 2019, although global CEOs saw it as the top worry at that point as well.
The report warns that “one real risk of this recession mindset is that it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
How some hoteliers are maintaining profits: Flatlining revenue and increasing supply and costs are among the top worries for owners and operators looking to maintain their bottom lines heading into 2020, and HNN’s Dana Miller reports several are being proactive about protecting profits in the new year.
“We are working closely with our operators to find how we can operate more efficiently, and in many cases, with fewer workers since our operators just can’t find them,” said Ray Martz, EVP and CFO, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust. “Fortunately, we have some unique opportunities at Pebblebrook. Following our corporate acquisition at the end of 2018, we have found a tremendous amount of operating synergies across our larger portfolio through improved procurement (and) combining various operating departments and other channels.”
Service Properties Trust announces new Marriott deal: Officials with Service Properties Trust (the real estate investment trust formerly known as Hospitality Properties Trust) have announced a new deal with Marriott International that will merge their 122 Marriott-branded properties into a single portfolio, according to a news release. The company previously operated three separate portfolios of Marriott hotels.
SPT officials noted the new deal, which runs through 2035, allows for better returns to the ownership group and specifies that 33 of the hotels “will be sold or rebranded.”
A hotel room that brings art to life: Edward Hopper’s “Western Motel” is among the most famous painting to depict a hotel room, and now the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, will allow guests to stay overnight in a reproduction of that room for $150 a night, according to NPR.
NPR reports: “The woman in Hopper's Western Motel is sitting on the edge of the bed, looking right at the viewer. What's going on with her? It's hard to say. Hopper doesn't do narratives—‘unless we admit that waiting has a storyline all of its own,’ says Leo Mazow, curator of the ‘Edward Hopper and the American Hotel’ exhibition.”
Compiled by Sean McCracken.