5 things to know: 4 June 2020
5 things to know: 4 June 2020
04 JUNE 2020 9:20 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • My Place launches new brand Trend Hotels & Suites
  • Travelodge UK pressures its landlords to reduce rent
  • UK imposes 14-day quarantine, fines for noncompliance
  • Weekly data shows demand uptick for US hotels
  • Walk through Las Vegas Plaza check-in, casino operation

My Place launches new brand Trend Hotels & Suites: Extended-stay hotel chain My Place Hotels announced on its blog the U.S. launch of Trend Hotels & Suites, the franchise company’s second hotel brand which will operate in the upper-midscale and upscale select-service and extended-stay space. 

The brand seeks to offer franchisees lower franchising costs “while building upon the success” of namesake brand My Place Hotels of America, the company states in its blog.

“Built to offer a premium guest experience at a reasonable price in tandem with a well-balanced risk/return proposition for ownership throughout each phase of the economic cycle, My Place Hotels has proven that our model outperforms its respective competition,” My Place Hotels VP of Business Intelligence Bryan Gatzemeyer said. “By working closely with operators, our integrated resources drove a RevPAR Index change of 108.3% in April with a 153% RevPAR index chainwide.”

Travelodge U.K. pressures its landlords to reduce rent: Budget hotel chain Travelodge in the United Kingdom has proposed a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), which calls for reductions in the rent it pays to owners of its 589 hotels through December 2021, HNN’s Terence Baker reports.

If the plan is rejected by owners in a vote planned for 19 June, or if owners individually do not agree to its terms, the chain could close or exit those properties.

The company said in a statement detailing the proposal that it has no plans to close any hotels.

“The best way to preserve (Travelodge’s) liquidity position is to temporarily reduce its rents payable as rent payments are (our) largest cost at around £215 million ($269 million) per annum,” the company stated.

London-based real estate investment trust Secure Income, one of Travelodge U.K.’s largest landlords, said in a statement it was “extremely aware of and sensitive to the challenges facing so many businesses today in this unprecedented pandemic,” but that “Travelodge has over 580 hotels with more than 44,500 rooms and recently reported record earnings of £129.1 million ($161.8 million) with net debt of (circa) £311 million ($389.9 million).”

The statement goes on to note Travelodge is funded by “large, multinational investment businesses” and leaders of Travelodge took weeks to provide details on their plans.

“In light of this, Secure Income REIT plc has already reluctantly initiated actions to recover this debt, but remains hopeful that this matter can still be settled prior to those options being fully pursued,” the statement reads.

U.K. imposes 14-day quarantine, fines for noncompliance: The United Kingdom government on 3 June imposed a 14-day quarantine on all incoming visitors, including Brits returning from overseas, according to a government news release. Travelers from the Republic of Ireland will not be subjected to the new regulations.

Visitors will be required to give an address in the U.K. where they will self-isolate, and authorities will randomly check that the rules are being adhered to, with the possibility of £1,000 ($1,255.95) fines for noncompliance.

Hoteliers and hospitality companies say the new regulations will hurt them. The World Travel & Tourism Council has weighed in, stating in a news release, that “quarantines should not be necessary if appropriate and effective containment measures are in place at departure and arrival points. ... We’ve no doubt these measures will deter both business and leisure travellers from visiting major hubs throughout the country.”

Weekly data shows demand uptick for U.S. hotels: Occupancy at U.S. hotels inched closer to 40% overall for the week ending 30 May, which still equated to significant year-over-year declines, but not as severe as in previous weeks, STR data shows. STR is parent company of Hotel News Now

For the week, average daily rate reached $82.94, down 33.3% from the same week in 2019, and revenue per available room was $30.34 (-62.1% year over year). Occupancy was 36.6%, which was down 43.2%.

Walk through Las Vegas Plaza check-in, casino operation: As hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas strip begin a phased reopening, a reporter with local CBS affiliate Las Vegas Now walked through the “new normal” guests will experience at the Las Vegas Plaza Hotel & Casino, opening to guests today. 

The check-in procedure at the hotel will start with a temperature check, and guests will be offered (but not required to wear) a Plaza-branded face mask while interacting with staff members, who are required to wear face masks. Social-distancing guidelines are displayed in signage and floor stickers at the front desk, in elevators (which are limited to four guests at a time) and on the casino floor.

Compiled by Robert McCune.

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