5 things to know: 30 July 2020
5 things to know: 30 July 2020
30 JULY 2020 9:44 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • MGM elevates Hornbuckle to CEO position
  • US economy sees historic GDP drop
  • Hotel recovery expected to hit a snag
  • US hotels see slight weekly improvement
  • Ashford, Xenia report Q2 results

MGM elevates Hornbuckle to CEO position: Four months after being appointed acting President and CEO of MGM Resorts, Bill Hornbuckle has been awarded the permanent position, effective immediately, according to a news release from the company. Hornbuckle succeeds Jim Murren in the position and previously served as MGM’s president and COO.

“There are few tests of leadership greater than what Bill has faced,” Paul Salem, chairman of the MGM Resorts Board of Directors, said in the release. “His seasoned global experience, depth of knowledge and steady hand have provided reassurance and confidence to our employees, partners, guests and shareholders during one of the most difficult periods in the history of our company. He has fully earned the opportunity before him."

U.S. economy sees historic GDP drop: U.S. gross domestic product fell at the greatest level since the metric was first recorded in 1947, NBC News reports citing data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. GDP sank 32.9% as 1.43 million people filed for new unemployment benefits last week.

In a news conference Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the recovery will be slowed if employment doesn’t improve quickly.

“It looks like the data are pointing to a slowing in the pace of the recovery,” he said.

Hotel recovery expected to hit a snag: In his latest monthly analysis of hotel data, STR’s SVP of lodging insights Jan Freitag noted June was the third-worst month on record based on year-over-year change in the revenue per available room, but the industry has seen sequential improvement from April to May to June. STR is parent company of Hotel News Now.

But at the same time, there are signs the upward trend could reverse.

“Of course, we saw the full impact of the threat of the virus in STR’s April data,” he writes. “Now the reality of new cases is here and will likely play out in our data going forward.”

U.S. hotels see slight weekly improvement: The latest data from STR shows a slight week-over-week increase in occupancy and rates for U.S. hoteliers for the week ending 25 July, according to a news release.

In year-over-year terms, occupancy was down 37.9% to 48.1%, while average daily rate was down 27.3% to $99.24, and revenue per available room was down 54.8% to $47.75.

U.S. hotels have now seen occupancy increase in 14 of the last 15 weeks.

Ashford, Xenia report Q2 results: Two hotel real estate investment trusts are among the latest publicly traded companies to report results from the second quarter.

Ashford Hospitality Trust saw a net loss of $215.3 million for the quarter with comparable RevPAR down 88.3% to $16.60 year over year across its portfolio.

Xenia Hotels & Resorts reported a $99.1 million net loss with a RevPAR drop of 96.1%.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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