From the desks of the Hotel News Now Editorial Staff:
- Hoteliers prepare for quick demand rebound industrywide
- Unemployment claims held ‘nearly steady’ last week
- Airline crews moved to avoid DC protests
- Company urges MGM board to sell part of MGM China
- Some Alabama hotels housing cancer patients
Hoteliers prepare for quick demand rebound industrywide: The industry is still experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but hoteliers are optimistic demand will return and are preparing for that now, writes HNN’s Dana Miller.
Thomas Penny, president of Donohoe Hospitality Services, said there will be some permanent changes to the company as it prepares to ramp back up.
“We need agile, thoughtful, energetic, courageous, leaders to lean into it,” he said. “What we try to do is, one, make sure that continuing to recruit talent that fits all those boxes. Two, supporting our existing team and helping to allow for them to perform well as it relates to their strengths, and also giving more time to develop any opportunities that may be present.”
Unemployment claims held “nearly steady” last week: An extra $300 in weekly unemployment payments started last week as part of the COVID-19 aid package signed into law in December, which led to jobless claims for the week holding “nearly steady,” The Wall Street Journal reports.
The U.S. Department of Labor said weekly claims for unemployment benefits from regular state programs decreased by 3,000 to 787,000 for the week ending 2 January, according to the newspaper.
“Unemployment claims have remained at high levels during the pandemic—holding at four times their pre-pandemic average at around 800,000 a week through the fall and into the winter. Claims peaked at nearly 7 million in the spring, when a majority of states issued stay at home orders early in the pandemic. The pre-pandemic peak was 695,000,” The Journal reports.
Airline crews moved to avoid DC protests: Some airline crews were moved to hotels outside of Washington, D.C., on 6 January to avoid protests at the U.S. Capitol, CNBC reports.
Crews with American Airlines and United Airlines have been booked at airport hotels. Alaska Airlines crews have been asked to avoid the downtown D.C. area.
Airline crews were also moved out of Washington, D.C., on election day in November over concerns about demonstrations and logistical issues.
CNBC reports that four people died in the riots at the U.S. Capitol, and 14 police officers were injured. A curfew of 6 p.m. was announced by Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser to try to quell the unrest in the city, and a “public emergency” was extended for the next 15 days, which would go through Inauguration Day on 20 January.
Company urges MGM board to sell part of MGM China: Asian alternative investment management firm Snow Lake Capital Limited has urged MGM Resorts International’s board of directors in a letter to sell 20% of MGM China Holdings Limited to a “Chinese company as a strategic investor,” according to a news release.
Snow Lake owns 7.5% of the outstanding shares, making it MGM China’s largest public shareholder, the letter states.
The company listed six main reasons for selling 20% of MGM China, including that “the new strategic investor will bring significant non-gaming resources to both MGM China and Macau, which is a crucial factor for the gaming concession re-tendering in 2022.”
Some Alabama hotels housing cancer patients: UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, is housing some cancer patients who recently underwent surgery in nearby hotels because of the post-holiday COVID-19 spike, AL News reports.
Those patients who would normally be watched overnight at the hospital and sent home the next day are now being housed in hotels, UAB Hospitals CEO Anthony Patterson said in a Wednesday press conference.
The hospital had 294 patients who had tested positive for the virus as of Wednesday.
Compiled by Danielle Hess.