Most Clicked AH&LA SmartBrief Stories

1. Hilton will focus on launching a midscale brand, CEO says

AH&LA SmartBrief | May 01, 2015

Hilton Worldwide is hoping to introduce a midscale brand in the next 12 months that could bring in new customers by offering lower rates, CEO Christoper Nassetta said during the company's latest earnings call. "For sure, you are going to see us do something in that category. And we think that could be a mass-scale brand globally," Nassetta said. Skift (04/30)

2. Starwood Hotels hires Lazard to explore all options

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has tapped Lazard to help it explore strategic and financial options to increase shareholder value. "No option is off the table," said Bruce Duncan, Starwood's chairman, in a statement. That suggests a sale of the company is possible, according to Ryan Meliker, analyst at MLV & Co. Bloomberg (04/29)

3. Ritz-Carlton Chicago to become a full-fledged Ritz property this summer

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Ritz-Carlton Chicago will fully join the Ritz-Carlton brand this summer, enabling guests to book through the main company website and receive Ritz Carlton-Rewards. The hotel began using the Ritz-Carlton name under a licensing agreement when it opened in 1975. Travel Weekly (04/27)

4. AH&LA CEO: Health insurance tax will raise costs for small-business owners

AH&LA SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

A health insurance tax that's a provision in the Affordable Care Act is raising costs for small-business hotel owners and making it difficult for them to add jobs to the economy, writes Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AH&LA. Lugar praised efforts in Congress to repeal the tax. "With so many of our elected officials from states across the country pledging their support to eliminate this harmful and short-sighted tax, it's time Washington takes action for small businesses once and for all," Lugar writes. Roll Call (free content) (05/01)

5. Hilton Worldwide reports 22% higher earnings in Q1

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 30, 2015

Hilton Worldwide said first-quarter net income rose 22% from last year to $150 million amid a 10% increase in revenue, to $2.60 billion. The company said revenue per available room was up 6.6% as occupancy increased 2.1% and average daily rate rose 3.5%. Hilton had 240,000 rooms in its pipeline during the quarter, with 56% of the properties in development in the U.S. American City Business Journals (04/29) Reuters (04/29)

6. San Francisco hotels see rate surge amid real estate frenzy

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 28, 2015

The price of hotel rooms in San Francisco is following the same trend as housing -- rates are skyrocketing. San Francisco Chronicle (free content) (04/27)

7. Hotel industry approaches performance records in real terms

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Despite a steady upward climb in revenue and profitability, the hotel industry still hasn't seen a complete recovery in inflation-adjusted terms, and total revenue hasn't exceeded any of the peak levels reached since 1990, reports Carter Wilson, a director at STR Analytics. However, the growth trend indicates that the industry may finally achieve record real profit and revenue by this time in 2016, Wilson said. (04/28)

8. Apple Hospitality REIT files to go public next month

AH&LA SmartBrief | May 04, 2015

Apple Hospitality REIT has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. It plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange around May 18. (Va.) (04/30)

9. Wyndam exec: Front desk is crucial to positive guest experience

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Training is key to making sure guests feel welcome as soon as they walk through the door, says Wyndham Hotel Group's Debbie Williams. "It's most important to have that open communication to the front desk," she said. "This leads to a dialogue, and gives guests the comfort to come back if there is a problem with their stay." Hotel Management online (04/27)

10. Hotels bring environmental message to guests

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 29, 2015

Starwood Hotels and Resorts' Make a Green Choice initiative and similar programs underscore the importance the industry is placing on sustainability. Kimpton Hotels, for example, enables guests to donate $10 from their room bill to the Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (04/27)

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