Most Clicked AH&LA SmartBrief Stories

1. Amazon begins offering independent hotel rooms at published rates

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 24, 2015

Several independent hotels have begun offering their rooms on Amazon Local at published rates. Amazon has made no indication that it plans to compete with discount booking sites such as or Expedia, but one hotelier has claimed the retail firm has promised a site redesign. Skift (03/23)

2. Great Wolf Resorts is reportedly being acquired for $1.35 billion

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Apollo Global Management has reportedly agreed to sell Great Wolf Resorts to private equity firm Centerbridge Partners for $1.35 billion. Apollo took Great Wolf private three years ago for $703 million. Travel Weekly (03/24) Reuters (03/24)

3. Google Hotel Ads boost Hilton's conversion rates, report says

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 23, 2015

A recent report found that Hilton Worldwide's conversion rates rose 45% when it used Google's Hotel Ads product. Hotel Ads appear when travelers use Google products to search for a hotel. "It didn't really surprise us that hotels get better conversion rates with Hotel Ads. It's a more helpful and detailed ad," says Geraldine Caplin, global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide. Skift (03/19)

4. Fairmont Hotels buys San Diego's Grand Del Mar hotel

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

FRHI Hotels & Resorts and Blum Capital have purchased the Grand Del Mar hotel in San Diego for an undisclosed amount. The partnership will assume an 88% stake in the property -- valued at $230 million -- while seller Doug Manchester will keep the remainder. The resort will be renamed the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. San Diego Union-Tribune (03/26)

5. Starwood places its focus on unit growth in 2015

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

A new directive from Adam Aron, interim CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, is driving the company's efforts to accelerate its unit growth worldwide. Global Development President Simon Turner said the decision to market three resorts in Fiji is in line with this new initiative, as it could use the proceeds from the sales to fund growth. Starwood also hopes to drive its expansion through the Element brand, Turner said. (03/24)

6. Starwood opens first 1 Hotel in Miami Beach

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 27, 2015

The recently opened 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach in Miami Beach is the first property under the 1 Hotel eco-luxury brand by Starwood Capital Group. The 426-room property features 600 feet of beachfront. Travel Weekly (03/25)

7. Analysis: Miami hotel market has discarded its off season

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 26, 2015

Among the most striking changes that can be seen in the Miami hotel market compared to 10 years ago is the persistently strong occupancy level properties are achieving even during the "off season," writes Gregory Bohan, a faculty member at Florida Atlantic University, using data from STR. Driving this uptick in demand is an influx of South American tourists seeking warmer weather during their winter season, Bohan writes. (03/25)

8. Report: Baby boomers are still a significant travel segment

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 23, 2015

The baby boomer generation is expected to account for $111 billion in travel spending this year, according to a report by U.S. News & World Report. Seventy percent of baby boomers plan to take an overnight trip this year, while 49% expect to spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on travel. TravelPulse (03/19)

9. Hoteliers: Industry will benefit from continued rates growth

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 24, 2015

Average daily rate will be the growth driver for the hotel industry in 2015 as operators overturn room discounts made during the downturn and consumers use more of their money on travel, several hotel management executives said. Hoteliers seeking expansion will also find more lenders willing to issue debt, they said. Hotel Management online (03/23)

10. Historic Ambassador Hotel in Dallas to be restored, reopened

AH&LA SmartBrief | Mar 25, 2015

Dallas' historic Ambassador Hotel has been purchased by a group of developers who plan to restore the property and reopen it as a luxury hotel and apartment building. The Ambassador debuted in 1905 as the Majestic Hotel. Dallas Morning News (free content), The (03/23)

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