Most Clicked AH&LA SmartBrief Stories

1. Uncertainty at Starwood could be drawing activist investors

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

An undisclosed deal that was cleared by the Federal Trade Commission late last month involving Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and a unit of Senator Investment Group has bolstered sentiments toward the hotel firm's stock and led to speculation that activist investors could be pushing for a sale or a merger. Analysts are predicting a merger with InterContinental Hotels Group or a sale to Wyndham Worldwide or to a private equity firm. Bloomberg (04/16)

2. IHG could expand Kimpton globally, exec says

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

One of InterContinental Hotels Group's goals is to expand its newly acquired Kimpton lifestyle brand, Americas Chief Development Officer Joel Eisemann said. This could eventually lead to international growth as the brand would benefit from its parent firm's global reach and IHG has already received several inquiries about overseas expansion. Other growth opportunities for the firm include its wellness-themed Even brand and dual-branded development projects, Eisemann said. (04/21)

3. Two Dallas skyscrapers to become three hotels

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

Two downtown Dallas skyscrapers will be transformed into three new hotels. Hotel company NewcrestImage will renovate the Mercantile Commerce building and 1700 Commerce. "We were looking for opportunities in downtown Dallas and saw some that didn't make sense," said NewcrestImage CEO Mehul Patel. "These two buildings came to our attention and we thought this could be a good conversion." Dallas Morning News (free content), The (04/16)

4. Limited-service segment is performing well for hoteliers

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

Limited-service properties are among the top-performing segments in the industry, showing 4.3% occupancy growth and a 3.9% increase in average daily rate in 2014, according to data from STR. Limited-service hotel sales are also brisk as investors recognize the cost-effectiveness of building or operating a property in this segment. Hotel Management online (04/16)

5. Report: High-end hotels received the highest customer satisfaction scores

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

Hotel brands in the upscale and luxury segments received the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the 2015 ACSI Travel Report. ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg said the results reflected how consumers value the hotel experience as part of their vacation. The overall score for the hotel industry was unchanged from last year, at 75 out of 100. TravelPulse (04/20)

6. Aron says interim gig as Starwood CEO doesn't preclude plenty of action

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

Adam Aron says his interim role as CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide isn't to serve as a seat-warmer. "I'm someone with a bias for action -- prudent and wise action to be sure, but action nonetheless. ... I have no intention of merely being a caretaker," he said. (04/17)

7. Value Place rebrands as WoodSpring Suites

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

Value Place has changed its name to WoodSpring Suites in an effort to improve guests' perception of the brand. The company is also developing a new brand extension, WoodSpring Suites Signature, which will be a more upscale product. WoodSpring Suites expects to open its first property in the fourth quarter and complete the conversion of all Value Place properties to the new brand at the end of March 2016. (04/23)

8. Amazon unveils its new hotel search, booking service

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Amazon has launched its new hotel product, Amazon Destinations, which allows hotels to list published or discounted rates. The website encourages weekend trips by focusing on destinations a short drive away from major cities. "We created Amazon Destinations to solve a problem most travelers face: how to easily plan and book a local getaway trip," spokesman Tom Cook said. Skift (04/21)

9. Marriott tests Netflix, streaming at 8 hotels

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

Guests at eight Marriott hotels now have access to Netflix and other streaming media services. Marriott said the testing program is part of its plans to develop on-demand entertainment. "We have invited leading technology companies and content providers to work with us to design the next wave in in-room entertainment focusing on on-demand programming," said John Wolf, a Marriott spokesman. Hotel Management online (04/16)

10. Aurora Gaylord Rockies Hotel begins construction for 2018 opening

AH&LA SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

The 1,500-room Gaylord Rockies Hotel in Colorado began construction this week with plans to open in November 2018. "Anything worthwhile is hard and takes time," said Wendy Mitchell, CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council. Denver Post, The (04/21)

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