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November 30, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Optimism runs high at Washington hotel conference
    Hotel executives and analysts who took the stage on the first day of the North America Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference in Washington this week reported healthy growth in industry fundamentals. Room supply is also reported to be increasing, particularly in the upscale and upper-midscale segments. "The overall sentiment is positive and performance is on the rise. Debt is coming back and the basket of lenders is widening," said Jalil Mekouar, chief operating officer, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels for the Americas. Hotel Management online (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Business Update 
  • Nev. hotel, casino are sold for $46.86M
    California-based Kam Sang Co. has acquired the Ravella at Lake Las Vegas hotel and the Casino MonteLago in Henderson, Nev., through its unit Newage Lake Las Vegas. The casino and the 349-room property were sold for $46.86 million. (Las Vegas) (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Le St-Germain Hotel in St. Cloud, Minn., is sold
    Graves Hospitality Corp. has sold the Le St-Germain Hotel in St. Cloud, Minn., to St. Cloud Downtown Hotel. St. Cloud Downtown acquired the 103-room property for $6.2 million. The hotel is expected to undergo renovations and be rebranded as a Courtyard Suites by Marriott. St. Cloud Times (Minn.) (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Brand fees are called into question over rise of third-party demand drivers
    A number of hotel owners and asset managers have raised concerns about the rationale behind the collection of franchise fees by hotel brands as demand driven by third-party companies continue to rise. "Hotel owners, when they negotiate new management contracts, really need to think about this given there's not one source of demand anymore," said Michelle Russo, president of asset management and ownership firm HotelAVE. The concern gained more attention after Expedia launched its new agency model. (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Costs of business travel declined on average in Q3, group says
    Travel Leaders Corporate reports that most expenses associated with business travel either decreased or were flat in the third quarter compared with the same period last year. Average domestic hotel rates remained unchanged year-over-year at $140, while prices at international hotels show a continued decline, the group says. TravelPulse (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Washington's hotel scene is new for Inauguration Day
    As Inauguration Day approaches, hotel deals are available but will likely be costly. In 2009, guests paid an average daily hotel rate of $605 to stay over -- those costs could be higher because many properties have upgraded since then. "Most of these hotels are unrecognizable from what they looked like four years ago," said Kate Gibbs, a spokeswoman for Destination DC. (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotels encourage guests to curb their digital dependence
    A number of hotels such as The Westin Dublin and the Hotel Monaco Chicago are offering special packages that allow guests to control their "addiction" to their mobile devices, this feature says. The trend among travelers is growing slowly as recent surveys show an increasing dependence by consumers on their gadgets. CNN (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Best Practices 
  • Hotels can boost brand, sales with blogger connections
    Travel bloggers are a potentially lucrative marketing asset for hoteliers, writes Larry Mogelonsky, president and founder of LMA Communications. "Building a support network for travel bloggers within your organization can be a powerful vessel to express your brand.... [T]ravel bloggers are all fluent in social media, which will translate into more tweets, better cross-chatter and heightened SEO," Mogelonsky writes. Hotel Interactive (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Renovations at Hotel Riu Place Mexico conclude
    The Hotel Riu Palace Mexico has completed a $20 million upgrade and is set to reopen Saturday. The property's guestrooms, restaurants and pools have been redesigned. The hotel will also introduce three new dining areas. TravelPulse (11/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Government Affairs 
  • FTC says hotel resort fees should be fully disclosed
    The Federal Trade Commission has sent a letter to 22 hotel operators over the use of undisclosed resort fees, which may be considered as misleading to consumers. "We believe that online hotel reservation sites should include in the quoted total price any unavoidable or mandatory fees, such as resort fees, that consumers will be charged to stay at the hotel," the commission said in the letter. AH&LA CEO Joe McInerney says the association advises that members who receive an FTC letter to contact their legal counsel. CNN (11/28), USA Today/Hotel Check-in blog (11/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • New green guidelines detail ROI
    Created by AH&LA Green Guru Pat Maher, new case studies for improving energy, water and waste have been added to AH&LA's Green Resource Center. From installing waterless urinals and landscape-irrigation systems to recycling mattresses, these guidelines are broken down into easy-to-understand descriptions and implementation procedures, complete with ROI analysis. For more resources, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Holiday fire safety resources

    Did you know most states and municipalities have regulations regarding holiday decorations? Make sure to review local and state fire codes when decorating for the upcoming season. And the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has Holiday Decoration Safety Tips and the National Fire Protection Association has a Hotel Fire Safety Checklist to assess property readiness in case of a fire. The U.S. Fire Administration and the Department of Homeland Security maintain a list of fire-safe hotels approved for government travelers. All these resources can be found on the AH&LA website. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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The robbed that smiles, steals something from the thief."
--William Shakespeare,
British playwright

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