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December 4, 2012News for hotel and lodging professionals

  Front Desk 
  • Host Hotels acquires 5 European hotels through joint venture
    A European joint venture by Host Hotels & Resorts has purchased a hotel in Amsterdam and four properties in Paris for about $574 million. The hotels, comprising 1,733 rooms, are the Renaissance Amsterdam Hotel, the Courtyard Paris Defense West-Colombes, the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Center, the Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel and the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel. Reuters (12/3), Bloomberg Businessweek (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Business Update 
  • Loews Hotels announces acquisition of Madison hotel in Washington
    The Madison hotel in Washington has been sold to Loews Hotels & Resorts for an undisclosed amount. The 356-room hotel recently underwent a $23 million renovation. "The hotel's quality, coupled with the addition of the Loews brand, will give us a strong competitive position in the D.C. market," said Loews Hotels President and CEO Paul Whetsell. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Accor signs deal to rebrand hotel in Dubai, UAE
    Accor Middle East has agreed to rebrand a hotel owned by Majid Al Futtaim Properties in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The 317-room property is undergoing renovations. "After renovations, Pullman Deira City Centre will rank among the top UAE hotels in its category. The official relaunch of the hotel as Pullman Deira City Centre will take place in February 2013," said Christophe Landais, managing director of Accor Middle East. Hotel Management online (12/3), Trade Arabia (Bahrain) (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Market Trends 
  • Global lodging market is ripe for driving rates, TravelClick says
    Opportunities abound in several global hotel markets for operators to push revenue per available room by driving rates, TravelClick said in a webinar last week. The group advises hoteliers to assess the market situation before cutting rates because of weak performance. The group forecasts mixed results in 2013 for the top 25 global markets in terms of occupancy. However, average daily rate is expected to rise 3.4% through the last quarter of this year to the third quarter of next year. (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Hotel chains are ramping up expansion in India
    India is poised to experience a surge in hotel supply as a number of global hotel chains have targeted the country for growth. Starwood Hotels & Resorts is looking to introduce its W Hotel brand in the country with the W Mumbai, scheduled to open in 2015. InterContinental Hotels Group has formed a joint venture with local firm Duet India Hotels to open 19 Holiday Inn Express hotels in the country within five years. Hotel Management online (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Best Practices 
  • Column: Words to avoid when speaking to guests
    A number of words or phrases -- such as "have to," "don't," "can't" and "calm down" -- should not be used when interacting with guests, especially difficult ones, Alan Fairweather writes. He advises against using the word "sorry" when addressing guest complaints. "Sometimes it's appropriate to use the word 'apologise' instead of 'sorry,'" Fairweather writes. (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • $300 million casino project proposed for Holyoke, Mass.
    Charles J. Petitti, who has worked in real estate, construction, property appraising and consulting, is proposing a $300 million casino in Holyoke, Mass. Petitti, who said laws could be modified to accommodate the project, is optimistic about his planned gaming facility though it doesn't meet the $500 million limit required by the state regarding casino developments. "Ours is going to come out a little lower than that," he said. The Republican (Springfield, Mass.) (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Government Affairs 
  • Bed taxes are a persistent problem for hoteliers
    Hotels continue to bear the burden of costly bed taxes, which in many cases are not even allocated toward improving the area's tourism as intended, this blog says. Worse, uncontrolled increases in hotel tax could have a negative effect on tourism demand in the long run. "[W]hen you get stuck charging too much in taxes, people stop coming, especially discretionary money, whether it's coming for a holiday or just a long weekend. And then convention and meetings groups will stay away," said AH&LA President and CEO Joe McInerney. However, several cities have made a push for proceeds from bed taxes to be reallocated toward tourism promotion. Lobby blog (11/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  AH&LA News 
  • AH&LA launches mobile app
    AH&LA has released its first mobile app for smartphones. This official app keeps members up to date on the latest events on Capitol Hill; gives access to our Information Center; and connects members to AH&LA's social media activity. Members also get the latest on networking opportunities with top lodging leaders, education offerings and special events, including the upcoming Fall Conference/IHMRS, the largest event of the year! To learn more, visit LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • New crib standards effective this month
    Effective Dec. 28, hotels may utilize cribs only that meet recent standards laid out by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. For a poster specifically addressing concerns for the lodging industry, go here. For more detailed information on the changes, read more here. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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It is astonishing what force, purity and wisdom it requires for a human being to keep clear of falsehoods."
--Margaret Fuller,
American journalist and women's rights activist

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