The NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference was held this week in NYC, an annual event where the major hotel companies make big announcements, evaluate industry trends and look at market mid-year market stability.
And of course, it’s a time for plenty of networking and schmoozing as hotel industry royalty all convene in New York City for this financially focused event.
Here’s the big news coming out of the event.
More Brands, and Even More Brands
There were numerous brand announcements during the conference, as well as a couple that were supposed to be announced (we’re looking at you IHG and Hilton), but were held back to avoid being drowned out. Wyndham Hotel Group announced a new soft brand Trademark designed for three and four-star hotels. Red Lion Hotels Corp, reintroduced the Signature brand, which will take on a retro feel and is designed for aging exterior corridor hotels. Extended Stay America made it official, the company is now franchising hotels! The company will even sell some of its portfolio to would-be franchisees. Also, Trump Hotels announced a new brand, American Idea. The product is geared toward a budget-minded audience and will hype up patriotic flair.
Travel ‘Ban’ Chatter
With President Trump once again pushing what he describes as a “travel ban” from specific countries, executives discussed whether its influencing general inbound travel. So far, it depends on who you ask. On the leisure side of the business, Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, told reporters the company is not seeing a “clear impact overall, but at some point, issues will occur, such as Mexicans coming to the U.S.” Jonathan M. Tisch, co-chairman of the board of Loews Corporation and chairman and CEO of its Loews Hotels brand, said he is seeing some fallout when it comes to group business. Especially regarding travelers that believe there may have issues with smooth entry into the United States. “We have seen groups cancel because an attendee was from travel ban country and didn’t want to risk travel interruption,” said Tisch. “There is certainly anecdotal evidence it has having a negative impact.”
Airbnb is continuing to become a more prominent issue for the mainstream hotel business. But as far as public commentary from hotel executives, they’re sticking to the line of “we just want an even playing field.” The industry is looking at regulations that ensure professional Airbnb hosts, for example, pay local and occupancy taxes, and follow the same public health and safety laws. As of now they are not compelled to do so by local jurisdictions in the vast majority of cases.
While you may be reading hospitality headlines crowing good times are here to say, when we talked to individual hoteliers and ownership groups during the conference they weren’t nearly as bullish. Remember, when the analysts tote numbers they’re looking at a national average, not what your specific location is looking like. Markets such as New York are getting quickly overbuilt and pricing power is fading.
What to do Now
With rising competition and an industry profit slowdown, smart hotel owners are thinking about lowering operating expenses. They’re increasingly turning to a well thought out furniture asset management program to reduce expenses by reviving existing pieces, rather than buying new.
Older furniture can be reinvented and repurposed at the fraction of the cost of buying new, saving as much as 80%. The Refinishing Touch specializes in reimagining furniture in ways that reinvent pieces to make them more functional, durable and unique. Styles change, technology presses forward, and sometimes the need for a specific piece of furniture becomes outmoded. So, refinish or repurpose, don’t replace. The Refinishing Touch creates factory fresh looking pieces by changing color, adding stone, laminate or glass elements, and changing the hardware. Plus, it’ll help protect you against any loss in pricing power for your hotel.
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