Navigating hotel insurance claims following hurricanes can be tricky, experts say

Hotel Management - 19 September 2017
No hoteliers in Texas are praying for rain. After Hurricane Harvey dumped nearly 50 inches of water across the state’s eastern coast, many of them are scrambling to get their businesses up and running again, while others are reeling from total property loss. A week later, Hurricane Irma left hoteliers in Florida and the Caribbean in a similar state. Their biggest fear is that while raging waters left hotels without the ability to book new guests, properties heavily damaged from the storm still have to pay rent — and in many cases, franchise fees.

GDPR: What You Need To Know

Net Affinity | Conversion Optimisation for Savvy Hoteliers - 19 September 2017
The GDPR is coming, it will take effect from 25 May 2018 and hotels need to create a plan to be ready for it. Net Affinity have been following the news around the new GDPR regulations closely and have put together the most important pieces of ‘need-to-know’ information to help get an understanding of it. The repercussions for not following these strict EU data protection laws are severe, and could cripple most SME’s and do serious damage to the bigger hotels and chains. Therefore, there must be measures taken and systems implemented in advance, in order to be in compliance by the time May 2018 comes around.

2017 HVS Lodging Tax Report - USA | By Thomas A Hazinski, Alex Moon and Joe M Moseley

HVS - 19 September 2017
In this sixth annual Lodging Tax Study, HVS Convention, Sports, and Entertainment Consulting surveys lodging tax rates and revenues across the United States. Our study includes a broad range of cities and tracks policy trends in lodging tax impositions. This research identifies the lodging tax rates levied at the state, county, city, and special district levels. We provide data on the collection and distribution of revenue from lodging taxes levied in all 50 States and the 150 largest cities in the United States.

Industry Executives Share Tips for Reducing Hotel Costs

HMG Hospitality Blog - 19 September 2017
Hotel operators know that there are countless incremental costs that add up to a lot of expenses. Industry executives discussed this topic at length at Hotel ROI Midwest conference, part of the Hotel ROI Series. Here are some of their insights on how reducing hotel costs.

Hurricane Harvey Buffets Builder Confidence

CFO Magazine - 19 September 2017
The recent hurricanes in Texas and Florida appear to have shaken the confidence of home builders. The National Association of Home Builders on Monday reported that its housing market index (HMI) fell 3 points to 64 in September amid concerns that the hurricanes will make it difficult for builders to find workers and materials. The August reading was revised downward by a point.

Don't look for the magic financial solution - 19 September 2017
We are all familiar with the American Sunday ritual of turning left several hundred times, cold beer, BBQ and T-shirts. I have long been a big fan and there is a great story and parallel to financial leadership I want to tell you about. It relates to one of my favorite drivers, Mark Martin.

Roundtable Recap: How Trump administration will affect labor laws and regulations for hospitality

Cornell Blog - 18 September 2017
Over the course of several sessions, the roundtable examined the continuing development of the joint-employer decision, possible changes in the NLRB, and the status of union activity with a new board and new administration. – David S. Sherwyn

Lawsuit doesn't always mean a hotel is at fault

Hotel Management - 18 September 2017
A hat trick for hotels! In three recent cases of interest, the hotels prevailed. Let’s take a look. The first involved a woman who fell on a wrinkled floor mat and broke her arm in the lobby of defendant Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. The hotel had laid the mat because of rain. The plaintiff argued that either the mat was crumpled as it was laid, or the rumple was present for a long enough time that the hotel should have discovered and corrected it. She had no evidence of either. Without proof, plaintiff loses. Case dismissed.

Hotel Lawyer: Tax Alert for Partnerships and LLCs

Hotel Law Blog | By Jim Butler - 18 September 2017
As of January 1, 2018 owners of General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships or multi-member Limited Liability Companies may soon find themselves economically liable for the unpaid tax of former partners/members of those entities. JMBM Tax Attorney Jamie Ogden briefly describes the new audit regime, who it affects, and what you need to do to protect yourself from uncertainties.

Rope Tightens Around Global Tax Avoidance

CFO Magazine - 18 September 2017
The OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project, with an overall goal of reducing global loss of tax revenues due to double non-taxation, has created the need for careful monitoring of developments in international tax law. Christopher Howe Christopher Howe Universal revenue needs are fueling an unprecedented period of international cooperation on taxation, marked by the implementation of new information-exchange protocols between countries and stringent national and international anti-tax-avoidance rules. Like it or not, the playing field is being redesigned to switch focus from whether income will be taxed, to where it will be taxed.

Debt Limit Gums Up Treasury's Plan for Supply Bump as Fed Tapers

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 18 September 2017
The U.S. Treasury has been planning for years how to deal with the funding gap set to open up when the Federal Reserve begins unwinding its $2.5 trillion hoard of the government’s debt. Now there’s a new wrinkle to prepare for, as the latest deal to extend the nation’s debt limit complicates matters for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin just as the Fed is expected to unveil the start of its balance-sheet reduction.

De Vere gets new start with Starwood Capital investment Featured Articles - 18 September 2017
The De Vere brand has gone through numerous spinoffs, sales, additions and distress but has been relaunched with an investment by Starwood Capital as part of Principal Hotel Company. After De Vere announced Thursday the brand was being relaunched with a £100-million ($135.8 million) investment by Starwood Capital, brand COO Laurie Nicol said the relaunch “signifies a new chapter for De Vere’s rich heritage,” with assets combining traditional British offerings and modern luxury. The De Vere portfolio will be absorbed into Starwood Capital’s Principal Hotel Company and includes 22 properties—all of which are located in the United Kingdom, including five in central London. De Vere’s assets comprise more than 4,000 keys, 662 event spaces and focus on stately home-style properties that collectively encompass 1,200 acres of grounds. “De Vere has been reinvented, a combination of urban properties and rural mansions. These are dynamic properties,” Nicol said.

Direct Booking Summit 2017: the countdown is on!

Triptease Blog - 18 September 2017
While there's no denying the chilly September air and leaves turning from green to red, here at Triptease we've got a spring in our step. For us, September means only one thing... It's Direct Booking Summit season. We're just over a week away from hundreds of hoteliers descending on The Westin New York at Times Square for two days of workshopping, strategising and good ol' networking at the industry's most interesting event (yes, that's official).

Hotel Lawyers at The Lodging Conference 2017: EB-5, Mixed-Use Development and Deal Making

Hotel Law Blog | By Jim Butler - 18 September 2017
The Lodging Conference is taking place at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, October 30-November 2, 2017, and hotel lawyers from JMBM’s Global Hospitality Group® will be there to visit our friends in the hospitality industry, share our knowledge, learn from the experts (and do some deals!). At the conference, I will moderate the panel, Navigating the EB-5 Landscape taking place at 4:00 pm on October 31st. Funding obtained through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program continues to play a vital role in the capital stack for new hotel development and we will provide up-to-the-minute information on the status of the program, as well as share some great success stories. To get up to speed on what’s happening with EB-5, check out my recent blogs.

Experience is Everything: How B2B Companies Are Competing with Marketplaces

Adobe Digital Marketing - 18 September 2017
Evolving forces are reshaping the B2B landscape, leaving many marketing teams to rethink the way they talk to their customers. Forrester Research predicts B2B e-commerce sales in the United States will top $1.1 trillion by 2020, giving B2B companies more than a trillion reasons to embrace the trend toward consumerization. There’s just one problem — online behemoths like Amazon Business and Alibaba make intimidating competitors because they have set the standard for creating trustworthy online experiences backed by great functionality and responsive customer service. But B2B companies can differentiate themselves from third-party players by delivering optimal customer experiences. That means learning how to leverage direct-to-customer platforms without negatively affecting existing distribution partners.

Potential Visa-Program Cuts Have Travel Industry Alarmed - Destinations - 18 September 2017
Many U.S. travel brands use a foreign worker visa program to help their operations run smoothly during peak seasons. For some companies, these workers, who arrive under the J-1 visa program, are a significant percentage of their workforce. But, President Donald Trump’s proposal to make cuts to the program has much of the travel industry concerned.

Cash vs. Cards: A One-Sided Payment War

Hospitality Technology Magazine - 18 September 2017
Back in July, Visa announced a challenge incentivizing independent restaurants to go cashless. For business owners, the announcement is one of many recent developments adding to why the cashless trend shouldn’t be ignored. Today’s consumers are using cash less frequently than ever, increasingly opting for their payment cards or mobile wallets to make purchases. The ripples of these changing preferences are reaching businesses of all sizes, who are feeling the pressure to evolve and adapt. But the same pressure feels different for small businesses. Independent restaurants often lack the technology to accept the variety of payment options consumers actively use today – from EMV, contactless cards and digital wallets to online ordering and peer-to-peer platforms.

Ready Response: Steps to place your facility in a disaster response position

Raymond C. Ellis - Disaster recovery article which outlines the steps to place your facility in a disaster response position - The Bottomline, Vol 21, No 2, March 2006

Your Insurance Toolbelt

Stanley W. Smith - Disaster recovery article outlining insurance tips for successful disaster recovery - The Bottomline, Vol 24, No 6; September 2009

Oracle Shares Slip on Cloud Revenue Outlook

CFO Magazine - 15 September 2017
Oracle shares fell more than 7% on Friday as the company’s quarterly guidance came in below analysts’ estimates amid a slowdown in the growth of its cloud business. For the first quarter, Oracle reported total revenue increased 7% to $9.19 billion, driven by a 51% gain in cloud revenue to $1.5 billion. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) recorded revenue growth of 62% while platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure revenue rose 28%.

What Can Texas CRE Owners Expect as the Insurance Claims Process Gets Underway?

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 15 September 2017
It’s been nearly three weeks since Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Rockport, which lies along the southeastern coast of Texas. While emergency response efforts in the wake of the massive storm, which dumped a record-setting 51 inches of rain on the region, may be winding down, the insurance process for commercial and residential property owners is just getting under way.

Hawaii Regulators Are Investigating Resort Fees - Hotels - 15 September 2017
The Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection is investigating resort fees charged by hotel operators as part of a nationwide effort to curb hidden industry fees. Hawaii News Now reported Thursday that state and federal regulators are cracking down on hotels that charge resort fees without fully disclosing the charges to visitors.

Blue Mountain Hotel Group, Owners of Hilton Garden Inn in Morgantown, West Virginia, Files for Bankruptcy

Hotel Online - 15 September 2017
The group behind the Hilton Garden Inn, at the center of lawsuits and tax collection efforts, filed for bankruptcy in Georgia. As a result, a case in federal court in West Virginia was halted pending the bankruptcy proceedings. A hearing set for Thursday, in Clarksburg, to discuss the potential sale of the hotel by the bank that loaned money was cancelled. On Wednesday, Blue Mountain Hotel Group LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Georgia court. Chapter 11 allows a company to reorganize and restructure some of its debt. Mountain Blue operates the Morgantown Hilton Garden Inn in the Suncrest Towne Centre. The company's four-page filing lists $0-$50,000 in assets and liabilities.

How BI Optimized Software Will Enhance Your Budget Planning

The Rainmaker Hospitality and Gaming Blog - 14 September 2017
BP1.jpg The hospitality industry is a highly competitive, ever changing market. Consumers have more options today than ever before when choosing a property for business or leisure travel. With so much at stake, budgeting and forecasting methods must be accurate and efficient. However, given that most hospitality budgeting still lives in spreadsheets, there's plenty of room for human error.

CFOs Should Partner with Chief Procurement Officers

CFO Magazine - 14 September 2017
For most companies, supplier spending is their single largest cost — about 50% of revenue for manufacturing and 30% for services. And yet, this major contributor to profit and loss is often buried as many companies have poor visibility into their procurement costs.

Hoteliers see opportunities in overtime ruling Featured Articles - 14 September 2017
A federal judge struck down the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime-threshold increase, and hoteliers are hoping the labor department takes a more moderate approach to the next proposed increase. A federal judge’s ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor overreached its authority in setting a new overtime-salary threshold for salaried employees has hoteliers breathing much easier now. The hotel industry joins other U.S. employers in waiting to see what the labor department will do next given the amount of public support for an increase of some degree to the threshold, which has sat at $23,660 since 2004. The rule would have increased the threshold set in 2004 to $47,476 starting 1 December 2016. What the ruling meansU.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant III ruled the labor department overreached its authority in setting the new overtime threshold for salaried employees. Mazzant previously issued an injunction against the rule one week before it was supposed to go into effect.


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