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  • HFTP Research Report: Pre-opening Expenditures in Hospitality

    A study of the pre-opening budget; the timeline for these expenditures; timeline for onboarding of staff; and the selection, installation and training of the technology component. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.

  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Internal Controls and the Important Roles They Play in Eradicating Fraud

    Although I have been preoccupied with getting in the education sessions purely related to hospitality finance, technologies and hotel pre-opening, I made sure to participate in Fun with Fraud and Enchanting Employee Embezzlement in Clubs and Hotels presented by Jerry Trieber, CPA, CHAE, CFE, CFF, CGMA, HFTP Global past president and director of audit services/support at HEI Hotels and Resorts.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

HotStats: Shutdown Resulted in 88.8 Percent YOY Drop in GOPPAR for D.C. Hotels

Lodging Magazine·20 March 2019
The 35-day federal government shutdown from December 22nd, 2018, to January 25th, 2019, dealt a crushing blow to profitability for Washington, D.C. hotels, according to a recent report from HotStats. Hotels in the nation’s capital recorded an 88.8 percent year-on-year drop in GOPPAR during the month of January.

Why does the financial community not value digital innovation at airlines?

PhocusWire·20 March 2019
Lufthansa Innovation Hub used artificial intelligence to analyze the major themes and topics discussed by Wall Street’s banking analysts and the top management executives of five major airlines during 60 earnings calls between 2015 and 2018.

Can India's Leela Hotel Brand Be the Same Under Asset Manager Brookfield?

mycloud HOSPITALITY·20 March 2019
The name Leela is held in the same esteem as India's other legacy hotel brands such as Taj and Oberoi. Will it ever be the same again under Canada's Brookfield, an asset manager rather than a brand manager?

Hospitality Management Corporation Selected to Manage Hampton Inn(r) in Snyder, Texas

Hotel Online·19 March 2019
Leo Spriggs, President and CEO of Hospitality Management Corporation (HMC), is pleased to announce the addition of this 80-room Hampton Inn® in Snyder, Texas, to their portfolio of managed hotels. HMC continues its ongoing business expansion which is made up of full service, conference center, select service and limited service hotels. HMC is one of the country’s largest third-party privately held hotel management companies, ranked in the top 40 of all third party and owner operated hotel management corporations.

SunTrust Provides $1.5 Million to Clean the World for Global Expansion

green lodging news | By Glenn Hasek·19 March 2019
SunTrust announced that it has provided more than $1.5 million in term loan and working capital financing to support Clean the World, a global social enterprise, and a leader in global health dedicated to WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene).

Brazil Waives Visas for Citizens of U.S. & Three Other Countries

Business Travel News (BTN)·19 March 2019
As of June 17, citizens of the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan no longer will need visas to enter Brazil, according to Brazil Tourism.

Skylar Skikos on Palisades Hospitality Group's New Real Estate Arm: Local Framework

Lodging Magazine·19 March 2019
Skylar Skikos is co-founder and president of Local Framework, the newly introduced real estate development and acquisition arm of Palisades Hospitality Group (PHG), the operation and management company behind the Mosaic Hotel brand. Skikos told LODGING that Local Framework’s mission is to create highly individualized hospitality projects shaped with identity and purpose—a mission he believes is best accomplished by both owning and operating assets.

Leisure Real Estate Advisors, LLC Announces the Sale of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Newton, KS.

Hotel F&B·19 March 2019
Leisure Real Estate Advisors, LLC, is pleased to announce it has arranged the sale of the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Newton, KS. Leisure Real Estate Advisors, LLC based in metro Kansas City, represented a Kansas based developer, Broadway Hospitality, LLC. in the transaction. Newton Hotel Investments, Inc, an investment group based in Topeka and Kansas City, purchased the 68 unit hotel for an undisclosed price. The listing price was $5,300,000.

Hospitality Financial Leadership - Understanding the Concept of Owner Spend

The Hotel Financial Coach ·19 March 2019
The hotel business is unique with owners, brands and assets all vying for their individual needs and attention. All the while this delicate balance has some interesting business characteristics that are essential for hospitality financial leaders to understand. It's not terribly complicated, quite the opposite. It hides out in plain sight, so it can be easy to miss if you're not looking for it. I can remember an old boss telling me his thoughts on what I call "owner spend." I thought at the time he was full of whatever, yet the concept was bold and incredibly clear. It also struck me in that moment that no one else had ever spoken of this, in exactly this way in my many years working inside a large brand. Owner spend is the key to understanding the relationship between the owner and the brands and it plays out inside each individual asset on a daily and annual basis in a managed hotel.When I talk about owner spend, I'm referring to hotels that have a full-blown management contract with a brand. Not franchised properties, as the concept does not literally work the same way due to the smaller size of the teeth inside the franchise agreement. With hotels that have full-scale management agreements in place, that agreement and how it is executed is the key to the brand's success or failure and it all revolves around the concept of owner spend. I wrote a similar article titled "The Secret To Great Financial Expertise - What the Brands Don't Know" - http://hotelfinancialcoach.com/what-hotel-brands-dont-know-the-secret-to-creating-great-financial-expertise/. In that article I point to the owner spend concept when it comes to training and establishing brand expertise, but it stops short of exposing the full concept.Here it is and, like I said, it's not a secret; it's as plain as the nose on your face, but I believe most people can't see it for what it really is. That's a business concept that if properly executed gives the brand a large upper hand in its dealings with the asset's owner. Brand spend means the owner spends 100% of what's required to run the hotel. That's right the owner, never the brand.The owner writes all the checks for absolutely everything that the hotel needs. Every dollar of: operating payroll, expense, executive compensation, capital spend, advertising cost, promotion cost, severance cost, employee benefits and even service length of tenure gifts. I could fill this page and the next one with what the hotel spends its money on and the owner pays every penny, never the brand.The brand by way of the HMA gets to tell the owner exactly what needs to be spent in operating costs on an annual basis. Yes, there can be owner push back on some items, but overall the brand has license visa vie the HMA to get the owner to spend money on anything and everything and it is usually in support of maintaining the standard. The standard, the nebulous what's new this year in the way of training, service, technology, administration, you name it and the brand creates it, charges the owner for it and the owner pays.All of this points to the obvious fact that the brand decides what's necessary to maintain the brand standards and they deliver the news via the annual budget. Once the budget is approved the invoices start flying to the property and the owner pays. This means quite simply the brand creates the concept of the brand's standards, something that is constantly and forever evolving, and the owner pays. The owner pays 100% of these "brand standard" costs and the reason they do is that's what they signed up for in the first place with their HMA. Simple, pervasive and if properly executed it's a powerful way to build a brand.Having high brand standards is an excellent way to grow the brand, but it also comes with some hurdles. It can be a stumbling block for owners when the assets are not performing. Brands face incredible pressure from owners in times of economic turmoil. Owners want brands to trim the sails and throw as much off the sinking ship as possible, so to speak. Most brands help in these circumstances by way of CCP's, "cost containment plans." These are the plans that the brands develop to stem the bleeding when the occupancy and rates plummet as they do on an infrequent basis.We have been off the need for these cost containment plans for almost 10 years but when they are needed the brands will get into action. That is most of them will. It's important to point out that even when the hotel faces an economic disaster that always ensures it's the owner that still pays 100% of the freight.

Accommodation providers want brand "hijacking" on Google to be made illegal

PhocusWire·19 March 2019
TheBed and Breakfast Associationis supporting a petition to make bidding by OTAs on a B&B or hotel's name on search engines illegal.

The effect of IPOs on transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft

PhocusWire·19 March 2019
There's good disruption and bad, and plenty of corporate travel buyers will argue whether the disruption in ground transportation by transportation network companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft has been good or bad for their travel programs.

CBRE: Investors look to secondary markets in 2019

mycloud HOSPITALITY·19 March 2019
Investors in the Americas—98 percent of them, to be exact—still plan to remain active in real estate markets, but they will be more conservative in their acquisitions this year. That’s according to a survey of about 300 investors focused on the region who were surveyed as part of the “CBRE Americas Investor Intentions Survey 2019.”

Zuzu bags US$3.7m in Series A funding for regional expansion

Hotel Online·19 March 2019
Zuzu delivers an outsourced yield management solution for independent hotels.

In-Group Hospitality Taps M3 to Help Drive Efficiencies & Performance

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·18 March 2019
Carter Frank, COO of In-Group Hospitality, is responsible for forecasting and adjusting hotel operations to maximize financial performance. However, Frank noticed the way his team was going about its decision-making process needed improvement in order to be more efficient.

Cyber Breaches Lead to Cutbacks in Dividends and R&D Spending

mycloud HOSPITALITY·18 March 2019
Not many institutional investors question an issuer’s approach to cybersecurity, but maybe they should. After a cyber breach, companies are likely to suffer only a short-term hit to their share prices, according to a new study. But in the long run, they typically pay lower dividends and invest less in research and development, amounting to a “loss of their competitive edge.”
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New Castle Hotels & Resorts Installs Aptech's PVNG Enterprise Accounting System for 21 Properties

Aptech ·18 March 2019
PITTSBURGH - Aptech Computer Systems announced New Castle Hotels & Resorts upgraded its back office system to PVNG Enterprise Financial Accounting to centralize processes for 21 properties. New Castle Hotels & Resorts (NCH) is a prominent operator of Marriott, Hilton, Choice and independent properties. Aptech Computer Systems is the leading provider of business intelligence, budgeting and forecasting, and enterprise hotel accounting software systems in the hospitality industry. Click here for more on Aptech's products and services."NCH used Aptech's Profitvue multi-property accounting system for 30 years. We evaluated many systems and selected Aptech's PVNG for future operations," said Nina Selvaggi, New Castle Hotels & Resorts director of hotel accounting. "Aptech has more experience with hotel accounting software than any other provider and we value that expertise. We easily converted our 21 companies to Aptech's new PVNG enterprise accounting platform. This was the smoothest system conversion I have ever been involved in. PVNG is an excellent financial accounting system for a reasonable price. The system is very user-friendly. There was very little I needed to do for the conversion, Aptech handled everything."Aptech's browser-based PVNG Enterprise Accounting System simplifies accounting operations and safeguards data in the cloud. Its easy to navigate architecture, and robust functionality expands on Aptech's Profitvue application used by thousands of hotel accounting professionals. PVNG supports one property or a large multi-brand, multi-property portfolio."Aptech is the industry standard for a reason; that reason is experience," said Jill Wilder, Aptech vice president. "We worked closely with New Castle Hotels' team during their installation. They are a great group of hospitality professionals that thoroughly understand multi-property, multi-company financial processes. Nina and her group put PVNG to work for NCH's Marriott, Hilton and other flags easily.""PVNG gives us the flexibility to add users and restrict their roles within the program. This is important in multi-company operations," Selvaggi said. "We now have all properties entering their own accounts payable invoices directly into PVNG. The properties have access to see the payment status of their vendors and this has streamlined our AP process. Financial Reports are simple to run and can be quickly converted into an Excel format. Aptech's support and training are excellent. After conversion, Aptech assigned one person to guide us through the new system. She handled all our concerns quickly. We are very pleased with PVNG and the support we receive from Aptech."PVNG is the next generation of enterprise accounting. It is uniquely engineered to accommodate a variety of deployment options and can easily handle both single and multi-property accounting. PVNG uses the most current technology platform and incorporates AP, GL, AR, Statistics, Financials, and a Bank Reconciliation, all with familiar browser navigation."PVNG makes it simple for operators to become 11th Edition-compliant by implementing its packaged chart of accounts and financial statements. Plus, PVNG's cloud platform lets Aptech monitor and support all aspects of users' system processes for hands-on support if needed," Wilder said.About Aptech Computer Systems, Inc.Aptech Computer Systems, Inc., based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the only provider of a fully integrated enterprise accounting, business intelligence and planning ecosystem to the hospitality industry. All of its clients are companies like yours, which own or manage hotels. Its solutions help customers at both the corporate and property levels understand their financial and operational data for faster goal achievement.The company is renowned for introducing business intelligence into the hotel industry, and offers a solid resource of hospitality professionals. Aptech is an IBM Software Value Plus partner and Premier Solution Provider, as well as a Prophix Premier Business Partner.Incorporated in 1970, Aptech's state-of-the-art back office, true business intelligence and enterprise planning solutions are 100% hotel specific. Solutions include PVNG, Execuvue and Targetvue. Clients comprise over 3,500 properties - including large chains, multiple-property management companies and single-site hotels. Execuvue is registered to Aptech Computer Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are owned by their respective holders. For more information please visit www.aptech-inc.com. About New Castle Hotels & ResortsNew Castle Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning independent third-party hotel manager, owner and developer with 21 hotels and resorts and nearly 4,000 rooms under contract or in development. New Castle's growing portfolio of hotels spans nine states and three Canadian provinces and includes several of Canada's historic landmark resorts. The privately-held company was established by David Buffam in 1980 and consistently ranks among the top hotel management and development companies in North America. New Castle is a preferred or approved operator for diverse brands within the Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Choice families. Learn more about New Castle on Facebook.

HFTP Members Convene for Educational Evening at the Rosewood Hotel in London

Hotel F&B·18 March 2019
It was a pleasure to host the more than 30 HFTP members and delegates who attended the HFTP Members’ Interest meeting at the superb Rosewood Hotel in London last week. While scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m., it was a good sign when the attendees arrived early and stayed late.

Enhance Your Financial Reporting with the Executive Metrics Report

Hospitality Resources International | Ideas and Information·18 March 2019
Every month the club board, finance committee, general manager, and department heads receive copies of the club’s financial statement made up of the balance sheet and operating statement prepared by the club controller. The intent is to provide all stakeholders with a summary report of the club’s financial performance.

Canadian Hotel Development Cost Survey 2018

HVS ·18 March 2019
IntroductionIn 2018, the Canadian lodging market reached a new record high for RevPAR. Although regional performance differed widely, more developments are in the pipeline in 2018 that any year since 2013. After the global financial crisis hit the Canadian lodging market in 2009, causing a 12.3% contraction in RevPAR, the industry in general has been on an upward trajectory. In fact, RevPAR growth for the country has been registered for 106 consecutive months--the longest period of sustained growth on record.Strong metrics in many hotel markets, availability of competitive debt financing, and yield-seeking investors have led to the development of new assets. The development of new hotel projects gained momentum in recent years; nearly 30,000 new hotel rooms across more than 250 projects, currently in various stages of the planning process are in the new supply pipeline for 2018. While it is unlikely all projects will see their way to development, HVS forecasts supply growth to average 2.0% per year over the next three years.HVS has been tracking hotel development costs for the last three decades by collecting data of actual hotel build costs and proposed hotel construction budgets during our assignments from coast to coast to coast. This is the first year that HVS Canada has published the Canadian Hotel Development Cost Survey and the diverse sample of hotels reflects our growing presence in all ten provinces and three territories in Canada.Our 2018 survey reports per-room hotel development costs based on data compiled by HVS from hotel projects proposed and under construction from the beginning of 2015 through the end of 2018, and data from surveyed respondents who opened a new hotel during that time period. We have chosen to group the results into five product categories: economy hotels, midscale/upper-midscale hotels without food and beverage, extended-stay hotels (includes both midscale and upscale hotels), upscale select-service hotels, and full-service hotels.The HVS Hotel Development Cost Survey presents the average development cost per room in each product category. Development costs change from year-to-year, market-to-market, and site-to-site and as such the results are best used as a broad measure of generally applicable metrics or ratios; special consideration needs to be given to specific projects, building materials, and locations. Our goal in sharing this information is to provide developers, appraisers, consultants, and other stakeholders in the market with support for preliminary cost estimates of hotel development projects, as well as to show a cost comparison across the different product categories.Demand Outpaces Supply Growth Nationally, Continuing to Fuel Positive Hotel PerformanceAccording to STR, Canadian Hotels reported a 2018 year-end ADR of $163 and an occupancy of 67%. This marks yet another record year for RevPAR in Canada as it has exceeded the 2008 record of $85 each year since 2013. RevPAR growth reached its fastest clip in 2017 at 7.7%. In 2018, RevPAR growth moderated to a still notable 5.3%.Supply growth over the past decade has been limited across the country and the best-performing markets have significant barriers to entry. Improvement in top-line performance has not always translated into more proposed supply as operating costs have continued to climb in many markets and competition with other developments has driven up the cost of labour, both construction and operational talent, as well as the cost of the best development sites. Canada is fairly notorious for its long winters and pronounced seasonality, both of which have limited the markets' ability to dramatically grow occupancy. Many markets, fortunate to have significant unaccommodated demand during peak periods, are now pushing room rates higher, which has resulted in significant RevPAR increases since 2013.Hotel Development Cost CategoriesThe Uniform System of Accounts for the Lodging Industry (USALI) provides industry participants with a common language for analyzing the financial performance of a hotel. However, a consistent format for development budget is sadly lacking. As consultants preparing feasibility studies and as appraisers developing opinions of value for construction financing, we have reviewed hundreds of hotel development budgets. We are often asked for input on hotel development budgets and find that a lack of common language for identifying relevant cost items is indeed a challenge for industry participants.For the purposes of preparing the HVS Hotel Development Cost Survey, we have broken the elements of a hotel development budget into five categories: land; hard construction and site improvements; soft costs; furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E); and pre-opening and working capital. We find these categories to be meaningful for hotel professionals when undertaking an analysis related to hotel feasibility and valuation. The classifications are also broad enough that professionals with different expertise can work with and understand them. While our category structures are not an accounting practice, they do provide a basis from which to analyze and compare proposed projects.The following chart shows our five categories and the typical items that each includes.LandOftentimes, the dollar amount of land in a development budget can be based on actual acquisitions, appraised value, or as equity contributions by parties to the deal. For many projects, the land may have been acquired several years prior to the development. When evaluating the feasibility of a project, the land cost is most relevant when it is an actual acquisition price or is based on the "as is" market value of the site.Pre-Opening and Working CapitalOperating reserves, pre-opening, and marketing costs are important items to include in development budgets. Sometimes these costs are omitted from the budgets that we review and are amortized in the profit and loss statements instead. It is critical to acknowledge these costs as part of the potential feasibility of a new hotel.Our hotel development cost categories are not meant to be all-encompassing but to reflect the typical items in a development budget. In construction accounting, development budgets are generally presented in far greater detail than for general investment analysis. For the purposes of considering the overall feasibility of a proposed hotel, we find our hotel development cost survey categories to cover the major components of hotel construction costs. Nonetheless, individual accounting for specific projects can still be affected by tax implications, underwriting requirements, and investment structures.Data Collection and Sample SizeIn 2018, HVS collected actual hotel construction budgets across all ten provinces in Canada. While not every construction budget was included (due to a variety of reasons, including incomplete data, skewed data, or unique development attributes), the construction budgets sampled span the country and are from 2015 to 2018. Construction costs vary greatly in different parts of the country and each development is different. In this sample, the highest development costs per key were recorded in Fort McMurray. Given the strength of this market, when these developments were underwritten as one of the top performers nationwide, the developers made a conscious decision to proceed as the performance in the market supported the investment decision at that time. Whereas in most other markets, the same development costs would have been value engineered or the project been abandoned. Not surprisingly, the next highest development costs were in major cities with strong fundamentals and high barriers to entry, such as Vancouver and Toronto. The lowest costs per room were evident for economy hotels in highway-adjacent or tertiary markets.Our sample, which is the basis for this year's survey, includes more than 55 reliable budgets and actual costs produced between January 2015 and December 2018. The distribution of the sample source by provinces is broken down in further details in Exhibit 4. The top three provinces in the dataset were also the top three provinces for proposed development activity: Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Exhibit 5 shows that 90% of the surveyed budgets were for branded hotels while approximately 10% were for independent hotels. As shown in Exhibit 6, our sample was well diversified in terms of chain scales, with upscale and midscale hotels having the most development activity.We also examined the chain scale breakdown of our data set against the national data from STR. According to STR, nearly 30,000 rooms and 250 hotels are in the planning stages. Our sample is generally in line with the STR's national figures for breakdown by chain scale, with midscale and upscale hotels being the top two segments.Per-Room Hotel Development CostsAs noted previously, this is the first year HVS Canada has published a Hotel Development Cost Survey and we have included five development cost categories. The averages in Exhibit 7 reflect a broad range of development projects across Canada, including projects in areas with low barriers to entry and in higher barrier to entry markets that include urban and resort destinations.As illustrated above, economy hotels' average development cost per key was around $140,000, and these hotels have the lowest percentage of soft costs and FF&E out of total development cost when compared to other types of hotels in the sample. Midscale hotels as well as extended-stay hotels each demonstrated an average development cost per key of approximately $180,000 and $170,000, respectively. Upscale hotels show an average development cost per room of approximately $190,000, representing over 27% of our sample size by number of rooms.Finally, full-service hotels established an average development cost per key at $456,300. However, it should be noted that this chain scale was the product category with the least development activity. Notably, while the land cost for most chain scales was generally near 10% of the total development costs, for full-Service hotels the cost was 14.3%. Given that these developments are generally reserved for higher barrier to entry markets and are competing for some of the best sites this is perhaps an unsurprising result.Overall, there is a general consistency in the development cost ratios across the chain scales. In addition, FF&E costs increase when compared to economy hotels and to full-service hotels. The only exception is pre-opening and working capital. Since this cost category includes operating reserves and pre-opening recruiting, which can vary extensively from developer to developer, pre-opening and working capital categories maintain more idiosyncratic nature that varies by developer and development rather than by chain scale.The table below outlines the range of development cost ratios by building component and the average cost across chain scales.The lower and upper range of each of the cost categories by product types is displayed in Exhibit 8.The average total development cost and median total development cost per room by are detailed in Exhibit 9. The table illustrates that most product types had a close to symmetrical data distribution with averages that were generally in keeping with the median. However, in the full-service hotel segment the average is significantly higher than the median, which indicates that the data in that segment was right-skewed with perhaps few high-cost projects pulling the average much higher than the median.The totals for low and high ranges in each cost category do not add up to the high and low ranges of the sum of the categories. None of the data used in the survey included a project that was either all at the low range of costs or all at the high range of costs. The total costs shown in the preceding table are from per-room budgets for hotel developments and are not a sum of the individual components.ConclusionThe budgets analyzed in this survey were provided directly by developers and owners in 2018 and reflect new hotel openings from 2015 to 2018. The survey combines the data from actual construction budgets organized across five product categories with a diverse geographic representation, various building materials, and varying chain scales. Given the unique nature of each development, including location, quality of product, construction materials, and developer's role in the development, costs can vary widely by project and region. Development costs are assumed to be characteristics of a typical development site and include generally applicable site preparation work and servicing. We recommend that users of the HVS Hotel Development Cost Survey consider the per-room amount in the individual cost categories only as a general guide and adjust to their local markets and conditions when considering a particular market and trying to determine a preliminary cost.Key factors influencing development costs include:LandLabour (including developer or general contractor on project)Construction MaterialsFacilities/Amenity OfferingDevelopment Cost Charges & Municipal Controls (including density)Branding and Chain scaleDevelopment timelineDevelopers and contractors are the best sources for obtaining costs for a specific hotel project. It is also advised that developers consult more than one source in their hotel development process to more accurately grasp the true costs of development. As always, HVS remains available to assist in this process.All individual property information used by HVS for the development cost survey was provided by owners or developers and are assumed to be reliable. Data from individual sources are not disclosed.

Wyndham Flynns Beach Resort set to double in size

hotelmanagement.com.au·18 March 2019
Work has begun on the first of a five-stage project which will see a dramatic expansion of Ramada Resort by Wyndham Flynns Beach on the NSW mid-north coast, with apartment numbers set to nearly double from 60 to 113.

Navigating from T&E to ROI

mycloud HOSPITALITY·17 March 2019
Driven by innovations in expense management technology and evolving corporate philosophies around T&E spending, companies are recognizing the value of actionable intelligence gleaned from T&E data. But even as systems advance and T&E is viewed not as simply a cost to control, accurate ROIs for travel spending remain an elusive goal.

Queensgate Investments Acquires Four Grange Hotels for GBP 1B (US 1.3B)

Hotel F&B·15 March 2019
Queensgate Investments has completed the acquisition of the Grange St Paul’s EC4, Grange Tower Bridge E1, Grange City EC3, and Grange Holborn WC1 for circa GBP 1 billion.

Key International developing Fort Lauderdale AC Hotel

Hotelier Middle East·15 March 2019
Miami-based real estate investment and development company Key International began development on an AC Hotel by Marriott in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The property, which was acquired in 2016 as three adjoining land parcels that span more than a half-acre, will consist of 171 guestrooms spread across 10 stories.
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Convention Centers Worldwide Implement the InvoTech Uniform System to Improve Operational Efficiencies

InvoTech ·15 March 2019
LOS ANGELES, CA - InvoTech Systems is the leading provider of advanced Linen Management, Laundry and Uniform Systems that integrate the latest RFID technology to increase profitability for hotels, resorts, casino operators, sports arenas, convention centers and theme parks. The InvoTech System installed at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), Australia manages the uniform inventory for 700 employees and has been part of InvoTech's extensive worldwide client portfolio since 2012. Click here for more information on InvoTech's Linen, Laundry and Uniform Systems.We Interviewed Mark Punchihewa, Uniform Manager at MCEC regarding the uniform activity at the Convention Centre:What made you be interested in an inventory management system?MP: We manage a large amount of uniforms and employees (700 staff and 10,000 garments). Manually managing the uniform inventory is very labor intensive.What processes were in place before using the InvoTech UHF-RFID Uniform System at the Convention Centre?MP: The only process in place was a manual process, we had no way of maintaining the inventory or knowing what we had. We simply kept a master list of uniforms and we loaded the racks using people's names.Do you now have better control on uniform purchases?MP:We now fully control the uniform purchasing and the budgets. We know what to buy and when to buy it. We also know who has what, all pieces are accounted for.How long did it take for you to start experiencing cost-savings and other benefits?MP: Cost saving benefits in about 6 months, many other benefits right away.How much time and labor are you currently saving per day?MP: Our labor savings are approximately 6 hrs per day / 42 hrs per week for us this represents thousands of dollars of savings per year.What would you say are the 5 most beneficial features of the Uniform System?MP: Controlling losses, purchases, assigning uniforms, washing cycles and laundry activity.What do you think is the most important benefit the system provides for businesses?MP: Labor benefits, time, purchases and inventory control.What is the report (or reports) that you use the most?MP: Inventory and purchasing reports.Do you find the system reliable and easy to use?MP: The system is very reliable and easy to use, self-explanatory. Never had any problems with the system performance.Is the User Guide a useful tool?MP: The User guide is a great addition in case we have questions about functionality.Do you find it easy to train others to use the system?MP: It is very easy to train others, and we usually just train them and give them access for certain functionality only.How good do you find the reports?MP: The reports are used daily, they are reliable and very useful.Have you used the Support Desk? If yes, how would you grade the Support Desk service?MP: We have used the Support Desk and have always been satisfied with the responses and response time. Time difference can sometimes be a challenge!Would you recommend this system to other convention centers/event spaces?MP: Yes, the system delivers so many benefits to operations like us, not sure how other places like ours do it without a system.If you were to move locations would you want to install the InvoTech Uniform System in your new location?MP: Absolutely!InvoTech has over 600 satisfied clients worldwide in more than 30 countries, including hotels, resorts, casinos, theme parks, stadiums, arenas, convention centers, medical centers, cleanrooms, and laundries. Why InvoTech? Because major brands like Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Hilton, MGM International, Wynn Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Universal Studios, LEGOLAND, Intel, Pfizer, Madison Square Garden, and Staples Center rely on InvoTech Systems to provide operational efficiency, full-accountability, and turn-key solutions for laundry, linen and uniform management. See what our clients are saying about us.

HotelREZ eyes UK hospitality growth

Hotel F&B·15 March 2019
After a decade of consistent growth for the UK hotel sector, with RevPAR increasing on average 4% since 2010¹ and GDS agency sales increasing YOY currently by 9%, HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is poised to celebrate its 15th anniversary by continuing to grow its portfolio.

Can Hotels Sue Their Governments Over Home Sharing?

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·15 March 2019
Taxi drivers working in the City of Toronto launched a $1.7 billion CDN (about $1.4 USD) class action lawsuit against the city itself, claiming damages that reflect how much licensed taxis have lost - what is sometimes coined as 'plate value' - since these ride-sharing services came into the municipality. Given that drivers are licensed by the city itself, they say that the Toronto government has failed to protect the taxi industry and is thus negligent. Spokespersons for Toronto have responded saying the city bears no responsibility for any financial loss, the devaluation of taxi permits/plates or the state of drivers' retirement pensions.Not being an attorney or a party to any of the statements of claim, I merely wish to draw parallels to the situation we in the hotel industry are facing. To open a hotel in most jurisdictions, you require an occupancy permit. Issued by a local licensing board, this permit requires any lodging operation to demonstrate compliance with a series of safety standards and other critical elements designed to protect guests, workers and the surrounding community. Some jurisdictions also mandate regular inspections for health, safety and fire regulation. As hotel operators, we look at these requirements as part of the normal operating process.To echo hoteliers' perennial battle cry of leveling the playing field, I have yet to see a sharing-economy operator subject to all of these licensing procedures and to the same rigors as traditional hotels. How is this fair to the hotel operator? We do not argue the expense of the regulation. But in doing so, we expect that everyone else doing business in the lodging industry follow suit.For the most part, electing to put a residence into the accommodations pool through, say, Airbnb or the like does not necessitate the acquisition of an occupancy permit, nor does it require any strict safety inspections. The playing field is simply not level, and from this I can see why cabbies in Toronto have banded together to throttle their discontent at the city itself. The very concept of regulation is under question, and governments haven't acted hastily enough to preserve the inherent value of the licenses or permits they issue.As an example, if an extreme one at that, what happens in the case of a pop-up, 30-room condominium hotel comprising 30 different owners? Each is acting separately, but they may all contract for common services such as management, maintenance and housekeeping. Would they need an occupancy permit or perhaps 30 permits? How is this situation different from one where there is just one entity that happens to have multiple shareholder-owners?Moving to the issue of legalities, what legitimacy is there to a city's mandatory occupancy permit requirements if these are not universally upheld? Does the bylaw under which this permit process was granted specifically state that the permit is required for a property with a minimum number of rooms? If not, why aren't all properties licensed regardless of their approach to marketing, channel distribution or positioning differences?Unlike the financial hardship that has befallen the traditional car service industry, most hoteliers have had a pretty good year-to-date 2018. As such, it will be hard to rally the troops and justify a full-fledged legal battle against any government agencies like what the taxi drivers are starting to do. Nevertheless, I see nothing wrong with the ironclad stipulation that every operator, from one suite to one thousand rooms, should require a license to operate.Does this sound fair? Is there any room for a middle ground in asking for the same regulations as traditional hotels? What happens when the next economic downturn hits and our 2018 numbers start to wither due in part to the gross oversupply stemming from the glut of alternate lodging providers?

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