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  • 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.

  • Success in the Sunshine State: Highlights from HFTP's 2018 Florida Regional Conference

    The beautiful Sarasota Westin Hotel — with its bright white facade, multitudinous windows and stunning rooftop pool area — made a very picturesque setting for the 2018 HFTP Florida Regional Conference, which took place July 25–27, 2018.

  • Annual Convention 2018: A True HFTP Experience in the Land of the Kentucky Derby

    On the bank of the Ohio River in the east south-central region of the United States looms Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville — home to the famed Kentucky Derby horse race, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

  • Members Only: IT Spending in the Lodging Industry Three-year Analysis: 2015–2017

    By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Arlene Ramirez, CHE, CHAE; and Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. PART II: An analysis of IT spending data in the lodging industry based on reporting in the new USALI Schedule 6 — Information and Telecommunications Systems.

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Qatari investment company secures $503M in loans for 3 hotels

Hotel Management·17 August 2018
Qatar-based Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company has refinanced its debt on three U.S. hotels to the tune of $503 million.
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Trump Suggests Switch to Half-Year Reporting

CFO Magazine·17 August 2018
President Trump suggested on Friday that public companies should file financial reports every six months instead of quarterly but immediately ran into pushback from investors and others.
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InnSuites Hospitality Trust Enters Agreement to Sell Its IBC Subsidiary, IBC Hotels

Hotel Online·17 August 2018
On August 15, 2018, InnSuites Hospitality Trust (NYSE American: IHT), through InnSuites Hotels, Inc., entered into an agreement to profitably sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, IBC Hotels, LLC (“IBC”) to a wholly-owned subsidiary of OBASA Capital Investments, Inc., an independent third-party purchaser. The sale was completed, with funds being received by IHT, on August 16, 2018. The sale price and terms were not disclosed.
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Friday Freebie: Use Data to Get More This Budget Season

Tambourine Blog·17 August 2018
This week’s Freebie: This budget season, you’ll need to prove how much hotel revenue you brought in or risk losing your funds.
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Inside Red Roof's move into the extended-stay space

Hotel Management·17 August 2018
Economy chain Red Roof Inn is entering the extended-stay market with its newest sub-brand, HomeTowne Studios by Red Roof, which is slated to launch with 30 properties in more than 20 markets with nearly 4,000 rooms, and has a pipeline of more than a dozen hotels scheduled to open over the next year. Red Roof has more than 500 properties in total, including seven in international markets.
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Lawyers for Vegas Shooting Victims Criticize MGM Resorts

skift.com - Hotels·17 August 2018
The far-reaching toll of gun violence knows no bounds.
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HFF Announces $503M Refinancing For Three Prominent Hotels In New York, Miami And Washington, DC

Hotel Interactive ·17 August 2018
Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) announces a $503 million refinancing for three prominent hotels totaling 1,049 rooms in New York, Miami and Washington, D.C.
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IHT Signs Agreement And Sells Its IBC Subsidiary

Hotel Interactive ·17 August 2018
InnSuites Hospitality Trust (NYSE American: IHT), through InnSuites Hotels, Inc., entered into an agreement to profitably sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, IBC Hotels, LLC (“IBC”) to a wholly-owned subsidiary of OBASA Capital Investments, Inc., an independent third-party purchaser. The sale was completed, with funds being received by IHT, on August 16, 2018. The sale price and terms were not disclosed.
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REPORT: Independent Restaurateurs and Training, What is The Solution

Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne (EHL)·17 August 2018
Independent restaurateurs are driven by passion, an honorable motivator, but not the best when it comes to managing their assets and adapting their business to the digital age. How shall we train independent restaurateurs who do not see any challenges in their business whilst their own industry is collapsing under the pressure of government taxes, large corporations and change in their customers' mindset?
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OTA & Travel Distribution Update - Travel agency hit with TCPA classaction; Expedia upping its game by adding more house listings; Amazon athreat to online travel agencies, not hotels

Duff on Hospitality Law·17 August 2018
An online travel agency that arranges trips to Cuba got slapped with a proposed class action in Florida federal court on Thursday for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, with the lead plaintiff claiming he received an illegal telemarketing text message via an automatic telephone dialing system.
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IHT Sells its Subsidiary, IBC Hotels, to OBASA Capital Investments

Lodging Magazine·16 August 2018
On August 15, 2018, InnSuites Hospitality Trust, through InnSuites Hotels, Inc., entered into an agreement to sell its wholly-owned subsidiary, IBC Hotels to a wholly-owned subsidiary of OBASA Capital Investments, Inc., an independent third-party purchaser. The sale was completed, with funds being received by IHT, on August 16, 2018. The sale price and terms were not disclosed.
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Disney drops Anaheim development over lost tax break

Hotel Management·16 August 2018
Walt Disney Company is deferring plans for a new luxury hotel in Anaheim over $267 million in tax subsidies the city awarded to the company, before retracting the offer after Disney changed the location of the hotel.
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Best Western Hopes to Switch from Non-Profit to For-Profit Business Model

Business Travel News (BTN)·16 August 2018
Best Western International is looking to convert from a non-profit membership organization to a for-profit corporation, according to an SEC Form S1 the company filed on Aug. 10.
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One Year Later: The Rebound of the Caribbean Following the 2017 Hurricane Season

Hotel Online·16 August 2018
It has been one year since the most dynamic, active, and destructive hurricane period hit the Caribbean in decades. Despite the devastating effect to the region, the resiliency of the Caribbean hotel market has been demonstrated particularly well over the last year, spurred by a strong recovery effort and bolstered by an influx of new airlift to the region.
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Why mega-rounds of $100M are now commonplace

PhocusWire·16 August 2018
Travel startups are not strangers to the concept of the $100 million+ mega-round, especially in recent years as the market has matured and new investors have come on the scene.

Hospitality Financial leadership - Why Your average Joe Should never Use an OTA - and... Why He Will Never Stop Using Them!

The Hotel Financial Coach ·15 August 2018
With two large shortcomings, I can't see why the average person who has a basic understanding of how the travel world works would ever use an online travel agency. In making this statement it occurs to me that--obviously--most people don't know the basics. If they did know the two things I'm going to talk about here, the OTA world would be dead on its feet. The real question is why hoteliers do not get together and create a presence in the online world and inform people so many more customers can make a favorable decision. Then hotels, in turn, could increase their own traffic and reduce commission costs. This is the $64,000 question for all times in our industry: How can hotels and airlines get consumers to book their needs on their site and not on an OTA? The number one thing the Average Joe needs to know about booking a flight, airline ticket, car or anything else at an online travel agency is the fact that they are not customers of the hotel or airline. They are customers of the OTA. As such, any problems the customer might encounter with that flight or hotel room stay are not met or dealt with in the same manner as a client who books through the hotel or airline's booking system.Here are stark realities of this factAs a customer of the OTA when there are problems with flights being overbooked you can bet your grandmother's knitting needles that you are going to be on the short list of people to get the kind of trip adjustment we are all too familiar with these days. As we all also know, hotels need to overbook to end up full. Who do we bump in the middle of the night when our math did not work? Not the loyal customer, that is for sure. We pick the reservations with the lowest potential negative impact profile and many times that means an OTA reservation. I think we get the picture here. I am not saying the OTAs do not care when there is a "problem." I am saying they do not have the same ability to remedy the problem as the hotel or airline does. The second thing every Joe needs to know, at least the North American Average Joe, is the price is the same at BLANK hotel or BLANK airline as it is on the OTA because of a little-known agreement called "rate parity." Little known outside our industry, rate parity simply put means the final pricing has to be the same on originating businesses' booking platforms as it is on the literally thousands of OTAs. Do not believe me, just do a search across multiple OTAs for a specific flight or hotel room on a specific date and see. I always tell people: Use the OTA to do the research, routes, flight times, pricing, hotels in the location you are looking for--then book it on the brand, hotel or airline platform. You will get the same price and, in many cases, get a little extra something, especially if you are a member of that brand or airline's loyalty program. With these two ugly facts and a public relations campaign, the hotel and airline industry could turn the OTA world on its head, quite literally. So why, I ask, don't they do it? You cannot go anywhere in the hotel news world and not hear about the supposed war on the OTAs. Hotels and brand owners are all crying foul. If it is a war the hotels are waging against the OTAs, then they are not sending many soldiers or missiles and certainly no warships. The reason why the war is not really a fight is that hotels are chicken. They are afraid to be singled out and dropped by the OTAs. They are also worried about competition regulations and any whispers of price fixing. I think the big hotel brands must be careful with how they try to tackle the OTAs. They don't want to be seen as trying to interfere with the competition. I also think they are hiding out behind the lodging association that they largely fund, which some say has had success limiting home sharing services. You can't fight when you are running away. Hotels are not aligned in any large enough or meaningful way even with massive consolidation to fight the OTAs. But, if they were, and, if they really went at it, they could. OTAs take advantage of the fact that the hotel world is unorganized and incapable of a unified position. The old practice of playing hotels against the other as rates drop is still the nightmare that keeps revenue managers, directors of sales, GMs and owners up at night. OTAs drive more business to hotels than any other channel and hotels know this as well about that business: it's free. Yes, there are commissions, but no one complains when the business saves the day or the month's financial results. So why then do we hear so much negative press regarding the OTAs? I say it is largely a negative campaign, not unlike election ads. Negative advertorial. Back to the other part of this piece and the reason why Joe will not and never should stop using his OTAs. One simple fact. Joe can find all his options in one convenient place. He can literally find all the obvious options for his travel needs in one search that not only yields what he is looking for but also several options and features he may not have considered.Here is an example of an OTA positiveI just did a search on Expedia for a three-night stay in the City by the Bay in late September. My simple search reveals a whopping 510 accommodation options. It is all there: The Ritz and Westin at $1,299 and $1,454 a night all the way down to the I won't mention the name hotel in the mission for $103. My search also turns up some interesting options I had not considered. First, it shows me I can enjoy San Francisco and stay at the airport or further down the peninsula for a 75 percent reduction in room pricing. I even see home sharing and vacation rental options. They have it all: good inventory, great pictures and descriptions of rooms, the hotel and their services. Some OTAs even have a rewards program that is actually worthwhile! With an OTA I can also book my air travel and ground transportation all in one place, with as many as 35 currencies and languages and seemingly more trustworthy reviews. This is an incredibly powerful tool. For Joe, he is more than willing to trade this convenience for the largely useless customer loyalty program and a little parity. I say OTAs provide an incredibly valuable service for the Average Joe.For a complimentary copy of my guidebook on creating a finically engaged team in your hotel head over to my website, www.hotelfinancialcoach.com and don't forget to email me david@hotelfinancialcoach.com for some of my free spreadsheets.
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Cleaning It Up

Hotel Interactive ·15 August 2018
Is this the rise of new housekeeping legislation across the U.S.? Here's some examples of new hotel requirements.
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RLH Corporation Reports $2.3M Second-Quarter Loss

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·15 August 2018
Red Lion Hotels Corporation reported a net loss of $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2018 as it transitions out of the hotel ownership business and concentrates on growing more profitable franchise operations.
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Trump Organization Calls Illinois Attorney General Lawsuit Political

skift.com - Hotels·15 August 2018
It looks like the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago didn't get required permits over its use of Chicago River water. The Trump administration's Environmental Protection Agency hasn't exactly been a stickler for environmental paperwork, either.
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Texas Travel Leaders Fight Discriminatory Legislation Harmful to the State's Economy

skift.com - Destinations·15 August 2018
The 'Texas Welcomes All' coalition, which is fighting discriminatory legislation in the state, proves that convention and visitor bureaus can drive real societal impact -- both within tourism and beyond.
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Cape Carolyn Buys Embassy Suites Philadelphia Valley Forge

Lodging Magazine·15 August 2018
The Plasencia Group, a privately-owned hospitality investment advisory firm, this week announced the sale of the 229-room Embassy Suites Philadelphia Valley Forge, located in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The firm represented Valley Forge Investment Corporation, a private firm based in the Philadelphia area, in the sale of the all-suite hotel. Cape Carolyn, LLC, an Irving, Texas-based family office acquired the asset.

2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

14 August 2018
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.
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Best Western Files Intentions to Offer Common Stock Following Conversion to For-Profit Corp.

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·14 August 2018
Best Western International Inc. has filed its intentions of offering 55 million shares of common stock following a conversion to a for-profit corporation, which will be effected by a merger with its wholly owned subsidiary, according to the SEC Form S-1 the hospitality company filed on Aug. 10. The common stock issued in connection with the conversion is expected to be issued on or about Dec. 18.

Hotel asset management 10 years in

hotelnewsnow.com Featured Articles·14 August 2018
Here are some reflections on being a hotel asset manager 10 years into the job and some advice for those starting out in the business.
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Hospitality Financial Leadership: Why Your Average Joe Should Never Use an OTA - And... Why He Will Never Stop Using Them!

Hotel Online·13 August 2018
With two large shortcomings I can’t see why the average person who has a basic understanding of how the travel world works would ever use an online travel agency. In making this statement it occurs to me that—obviously—most people don’t know the basics. If they did know the two things I’m going to talk about here, the OTA world would be dead on its feet.
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Hilton Grand Vacations Fires CFO, Citing Conduct

hotelbusiness.com·Requires Registration ·13 August 2018
Hilton Grand Vacations Inc. (HGV) terminated James E. Mikolaichik as EVP/CFO, citing “conduct and behavior not consistent with the company’s policies.” According to the company, Mikolaichik’s termination was not related to any issues involving the company’s business, strategy, operations, performance, financial reporting or internal controls.

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