House Passes Tax Bill in First Step Toward Historic Overhaul

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 16 November 2017
House Republicans passed their version of legislation to overhaul the U.S. tax code by slashing the corporate tax rate, lowering tax burdens for most individuals and adding an estimated $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

SEC Enforcement Actions Plummet

CFO Magazine - 16 November 2017
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed 62 enforcement actions against public companies and their subsidiaries in the government’s 2017 fiscal year, a 33% drop from a year earlier. The cause of the drop was a paltry 17 cases filed in the second half of the year (April 1 to September 30), a period when the number of SEC actions usually increases. Total monetary settlements against public company defendants also fell from the first half of fiscal 2017 to the second half, declining to $196 million from $1 billion.

Q3: Hoteliers explain changes to Q4, full-year guidance Featured Articles - 16 November 2017
The third quarter of 2017 brought with it substantial challenges to the U.S. hotel industry, but several publicly traded companies have maintained or even raised their Q4 and full-year revenue per available room guidance despite the events of the past quarter. Tougher year-over-year comps created by holiday shifts and natural disasters that caused evacuations and shut down many hotels were two of the most cited causes for performance interruptions during the third quarter. However, executives at some companies explained during their third-quarter earnings calls that their companies still performed well enough to raise their projections for the full year. Arne Sorenson, president and CEO, Marriott International“For the fourth quarter we expect RevPAR will increase 2% to 3% in North America as we benefit from the holiday shift and continued hurricane-related demand in Texas and Florida. North America group pace is up 5% for the quarter. For international markets, we expect RevPAR will grow 3% to 5% and worldwide we expect RevPAR will increase 2% to 3% in the fourth quarter. With the benefit of the third quarter's actual RevPAR and expected fourth-quarter performance, we now expect full-year 2017 worldwide systemwide RevPAR to grow 2% to 3%, up from 1% to 3% a quarter ago.

Unpredictable Q3 causes company RevPAR guidance shifts Featured Articles - 16 November 2017
The future is always hard to predict, but 2017 seems to have been a harder year to forecast than most for the hotel industry. From quarter to quarter, impressions of the industry have swung wildly and macroevents like natural disasters have moved the needle with revenue-per-available-room projections. At least 10 publicly traded hotel companies shifted their RevPAR projections for full-year 2017 at some point during the year, including seven that changed their guidance during the third-quarter earnings season, according to earnings releases and calls with investors.

AAA Four and Five Diamond Ratings: A Path to Success and Profitability for Your Resort

Hotel Online - 16 November 2017
In the digital age, surveys, ratings systems, and consumer reviews are an inescapable fact of life. For hotel owners and operators - and their guests -- there is one rating system, developed before the internet's inception, that in many ways is more valuable and persuasive than all of the other information found across the web. The AAA Diamond Rating System, a comprehensive, objective and closely-followed evaluation of travel destinations and experiences. The fact is, hotels in the luxury category that have earned the AAA Four-Diamond and AAA Five-Diamond ratings are at a distinct advantage over their competitors - specifically because they can command a higher average daily room rate, attract more guests, and achieve consistently strong occupancy levels. The result is more revenue and, with the right management, increased profit. AAA has built a respected and proven system over the course of eight decades, employing a network of professionally trained inspectors who use

Carey Watermark targets unique buying opportunities Featured Articles - 16 November 2017
Michael Medzigian admits Carey Watermark Investors is one picky investor. With a limited number of competitors vying to acquire the resorts, unique and/or big-market assets it covets, the company is comfortable sifting through many options to find the best opportunities. Medzigian, Carey Watermark’s president & CEO, said during a break at the recent Lodging Conference that his team’s efforts have paid off in a big way with the two properties it acquired thus far in 2017—the Charlotte (North Carolina) Marriott City Center in June and the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, California, in September. “We’ve got a pretty darn good portfolio—resorts that could never be replicated and high-quality brands,” he said. “We are more focused today on maintaining that type of quality than we were four years ago. We’ve become a little more strategic on things we buy and a little less opportunistic.

How Tax Departments Can Take On Evildoers

CFO Magazine - 14 November 2017
Liam Neeson pretty much set the standard for swagger in dealing with terrorist finance in the movie “Taken“ when he unleashed his famous monologue: “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

The length of brand affiliations across chain scales Featured Articles - 13 November 2017
Most changes to STR’s U.S. census hotel database come from brands and hotel owners directly, since the information about brand affiliation and ownership structure governs the distribution of the weekly and monthly STAR reports. This then allows us to take a deeper look at the average time a hotel spends affiliated with a brand. (STR is the parent company of Hotel News Now.) It is probably not a surprise that once a hotel opens and chooses a flag, the initial affiliation lasts for a long time. Owners have spent a large amount of time and energy to select the correct brand for their specific property, and of course that first relationship is supposed to last. Maybe it won’t last forever, but at least until the owner realizes their financial returns. It seems a bit surprising that for luxury chains the first affiliation is less stable than for economy properties. Then again, this data does not comment on ownership changes, so it could be that owners change more often on the upper end, and with that come opportunities to reflag.

One Tax Loophole Untouched So Far: the Trump Golf-Course Break

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 10 November 2017
While Republicans are eliminating many write-offs, the House version of the bill allows golf-course owners to claim deductions for promising never to build on their

Metric of the Month: Annual Budget Cycle Times

CFO Magazine - 10 November 2017
It’s budget season again. How long will your budgeting process take this year, compared to last? If you don’t know the answer, there may be room for improvement in the cycle time to complete your organization’s annual budget. Let’s be honest: When you ask most CFOs and business unit managers about their favorite time of year, it’s unlikely they’ll answer “budgeting season.” At some companies, the budgeting process can start in June — or earlier, for shared-service units — and drag on for months. Meanwhile, others start in November and have their next-year budgets wrapped up and tied with a bow well before the holidays. November’s metric of the month, which is calculated based on 2,617 organizations’ responses to questions, makes it clear that some companies take much longer than others to push out a budget in time to greet the New Year.

Wyoming lawmakers consider tax increase for tourism - 10 November 2017
The Legislature’s Joint Revenue Committee on Tuesday is drafting a bill that would impose a 1 percent tax at hotels, restaurants, bars and other leisure and hospitality establishments around the state. The tax would raise an estimated $17.8 million annually. Most of the money from the tax would go to fund the state Tourism Office, which spends millions of dollars around the world promoting Wyoming’s tourist attractions.

Study: Tax Reform Could Boost Hotel Industry by $131.7 Billion

Lodging Magazine - 9 November 2017
As tax reform legislation moves through Congress, a new economic impact study found that tax cuts could generate $131.7 billion in economic activity for hotels and related industries over the next 10 years. On behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), Oxford Economics analyzed the impact of tax policy changes that would result in a tax cut of $1.5 trillion over 10 years, which they believe will cause real GDP growth to accelerate to 3.0 percent in 2018.

Belief In The Big Picture

Hotel Interactive - 8 November 2017
The outlook for the lodging industry from a macroeconomic perspective, large brands’ efforts to differentiate through experiences and the impact of Airbnb were among some of the more noteworthy topics of discussion during “The View From The Top II” session at last week’s Lodging Conference. Liam Brown, president, franchising, owner services and MxM select brands, North America, provided some cause for optimism. “We’ve had 3 percent GDP growth over the last quarter. GDP growth is strongly correlated to our business. The macro view from a world perspective is over a billion trips were taken last year,” he said.

Transactions, franchising headline ESA's third quarter Featured Articles - 8 November 2017
The third quarter brought Extended Stay America one step closer to its first major property sale and its goal of shifting focus to its franchise business. During Tuesday’s conference call with analysts to discuss Q3 2017 earnings, Extended Stay America CEO Gerry Lopez revealed the company has engaged in talks to sell 25 hotels to one buyer in a deal that could close “in the next few months.” Lopez described the hotels as located in secondary and tertiary markets with revenue-per-available-room levels 20% lower than the company’s portfolio average.

Hotel Industry Is Increasingly Impacted by Shifting Political Winds - Hotels - 8 November 2017
Hotels used to be gauged by the campaign strategy that won the presidency for Bill Clinton: it’s the economy, stupid. Nowadays, politics may determine their future. The latest upheaval came with the arrest over the weekend of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose Kingdom Holding Co. is co-owner of Four Seasons Hotels Ltd. and New York’s Plaza Hotel. Here are some hotel companies caught up in shifting political winds globally:

U.S. Issues Regulations Making It Harder for Americans to Visit Cuba - Destinations - 8 November 2017
The Trump administration is imposing travel and commerce restrictions on Cuba that will make it harder for Americans to visit the island nation. New rules are coming out Wednesday that put in place President Donald Trump’s partial rollback of the Obama administration’s diplomatic opening with Cuba.

OPEC Sees Minimal EV Impact on Oil Demand

CFO Magazine - 8 November 2017
Even if one in four passenger vehicles is electric by 2040, up from less than 0.2% last year, OPEC does not expect global oil demand will drop “meaningfully” over the next 23 years. In its 2017 World Oil Outlook, OPEC predicts consumption will rise from 95.4 million barrels per day in 2016 to 111.1m bpd by 2040. That forecast assumes the number of electric vehicles will reach 235 million in 2040 , representing 12% of the expected global passenger car fleet.

Build a better budget painlessly

Global Golf Advisors - Insights - 7 November 2017
Don’t put off creating next years budget any longer. Let’s dive into some strategies and tactics that can help break the budgeting process into manageable chunks and reduce the accompanying fear. Standards of Excellence. Standards-setting must precede budgeting to ensure that club leaders and management are aligned in communicating expectations. At the highest levels, the standards should be affirmative, simply stated and realistic. These statements serve as Magnetic North to give departmental managers a clear-cut understanding of the desired destinations.

Hotel price disparity types, identifying and correcting them - 7 November 2017
All price disparities are damaging and you must identify them, correct them and create a structure so that they don’t appear again in the future.

Article: In Europe, 74% of Mobile App Marketers See Ad Fraud as a Problem

- 7 November 2017
Ad fraud’s tendrils have snaked their way into pretty much every corner of the online world. Research from InMobi found that even in Europe, nearly three-quarters of app marketers polled in July 2017 believe ad fraud presents a serious problem to their operations.

Tax Proposal Could Cut MBS Issuance by $30 Billion, Analysts Say

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 6 November 2017
U.S. agency mortgage bond supply could shrink by $30 billion under the proposed House Republican tax bill, which cuts into consumers’ deductions of interest for housing loans and could raise the cost of home buying, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts.

Park officials set yearlong timetable for asset sales Featured Articles - 6 November 2017
Officials with Park Hotels & Resorts are now projecting a portfolio of “noncore” properties could be sold in a little more than a year as the company looks to zero in on upper-upscale and luxury hotels in top 25 markets and resort destinations. Speaking Friday morning on the company’s third-quarter call with investors, CEO and President Tom Baltimore said he “fully expects to have the first phase of recycling capital done before the end of next year.”

Why CapEx spend is rising-and how hoteliers are spending money

Hotel Management - 6 November 2017
Another year, another record breaker. But this time it’s not for money going into hoteliers’ tills, it’s for what’s coming out. Capital-expenditure spend is forecast to hit a record level of $6.85 billion in 2017, according to a new report from Bjorn Hanson, clinical professor at the NYU Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. That’s an increase of about 3.8 percent and approximately $1,400 per available room.

Carried Interest Tax Break May Be Changed, House Tax Chief Says

National Real Estate Investor (NREI) - 6 November 2017
The carried interest tax break that provides an advantage for investment managers would be revised under changes the House’s chief tax writer says he’s planning. House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady said on CNBC Monday morning that he intends to attach a “two-year holding period” to carried interest. The tax break is used widely among private-equity managers, venture capitalists, certain real estate investors and hedge fund managers.

FP&A: Let the Fun Begin

CFO Magazine - 6 November 2017
For those involved in financial planning and analysis, the bad news is that the work can be boring much of the time. The good news: It’s quickly getting more interesting. As with many corporate processes, technology is driving fundamental changes in FP&A. Thanks to a new generation of tools, the drudgery factor is lessening and practitioners are spending more of their time doing actual planning and analysis. And that’s a fortunate development, not just for FP&A professionals, but also for the companies they work for. In almost every industry, today’s souped-up business environment drives a concomitant need for heightened strategic input.

The Weight of Water

CFO Magazine - 6 November 2017
The United States suffered from hugely destructive hurricanes before August 2017. As recently as 2012, Superstorm Sandy placed large swaths of New York City under water, and the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 still haunt New Orleans. In 1992 the massive wreckage caused by Hurricane Andrew spurred Florida to upgrade its ability to avert comparable damage from Hurricane Irma last September.


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