5 things to know: 15 September 2020
5 things to know: 15 September 2020
15 SEPTEMBER 2020 9:40 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Debate rages over bailout for large-scale hotel owners
  • PWC issues grim prognosis for Manhattan hotels
  • Hoteliers look to extend leisure season
  • German hotels still lagging pre-pandemic performance
  • MCR promises a new era for Royalton

Debate rages over bailout for large-scale hotel owners: While AHLA and other lobbyists continue to push for a widespread federal relief package targeted at the hotel industry, The New York Times reports there are concerns that such a bill would primarily benefit large ownership groups that intentionally took on risky debt.

There are also concerns that the main beneficiaries could be major donors to President Donald Trump.

“The precarious financial position that some friends of Mr. Trump and other hotel executives are now in has fueled an intense lobbying campaign aimed at persuading the Trump administration, the Federal Reserve and Congress to rescue hundreds of hotel industry players that relied on riskier Wall Street debt to finance their lodging empires before the virus hit,” the newspaper reports.

PWC issues grim prognosis for Manhattan hotels: PWC managing director Warren Marr believes Manhattan hotels won’t see a comeback until “a widely distributable vaccine and therapeutics become available,” according to the company’s second quarter 2020 Manhattan Lodging Index.

RevPAR saw an 81.6% year-over-year decline in the market for the quarter. The accounting firm is also recording continued record closures six months into the crisis, with 58% of Manhattan’s room supply still closed.

Hoteliers look to extend leisure season: The summer of 2020 will go down as the worst in hotel industry history, and some hoteliers are looking for ways to push out the traditional leisure travel season to help make up for some of that lost business, HNN’s Dana Miller reports.

Ultimately, though, it won’t be enough to make up for the overall drop-off in demand, said Michael Bellisario, senior hotel research analyst and director of equity research at Baird.

“I think at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how strong the leisure traveler is … the bread and butter of the hotel industry, and especially for the hotel (real estate investment trusts), (is) business transient and it’s group and convention business,” he said.

German hotels still lagging pre-pandemic performance: The German hospitality industry is making a comeback, but it still lags well behind numbers seen before the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.

Revenues were up 21.9% month-over-month for July, the most recent data available from the country’s statistics office, but they were down 26.8% year over year.

MCR promises a new era for Royalton: After purchasing the Royalton in Manhattan, MCR CEO Tyler Morse told The Wall Street Journal the famous Royalton hotel, famously Ian Schrager’s first foray into the hotel business, will be more welcoming going forward.

The Royalton was “so exclusive that people couldn’t go there; it was too intimidating,” Morse told the newspaper. “We don’t have any interest in intimidating our potential guests.”

That will specifically mean getting rid of velvet ropes, improving the lighting and serving better coffee.

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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