5 things to know: 21 May 2020
5 things to know: 21 May 2020
21 MAY 2020 9:31 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Unemployment claims drop slightly
  • NYC Edition to close permanently
  • How hotels adapt to sensory issues
  • RevPAR down 73.6% for week ending 16 May
  • Whitbread expects to come out of crisis stronger

Unemployment claims drop slightly: A total of 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, which represents “a slight drop-off from previous weeks,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Self-employed people collecting benefits are not included in that total.

State officials claim they’ve gotten better at processing the high level of claims.

“I think we’re starting to hit our stride,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, New Jersey’s Labor Department commissioner. “People are starting to receive their payments.”

NYC Edition to close permanently: Just a year after opening, the Times Square Edition in Manhattan, New York, is slated to permanently cease operations as of 13 August, Bloomberg reports. According to the news outlet, Marriott International officials confirmed they have “provided notice to employees, government officials and union officials” of the pending closure.

Bloomberg reports: “Marriott warned owner Maefield Development in March that a cash shortfall due to the outbreak could put the developer in default on its contract with the lodging giant, new documents in an ongoing foreclosure proceeding show. The hotel is part of a mixed-use property once appraised at $2.4 billion, according to a 2018 report from Moody’s Investors Service.”

How hotels adapt to sensory issues: Some hotels have adjusted operations to better accommodate people with sensory processing issues through tailored amenities and special rooms, reports HNN’s Danielle Hess.

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Sandusky, Ohio, offers a calming room and various kits to help avoid overstimulation, according to GM Brian Shanle.

“As a father of five, I know the challenge of family travel with a child on the autism spectrum, so it is a passion of mine to be able to provide this resource for families who are enjoying precious time together,” he said.

RevPAR down 73.6% for week ending 16 May: U.S. hotels saw a 73.6% year-over-year drop in revenue per available room for the week ending 16 May, according to the latest data from HNN’s parent company STR.

Occupancy fell 54.1% to 32.4%, while average daily rate fell 42.4% to $77.55 and RevPAR hit $25.12.

Those numbers represent slight improvement from recent weeks.

“The trend of ‘less bad’ data continued with occupancy and ADR on a slow climb driven by a fifth consecutive week-to-week increase in demand,” said Jan Freitag, STR’s SVP of lodging insights.

Whitbread expects to come out of crisis stronger: Whitbread PLC executives said a revised capital structure, aiming to raise £1 billion ($1.22 billion), will position the company and its Premier Inn hotel brand for success coming out of the pandemic crisis, HNN’s Terence Baker reports.

CEO Alison Brittain said the company’s capital strategy will ensure “that we stay on the front foot and in the best possible position to take advantage of what we think are going to be significant opportunities that will be coming in what will be a constrained and competitive environment.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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