Turbulent global financial markets, oil price volatility, and a slowdown in job growth last month are fueling concerns about the strength of the U.S. economy, leaving many hoteliers concerned about what the next cycle will bring. Hotel owners will face tighter financing constraints during 2016 as lenders adapt to more challenging debt capital market conditions, according to Fitch Ratings. Lenders can no longer rely on rising hotel fundamentals to offset poor credit decisions, so sponsor quality will distinguish hotel debt capital access for the balance of this upcycle. New regulatory requirements will continue to temper hotel development growth at the margin, but Fitch expects alternative capital sources to step in and fill the void. To read more, click here.
Due to recent legislation regarding minimum wage and overtime regulations, the hospitality sector is under close watch by the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board. Through working closely with the AH&LA, these entities discovered something surprising—many of those in upper-management positions started their careers in hourly, entry-level jobs. With the hotel industry growing, and employment rates in this sector rising, hospitality offers employees a wealth of opportunities for personal career growth. To read more, click here.
Baltimore is spending more than $350,000 to put some of the city’s chronically homeless in hotels and serve others in a new shelter, according to The Baltimore Sun. The city will pay approximately $65 a night for homeless people to stay in hotels on an emergency basis, while outreach workers seek more permanent accommodations. The new approach is designed to help more of the city’s roughly 3,000 homeless people by removing barriers that keep them on the streets. To read more, click here.
There’s a rising concern that China’s pools of potential bad debt will drag down global economies for some time to come. While there has been plenty of toxic debt that companies and individuals have kicked around since the financial crisis of 2008, the loans from government-owned banks to government-owned enterprises in China possibly pose a new risk because of their unknown size and unique risk profile. According to The New York Times, analysts currently estimate China’s troubled credit to exceed $5 trillion. In many cases, the Chinese government (at the local or state level) has ownership stakes in both the lending institutions and the borrowing ones, which means the credit risks from a potential toxic debt hangover aren’t diversified enough to create a soft landing. Chinese banks began a lending pull back at the end of last year, which means that the Chinese economy could slow down even more than it already has. The potential result may be continued volatility in the global financial markets. To read more, click here.
Hospitality Ventures Management Group has named Susan Weigel Guimbellot as vice president of revenue management and channel strategy to increase top-line growth for the company’s third-party managed and owned hotels. In her new role, she will oversee revenue management and channel strategy on both the property and corporate levels. Prior to joining HVMG, she most recently served as vice president of revenue management and distribution for Denihan Hospitality Group.
Here’s a look at more notable job moves that took place in hospitality this week:
Turtle Bay Resort has announced two new additions to its management team. Brian Hunnings has been named resort manager, with more than 25 years of hotel experience, most recently serving as executive assistant manager at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. Darcie Patlidzanov has been appointed group sales manager with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry.
Sid Anderson is retiring after 38 years as general manager of Colorado’s Hotel Boulderado. Anderson will continue consulting and advising part-time for the company, helping guide renovations planned for 2016 and 2017. Boulder native Lisa Lindgren has been selected to replace Anderson with more than 25 years in the hospitality industry.
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport has named Irby Morvant Jr. general manger of the Burlingame hotel. Morvant will be responsible for all operations at the 789-room property, overseeing its various departments, programs and team. He will also lead the hotel through a renovation planned for completion in summer 2016.
Marriot International has appointed Jay Spurr director of sales and marketing for the San Francisco Marriot Marquis. Spurr has more than 20 years of experience with top-tier hotels and resorts.
Nicholas Arnold has been selected as executive chef for the 60th anniversary year of Caneel Bay Resort. Arnold will oversee all dining operations, menu creation, and procurement of ingredients for Turtle Bay Estate House, Caneel Beach Terrace, and Caneel Beach Bar & Grill.
After serving as the hotel’s event sales manager since 2011, HRI Lodging has announced that Vera Faucheux has been promoted to sales manager and will oversee sales efforts for the corporate group market at the Hyatt French Quarter.
Craig Harvey has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor. Harvey brings 20 years of hospitality experience to his new role, most recently serving as director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus in Illinois.
Worldhotels has announced their current chief executive officer of the global brand, Kristin Intress, is leaving the group, with Dirk Fuehrer joining the management team as her replacement effective Feb. 15.
According to the U.S. Travel Association’s new monthly Travel Trends Index, which tracks and predicts the volume and pace of travel to and within the U.S., travel leveled off at the end of the 2015, but early 2016 should see moderate growth. The Index also showed that domestic leisure travel is strong and getting stronger, likely due to higher wages and lower gas prices. As jet fuel prices have plummeted, the travel industry has experienced a surge in tourists booking trips in advance before airfare rises again. However, due to rising interest rates and unpredictable markets, there has been a reduction in domestic business travel. International travel has leveled off due to the strength of the U.S. dollar, the report notes. To read more, click here.