After Airbnb confirmed on Wednesday that it removed roughly 1,500 listings run by commerical landlords before publicly releasing its information, many of the scrubbed landlords have popped back up on the short-term rental site, often relisting the same properties that were removed. To read more, click here.
Hilton Worldwide made it official today, declaring its intention to spin off the bulk of its real estate holdings as a separate REIT and its timeshare business, Hilton Grand Vacations, as a standalone company. As part of its earnings release today, the company announced that it is targeting the second quarter to spin off the two new publicly traded entities. The REIT is expected to include about 70 properties and 35,000 rooms, and the timeshare company will manage almost 50 resorts in the U.S. and Europe. During this morning’s earnings call, Hilton CEO Chris Nassetta said, “Our intention is to complete these spinoffs by the end of the year, with appropriate leadership, strategies, and capital structures in place to set up all three companies for further success.” Post spinoff, Hilton Worldwide will continue to operate its management and franchise segment. To read more, click here.
With a stronger emphasis on common areas where guests can meet, mingle, and hang out, many hoteliers are scaling back when it comes to where the guests actually sleep. While the average size of a hotel guestroom in the United States is about 350 square feet, many hotels are experimenting with smaller and smaller guestrooms. Best Western’s Vib offers rooms at about 250 square feet, and hotels like Pod 51 in New York City have rooms as small as 100 square feet. To read Best Western CEO David Kong’s take on the small guestroom trend, click here.
After weeks of speculation, Airbnb has admitted in a pair of letters sent to state legislators and Airbnb users in New York that it purged roughly 1,500 listings ahead of releasing data to regulators. According to Bloomberg, Airbnb reportedly kicked off 622 hosts in a purge in November 2015. The company said it removed the listings that appeared to be controlled by commercial operators, and did not reflect its vision of the Airbnb community. Given the lack of complete transparency from the company, it has been a challenge to determine whether recent studies truly reflect the short-term rental service’s impact on the hotel industry. According to Amanda Hite, president and COO of STR, the data purge should not have significantly altered the accuracy of STR’s recent research on Airbnb’s impact on the Manhattan hotel market.
“The dataset Airbnb released to the city of New York is related to all units; however, the dataset STR analyzed was available units. This only would have affected one month out of the 24 months we analyzed. STR was provided with number of guestnights available, the number of guestnights sold, and revenue for each guestnight covering all available units,” says Hite.
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With Donald Trump leading the GOP race for the White House, the Trump brand and its business dealings are getting the harsh spotlight treatment. The New York Times delves into Trump’s real estate deals in New York City, citing previous bankruptcies and his propensity for litigation as cause for his lack of a presence there. Meanwhile, Bloomberg looks at Trump’s global business, where the millions made on his name has been offset by a number of losses and lawsuits. And in Las Vegas, the workers at the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas called attention to their efforts to unionize while the national media was focused on the Nevada GOP caucus. Read more here.
Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s operating unit has been battling in bankruptcy court for more than a year now, but an end to the Chapter 11 restructuring of the division may be in sight with the upcoming release of a court-appointed examiner’s report, writes the Wall Street Journal. Examiner Richard Davis, a restructuring lawyer who has spent the last year investigating a series of disputed deals between Caesars and its operating unit, plans to share his findings by the end of the month. Junior creditors allege the parent company had illegally shuffled assets between units prior to filing so they would be beyond their reach. Caesars’s parent has defended the deals as proper and necessary to shore up its operating unit. While not legally binding, the report is expected to outline potential legal claims related to the deals, which could help drive the negotiation process forward. Caesars Entertainment placed its operating unit under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in January 2015 to cut $10 billion of debt. To read more, click here.