Hotel Business News Alert - North America.


New York (AirGuideBusiness - Hotel Business News North America) May 19, 2013

Hacienda Petac markets itself as a destination-wedding site Luxury estate Hacienda Petac in Merida, Yucatn, Mexico, has launched a set of wedding packages with customizable amenities. The seven-bedroom estate offers a three-course banquet with cake, champagne and music as well as rental of the chapel, terrace and gardens as part of its basic package. May 18, 2013

Some hotel brands rebuild ties with online distributors The contentious relationship between hotel chains and online travel agencies appears to be cooling off, as some hoteliers, such as Choice Hotels and Accor, recently announced new partnerships with major online distribution firms to strengthen their presence in some markets. One of the reasons for the renewed ties may be Google's recent entrance into the travel-marketing space, which has led to distributors having to pay higher costs for search keywords. May 18, 2013

Growth opportunities abound in Dubai, Wyndham exec says Wyndham Hotel Group is stepping up its growth efforts in Dubai to capitalize on the booming travel market, says Bob Loewen, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wyndham Hotel Group. "We're currently focused on introducing and growing our higher-end offerings there, like Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and Ramada, and looking for the right opportunities in the future to introduce our economy and/or midscale brands in the city as well," Loewen said. Wyndham is also seeing positive results in its expansion across the Middle East, Loewen said. May 18, 2013

Hotel portfolio in Ariz. and Utah is refinanced Vista Capital has secured funding to refinance a portfolio of five hotel properties in Arizona and Utah. Part of the $32 million in refinancing is expected to be used for renovation projects. May 18, 2013

Free breakfast is on the menu at more hotels Hotels are adding complimentary breakfasts as a way to attract guests and give them more value for their money. Last year, 79% of hotels offered free breakfast, up from 55% in 2010, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association. This week, Marriott announced a free meal for Marriott Rewards Gold and Platinum Elite members (and a guest) at participating hotels in the U.S. and Canada, beginning June 22. Last month, Hyatt House introduced its "Morning Spread" buffet. May 18, 2013

Public feedback generates more valuable data, expert says Hoteliers may find more valuable and actionable information regarding guest stays when soliciting feedback through online review sites and social media, writes Michelle Wohl, vice president of marketing at Revinate. "Embrace the transparency as it drives consumer trust, allows you to connect with guests and access data not only about your hotel, but your competition. This competitive data can be easily mined to understand where you are winning and losing in guests' eyes," Wohl writes. May 18, 2013

Possible revival ahead for delayed convention resort in Mesa, Ariz. Dea McDonald, general manager of the Eastmark master-planned community in Mesa, Ariz., says discussions are continuing with Marriott International regarding the stalled project involving a Gaylord-brand convention center and resort in the area. "They intend to grow the brand at some point in time, but it's just a function of the economy at this point. So we're cautiously optimistic that at some point we'll have an opportunity to have Gaylord begin designing the construction of a convention center here at Eastmark," McDonald said. May 18, 2013

STR: Hotel earnings reached $58 billion in 2012 Data from STR Analytics' 2013 Host Almanac show the U.S. hotel industry's earnings in 2012 at $58 billion, nearly reaching the record earnings set during the peak year of 2007. Net operating income was nearly $40 billion on a 13.4% rise in total revenue, to $162 billion. "Luxury and upper upscale properties are leading the charge back to profitability, but there are still a lot of struggles in the middle and lower chain scale segments," said Carter Wilson, director at STR Analytics. May 17, 2013

Choice Hotels' Cambria Suites investment is paying off Choice Hotels International invested $250 million in its new upscale Cambria Suites chain and the investment is starting to pay off, CEO Steve Joyce said. Construction will begin on at least six locations this year, in addition to hotels opening in primary urban markets such as Miami and White Plains, N.Y., which Joyce said will...

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