Travel Business News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) Jul 11, 2010

Hoteliers, analysts agree 2009 was a bad year for the hotel industry.

The outlook for the hotel industry was all over the board last year, but analysts and hoteliers agree it was a tough one for the industry. Hoteliers in the U.S. saw occupancy levels drop 8.7% from 2008 to 2009, according to Smith Travel Research. Revenue per available room deteriorated 16.7%. "What happened last year was really the perfect storm," Best Western CEO David Kong said. "Demand went down substantially, almost 6%, and at the same time supply grew by 3.2%." Jul 7, 2010

Aviation policy favors network carriers, according to some startups.

Startup airlines like Virgin America say the U.S. aviation system is stacked in favor of established carriers. Limits on foreign ownership, controls over airport gates and even frequent-flier programs make it difficult for even the best-run new entrants to compete in the long term, according to some critics. Jul 6, 2010

Alaska Cruise Association Attorney General Dan Sullivan announced last Thursday that the Alaska Cruise Association (ACA) has officially terminated its lawsuit against the state's excise tax on cruise ship passengers. A stipulation filed with the U.S. District Court for Alaska dismisses with prejudice the lawsuit that was filed against the state last September. In a settlement agreement reached between the state and ACA in April, ACA agreed to dismiss its lawsuit if the governor signed into law a bill passed by the Legislature that reduced the commercial passenger excise tax from $46 per passenger to $34.50 and also provided an offset for passenger taxes paid to local governments. On June 24, Governor Parnell signed into law Senate Bill 312, passed by the Legislature in April, that contained the elements necessary to trigger dismissal of ACA's lawsuit. The stipulation filed today permanently resolves the legal issues. Jul 7, 2010

Blackstone Hotel Judge orders Chicago's Blackstone Hotel to reinstate workers. A judge in Chicago has ruled the city's Blackstone Hotel violated federal labor laws in the firing of 14 workers last year and must rehire the workers and restore their health benefits. The National Labor Relations Board judge found the hotel's owners acted illegally in failing to bargain with the union about a decision to transfer work performed by room service department employees and cafeteria attendants to employees working in the hotel's Mercat restaurant, a decision that led to layoffs. Jul 8, 2010

Canaveral Port Authority A new 10-year agreement has been reached between the Canaveral Port Authority and Victory Casino Cruise that will allow gaming operations to begin in November of this year. Under the terms of the agreement, Victory will sail from Cruise Terminal 2 at Port Canaveral, the former home of Sterling Casino Lines, which ceased operations two years ago. The agreement includes a series of payments until the anticipated commencement date in November and then a minimum annual payment guarantee of US$2.4 million to the Port once operations begin. It also requires the commitment of a ship with a capacity of at least 1,200 passengers. Jul 8, 2010

Carefree Resort The Carefree Resort and Villas in Carefree, Ariz., has launched a multimillion-dollar makeover. The first phase of the renovation began July 1 and will cost nearly $6 million. The seven-month makeover will revitalize the property with new design elements and upgrades to the resort casitas, tennis villas and restaurants. The western Red Horse Saloon restaurant will close and will reopen as a meeting facility. New owner Bridlie Hospitality Management has already...

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