Former employees to receive full severance
Four Seasons Boston will give its laid-off employees full severance packages – a reversal that came after those former workers voiced their concerns. On May 12, 194 staff members said they received brief phone calls notifying them of their firing and then later were given notice that they would not be allowed back on the premises and that their severance would be less than what they were told in the company handbook. The luxury hotel said it has since reconsidered its decision on the severance pay and that former workers will receive full packages consistent with what is outlined in the policy covering normal operations.
Miami Beach booked for July 4 holiday
In the face of the global coronavirus pandemic that brought travel to a halt just a few weeks ago, Miami, Florida hotel officials now say they are seeing plenty of interest in stays for the upcoming U.S. holiday — not to mention many other weekends. Most are coming from the Northeast, with a mix of drivers and fliers. Less than 24 months after opening to a US$620 million renovation, the Miami Beach Convention Center has launched an emergency task force to draw in business from wherever it can. The fruits of that effort have been mostly in salvaging or postponing events for late 2020 or early 2021.
Economy hotels remain strong in U.S.
Each week, STR analysts provide a deep-dive into U.S. hotel performance. Key highlights from the most recent video, highlighting performance for June 7-13, include:
• Economy hotels remained the strongest among the classes, reaching an occupancy level of 51.1% for the week. The upper upscale class showed the lowest occupancy level (25.1%)
• When looking at May monthly data, the RevPAR decline (-70.7%) was 3.5 times greater than the previous downturn in May 2009 (-20.4%)
• The video also provides an update on what to expect when hotels begin to reopen
London sees large number of deferred, abandoned projects
Each week, STR analysts provide a deep-dive into U.K. hotel performance. Key highlights from the most recent video, highlighting performance for the week of June 8-14, include:
• Occupancy, ADR and RevPAR remained static, with movement not expected until restrictions ease
• London leads U.K. development with 44,000 rooms in the active pipeline
• Year to date through May, 396 projects in the pipeline were downgraded: 216 deferred, 160 abandoned
• London saw the largest number of deferred (47) and abandoned (18) projects during the same time period
Disneyland reopening, but some workers want a delay
Despite the precautions announced over the last few weeks, the opening plan for Disneyland in Anaheim, California, has drawn opposition, including from Disneyland employees. A dozen unions that represent about 17,000 Disneyland employees wrote a letter to the governor of California, saying it is still unsafe to reopen the park. As of now, when Disneyland reopens July 17 after a nearly four-month coronavirus shutdown, park goers will need reservations, masks and a healthy respect for social distancing, reinforced by a roaming team of trained workers.
Elsewhere: The new chairman of AAHOA
Texas hotelier Biran Patel is the new chairman of Asian American Hotel Owners Association. Patel first joined AAHOA in 2003. He served as an Ambassador and then as a member of the Board of Directors as a Regional Director for North Texas. AAHOA members elected him as Secretary in 2017. He serves as a partner in BHP Investments Company and owns and operates multiple branded and independent properties.