COVID-19: GBTA to EU: Lift restrictions | Lux Manhattan hotel in default

One of Manhattan’s priciest hotels is in default

The ownership of one of New York City’s most expensive hotels could go up for sale in a foreclosure auction in two weeks. Special servicer Wells Fargo issued a default statement on a US$115 million loan on the Mark Hotel in May after the mortgage borrower failed to make that month’s payment on the loan. The loan was transferred to special servicing in April. The Mark Hotel, owned by Alexico Group, is set to reopen this week and is home to the most expensive hotel room in the city. 

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Billionaire’s Manhattan hotel to permanently close

The Omni Berkshire Place hotel in midtown Manhattan will close permanently. Omni Hotels, owned by billionaire Robert Rowling’s TRT Holdings, has also informed loyalty members of plans to close the property. TRT Holdings intends to hold onto the Berkshire Place property for now, according to a person familiar with the plans who asked not to be named.

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Hawaii extends 14-day quarantine for all incoming travelers

Hawaii’s governor has extended the state’s mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving travelers in a bid to keep coronavirus cases in the islands low. The rule is being extended to the end of July as the state works to solidify a screening process that could soon allow travelers to return in some capacity. Officials said they are planning to install thermal screening stations and facial recognition technology at the airports by the end of the year. The governor said the technology would be used only to track people within the airport during the screening process.

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How does the Four Seasons Boston treat its workers?

The Four Seasons Hotel Boston let go nearly 200 workers last month — including the entire front-of-the-house staff at one of the hotel’s restaurants, the Bristol. The Four Seasons apparently also exercised a clause that absolves the company from paying workers their full severance during a national emergency. Many longtime employees told the Boston Globe they received less than half of what they were owed. 

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A plea for EU governments to lift travel restrictions

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) released a statement in response to the European Commission’s efforts to coordinate Europe’s re-opening and the guidelines it published today on how to safely resume travel to the Schengen area. The statement said that, despite the recommendation to gradually start reopening external borders as of July 1, the travel sector fears that EU countries may continue to act unilaterally, leading to the patchwork of rules and confusion already being experienced with the re-opening of Europe’s internal borders this month. The statement stressed that, once safety protocols are in place, it is fundamental that the EU reopens its internal and external borders as soon as possible, as the epidemiological situation begins to resemble a stable, downward trend in many regions and countries. 

U.S. drive-to destinations continue to show strong weekend performance

Each week, STR analysts provide a video deep-dive into U.S. hotel performance. Key highlights from the most recent video, highlighting performance for May 31 through June 6, include:

•   Drive-to destinations continued to show strong weekend performance, with Myrtle Beach, S.C., recording an 83.4% occupancy level

•   Economy class hotels reached a 50.3% occupancy level for the week, while the Upper Upscale class showed the lowest occupancy level among the classes (22.1%)

•   The ADR difference between Luxury and Economy class hotels was US$123.00 for the week

•   A few key beach submarkets have been able to grow ADR over 100% during the last 60 days.

Elsewhere: Doronin buys Florida land for US$63M

Billionaire developer Vladislav Doronin has assembled and closed on three blocks of land in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for nearly US$63 million. Doronin’s OKO Group, through a land trust, closed on 6.7 acres in an area that has attracted a group of developers. OKO’s seven deals cover 27 parcels, including developer Dev Motwani’s site of the planned 629 Residences, a 34-story, 251-unit apartment building. OKO Group, based in New York and Miami, is planning a mixed-use project on the assemblage. In a statement, OKO said the area benefits from “an urban grid which lends itself to a pedestrian-oriented development,” as well as strong demographics.

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