There is a lot of news about the hotel industry out there as of late.
Strategic Hotels & Resorts is exploring a possible sale. The luxury facility REIT recently had a major investment by Cascade Investment, which is controlled by Bill Gates. Among Chicago-based Strategic’s holdings are the Essex House in New York City, the Hotel del Coronado outside of San Diego and several Four Season properties, as well as other assets. For its part, Cascade has acquired several luxury hotels, among them Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton-branded facilities.
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is getting tons of coverage, but there are actually real-estate related things happening with the reality television-show star and business owner as well. The expanding Trump Hotel Collection recently hired Eric Danizger as its new chief executive to bolster its growth efforts. The arm of his hotel business has come under fire as of late due to Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, but it is still looking to buy and renovate properties, as well as take on new management contracts. It owns assets in Miami; Washington, D.C.; and other locales. Four international hotels are also scheduled to open next year.
In other news about luxury hotels, asset-owner Sam Nazarian is in the process of merging with Morgans Hotel Group. The move would create a company that operates 19 high-end hotels in New York City, Miami, London and other major cities. Delano and Modrian are among its brands, and Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment Group also owns nightclubs and restaurants.
Finally, a merger between online travel sites Expedia and Orbitz, is raising a stink in the hotel sector. The argument by hotel operators is that costs could rise for them as a result that would be passed onto consumers. Expedia currently operates about 53 percent of the online-travel industry, while Orbitz is at 11 percent. At the beginning of the year, Expedia bought competitor Travelocity. Its proposed purchase of Orbitz is currently under government review.
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