5 Things To Know for Feb. 6

5 Things To Know for Feb. 6

Today’s Headlines: Eric Danziger Retires as CEO of Braintree Group; Weather Patterns Disrupt Travel Globally; California Hotel Sales Drop by 45%; Majority of Hotels Report Staffing Shortages; FIFA Reveals 2026 World Cup Locations

By Dana Miller | Hotel News Now | February 6, 2024 | 7:29 AM

1. Eric Danziger Retires as CEO of Braintree Group

Hotel industry C-suite veteran Eric Danziger, CEO of Braintree Group and Resolute Road Hospitality, is retiring but will remain active on the board of directors. He has more than 50 years of hospitality industry experience.

Danziger joined commercial real estate investment company Braintree Group in 2022. The company rebranded its Braintree Hospitality arm as Resolute Road Hospitality in 2023 to expand into third-party management.

Danziger previously served as CEO of Trump Hotel Group for six years, joining the company in August 2015. Before that, he was president and CEO of Starwood Hotels, president and chief operating officer of Carlson Hotels Worldwide and president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group.

2. Weather Patterns Disrupt Travel Globally

Travel across China for the start of the Lunar New Year holiday this weekend is already facing complications from snow and freezing rain. This year was projected to achieve a return to normal levels of holiday travel, the New York Times reports.

Warnings have been issued for snowstorms and blizzards in provinces and cities in central and eastern China, including Chongqing, Guizhou, Hubei and Anhui. China State Railway Group has either put trains out of service or restricted their speeds. Hundreds of flights have also been disrupted.

Meanwhile in California, a severe storm system has put about 38 million people under flood alerts. The National Weather Service predicts this storm system could be “potentially historic.” About 250,000 homes and businesses have lost power, NBC News reports.

Tourists at the Inn at Playa del Rey, a seaside hotel in Los Angeles, were temporarily stranded Monday as torrential downpours flooded all sides of the property, Reuters reports.

3. California Hotel Sales Drop by 45%

California experienced a 45% decline in hotel transactions year over year in 2023, but that wasn’t a surprise to many. What was peculiar was that the decline wasn’t deeper due to sales being down 53% six months into the year, reports HNN’s Bryan Wroten.

Alan Reay, president of Atlas Hospitality Group — which produced its annual year-end California Hotel Sales Survey, said a hike in interest rates kicked in during the second quarter of 2022. He predicted that would have resulted in a bigger drop in sales.

According to the survey, individual hotel sales dropped from 483 in 2022 to 265 in 2023. Total dollar volume declined 56.3% to $3.75 billion in the same period.

4. Majority of Hotels Report Staffing Shortages

In a recent survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, 67% of respondents said they continue to face staffing shortages, with 12% “severely understaffed” and 72% unable to fill open positions.

Eight-two percent of respondents said they have increased wages in the past six months; 59% are offering more flexibility with hours; and 33% are improving employee benefits. Hotels are in most need of filling housekeeping roles.

“The hotel workforce situation is slowly improving thanks to record-high average wages and better benefits and upward mobility than ever before,” AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers said in a new release. “But nationwide labor shortages are preventing hoteliers from filling tens of thousands of jobs, and that problem will weigh heavily on our members until Congress takes action. We urge lawmakers to address this urgent issue by creating an H-2B returning worker exemption, passing the Asylum Seeker Work Authorization Act, and passing the H-2 Improvements to Relieve Employers (HIRE) Act.”

5. FIFA Reveals 2026 World Cup Locations

FIFA has selected 16 North American cities to host 2026 World Cup matches. Eleven are in the U.S., three are in Mexico and two are in Canada. The event will begin in Mexico City and end at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Yahoo Sports reports.

“Travel — for teams and fans — will be the 2026 World Cup’s biggest inconvenience and biggest greenhouse gas-emitter,” Yahoo states, adding all eight stadiums were within a 22-mile radius when the event was held in Qatar in 2022.

Toronto and Vancouver, the two Canadian host cities, will hold 13 games. The city of Toronto expects the World Cup will create 3,585 jobs and bring in more than 300,000 visitors. Canada could see a $1.2-billion boost in gross domestic product as a result.

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