Strategic Hotels & Resorts president and CEO Laurence Geller, in an interview with GlobeSt.com, said he expects Strategic's acquisitions to "probably [total] about $2 billion this year." In the past year alone, Chicago-based Strategic has added the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the Four Seasons Washington, D.C., and the Chicago Fairmont.
Casino-hotels along the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast have been the fastest to rebound, and while the region's regular hotel industry also is making progress in its recovery, some hotels, especially the smaller properties, are facing challenges from such things as a labor crunch owing to a lack of temporary housing for cleanup workers, and gaps in insurance coverage.
With 22 casinos up and running and more on the way, Macau is a mishmash of cultures, topped with the glitz of Las Vegas. In 2005, 100,000 Americans visited Macau and tourism executives are working vigorously to boost those numbers. That means refurbishing old hotels, building new ones and creating other attractions, such as shopping malls and entertainment complexes.
Phone charges used to be a big revenue generator for hotels, but now that most travelers carry mobile phones, they hardly pull in any money at all. Phone charges were once "a huge moneymaker," but now "make almost zero" for hotels, according to Joe McInerney, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
The Unite Here Local 5 union for hotel workers has come to a contract agreement with the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa in Waikiki. The contract represents "an era of better understanding and cooperation," one Hilton representative said, and it is expected to set a precedent for other major Hawaii hotel contracts.