Hotel Denim in Greensboro, N.C., is living up to its name and the rich history of its fabric, with decor, locally produced amenities and cocktails all carrying the theme. The new boutique property is near the headquarters of Kontoor Brands, parent of Wrangler and Lee, and it celebrates Levi Strauss & Co. as well for its former manufacturing presence in the city.
Hotel group Accor hotel group will invest $357 million in a dual-brand 14-story hotel that's part of a revitalization project in the UK's Newcastle area. Accor expects to begin work this spring on the property, which will house more than 300 rooms.
Luxury hotel developers are expected to continue a trend of including condos in the mix as a profit booster and hedge against risk. The pandemic didn't deter expansion of very high-end brands such as Waldorf-Astoria, Four Seasons and Raffles, which saw parent Accor launch 17 mixed-use projects across its portfolio last year.
A Puerto Rican resort has claimed a travel niche, helping travelers celebrate milestone that were canceled due to the pandemic. Fairmont El San Juan Hotel has a special team to help plan weddings, honeymoons, anniversaries and other notable occasions.
The 600-room Watson Hotel in Manhattan has been acquired by Yellowstone Real Estate Investments for approximately $175 million after the property's owner defaulted on a loan, according to sources. Yellowstone also acquired the ground lease for the hotel in one of the largest hospitality deals since the start of he pandemic.
From the wellness-centered SCP Hotel Colorado Springs to Virginia's Tides Inn Resort and Marina with its $3.6 million restoration project for Chesapeake Bay, five getaways command special notice for meeting growing consumer concern for the planet. The list also includes a wildlife refuge in New Mexico and a California hotel kitchen that sends guests off to help at local farms.
Wine educator and Slik Wines founder Kyla Peal takes note of how restaurants' plans to reopen during the pandemic should also focus on how to make the industry more equitable, "which means allowing employees, especially Black and brown ones, to flourish within the establishment," said Peal. "It's not only important to have a diverse group working in the restaurant -- it's also about getting them into positions of management and giving them space to reimagine how the restaurant functions," she added.
Hilton has shared its plan to hit 25% racial diversity in leadership positions by 2027, with initiatives that include having 50% of interview candidates for any given open position coming from diverse backgrounds. "Our vision is to have fully inclusive and diverse teams," said Chief Human Resource and Executive Vice President Officer Laura Fuentes. "It's not like we want to get to 25% [ethnic diversity in leadership] and stop there."
Sheila Johnson, the first Black woman to become a billionaire in the US, has built her career on encouraging the hiring of Black people in hospitality (as owner of Salamander Hotels & Resorts), entertainment (as co-founder of the BET Network) and sports (as part-owner of three Washington, D.C., pro sports franchises). Lifting up others is in her DNA, she says, noting that "[t]here are a lot of billionaires, multi-billionaires, trillionaires, but it's what they do with their lives and how they give back to the community [that matters]."
US hotel and room openings in the first quarter of this year were the most numerous in the world, but construction volume persisted in declining against pre-pandemic levels, STR reports. The US opened 220 properties with 26,057 rooms in the three months, while Japan, Australia and the UK each added only around 2,000 rooms.
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