FROM THE EDITORS
By Eric Stoessel
Extended Stay Hotels has flown under the radar as a hotel company the past five years, only making news when the Lightstone Group bought the 683-property company for $8 billion in 2007, and the ensuing aftermath with the not-so-surprising bankruptcy two years later. The price of the hedge fund’s leveraged buyout, even at the peak of the market, caught many industry observers by surprise.
Centerbridge Partners, Paulson & Co. and Blackstone Group (the company that sold Extended Stay to Lightstone in the first place) bought the company at a bankruptcy auction in 2010 for almost $4 billion.
Through it all, veteran Gary DeLapp has led the company as CEO, until news broke yesterday evening that former Starbucks CEO Jim Donald was immediately replacing DeLapp as CEO. Read more.
By Ed Watkins
Upscale extended-stay chain Homewood Suites recently introduced a next-generation prototype that’s smaller and less expensive to build than previous incarnations of the product. The Gen 9 prototype, which is currently being rolled out for new projects, gives developers an opportunity to build Homewoods on slightly smaller or oddly shaped land parcels. Read more.
By Ray Burger, Pineapple Hospitality
One of my favorite authors is Malcolm Gladwell, who among other books wrote The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. As Malcolm adeptly put it, the “tipping point” is that magical moment when an idea, trend or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Another definition of tipping point is “the point at which the buildup of minor incidents reaches a level that causes most to do something they had formerly resisted.”
By Paris Wolfe
In September 2010 Virgin Group announced the launch of a four-star, lifestyle hotel company—Virgin Hotels. Its first planned property, the Virgin Hotel Chicago, opens three years later in fall of 2013.
Brand company executives discuss the state of the hotel industry after the Americas Lodging Investment Summit. Click here for the video.
TODAY'S TOP READS
The Latest Hotel News From Newspapers, Magazines and Websites:
Strategic Hotels’ Share Price Rises on Earnings
Questions Raised Regarding Romney’s Time on Marriott Board
Former L.A. Drug Den Set to be Boutique Hotel
Police Search for Missing Hotel Association Exec
Click here for more Top Reads
• Best Western International unveils new booking capability allowing travelers to reserve rooms on the company's Facebook page.
• Starwood will open 20 Sheratons this year. Twelve will be in China, including its largest, a 4,000-room property in Macao.
• January was great for U.S. hotels, according to STR. Occupancy went up 4.1% to 49.4%. ADR rose 3.9%, while RevPAR climbed 8.1%. New Orleans led RevPAR with an increase of 32.1%
Follow hotel news as it happens with Lodging Hospitality on Twitter.
ON THE ITINERARY
La Quinta Conference
Hilton New Orleans Riverside
HSMAI Adrian Awards Gala
Marriott Marquis, New York
6th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo
Hyatt Regency San Francisco
HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy Conference
Marriott Marquis, New York
Council on Hotel and Restaurant Training (CHART)
Semi-Annual Hospitality Training Conference
Renaissance Austin (TX)
Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Spring Trade Expo
Ocean City (MD) Convention Center
Hotel Association of Canada Conference
Sheraton Centre Toronto
Digital Signage Expo
Las Vegas Convention Center
Click here to see the schedule for 2012.