Vol. 7 No. 248 About   |   Contact   |   Advertise October 10, 2018
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Hurricane Michael making haste toward Florida panhandle
Storm is expected to be near a category 4 when it makes landfall
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Hurricane Michael as seen from space.
WITH HURRICANE MICHAEL due for a surprise appearance in two days, employees at Baywood Hotels’ Wingate Inn in Destin, Florida, Tuesday were laying sandbags around the hotel’s first-floor entrances. The hotel was directly in the storm’s path.

“We’ve closed the shutters,” Baywood Hotels CEO Al Patel said. “’We’re battening down the hatches.”

They also were evacuating the remainder of the Wingate’s guests, Patel said, and would shut the hotel down after they had left for safety. “We’re going to get everyone evacuated and make sure they can move on.”
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INSIDERS
Insiders Joan Bottarini will assume Hyatt Hotels Corp.’s chief financial officer position after Patrick Grismer steps down next month. Bottarini is currently the company’s senior vice president of finance for the Americas.
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Brand News
Brand News


Shreem Capital on Oct. 1 opened the first GLō, Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ new upper-midscale brand. The 75-room boutique hotel is in DeSoto, Texas, a 15-minute drive along Interstate 35 to downtown Dallas.
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NUMBERS
Numbers
3.6 percent 

The increase in total RevPAR for U.S. hotels in August, according to data tracking firm HotStats. However, a dip in non-rooms revenue, primarily F&B, left the TRevPAR rate at $226.75, the lowest for the year and lower than $232.20 for January.
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Ascent Hospitality buys Chattanoogan Hotel for $27M
The 198-room luxury property, previously owned by the city of Chattanooga, will join Curio Collection by Hilton after extensive renovation
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Ascent Hospitality has acquired the 198-room Chattanoogan Hotel for $27 million.
ASCENT HOSPITALITY OF Buford, Georgia, has bought a luxury independent hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The company, of which Nash Patel is CEO, announced on Oct. 8 it had closed on the $27 million acquisition of The Chattanoogan Hotel. The city of Chattanooga had previously owned the asset, which opened in 2001.
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Pennsylvania hotel converts to full solar power
The Marriott property built a 135,200-square-foot solar system on a nearby warehouse
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The 133-room Courtyard Lancaster in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, received a $504,900 grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority through the Solar Energy Program to complete its massive solar array.
IN A MASSIVE investment in sustainability, Marriott International’s Courtyard Lancaster in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has gone 100 percent solar powered. Accomplishing that required the installation of a 135,200-square-foot solar system on a warehouse roof half a mile from the 133-room hotel.

The hotel is the first branded property in the U.S. to convert to 100 percent solar power, the company said. “The Courtyard Lancaster’s solar array installation is a concrete step forward to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize our impact on the environment,” said Denise Naguib, Marriott’s vice president of sustainability and supplier diversity. “Working in collaboration with our hotels, owners, guests and associates, we will sustain responsible operations in order to meet the ambitious goals set as part of Marriott International’s sustainability and social impact platform, Serve360, and continue doing good in every direction.” Read More...
 

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Patel | Stilwell law firm is dissolving
Founding partner will still defend some from ADA lawsuits
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Darshan Patel has started the Law Offices of Darshan Patel, APC, to continue to provide representation for a limited number of clients.
Patel | Stilwell, the San Diego-based law firm that defended numerous hoteliers against Americans with Disabilities Act related lawsuits, is dissolving. However, founding partner Darshan Patel, who plans to focus more of his attention on other investments in South America and the Pacific Rim, will still represent some clients in his scaled-down individual practice.

Patel formed the firm with Andrew Stilwell in October 2016 with the goal of defending hoteliers against ADA lawsuits. “As many of you know, we were very successful in not rolling over to the unscrupulous lawyers on the other side,” Patel said.

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GRAPHIC OF DAY
Survey: Travelers not yet comfortable with ‘chatbots’
Graphic
TEXT AND ONLINE chats are fine with many travelers for handling various parts of their trips, including contacting a hotel front desk or concierge, according to a survey by Phocuswright. However, there was a limit to the respondents’ enthusiasm, and it stopped at talking with “chatbots.”

Using chatbots, or “computer-powered assistants,” was comfortable for less than 50 percent of the travelers in the Phocuswright survey. That may change as the technology behind chatbots improves, Phocuswright said in a release.

Currently chatbots are either stateless, meaning they do not keep track of a conversation but rather answer questions as they come
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