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Hotel News In Brief
Some current conversation starters…
Two men arriving at the Moon Nightclub last March asked an employee to help them find women willing to have sex with them.
Cost wasn't a concern, the customers said. The nightclub host complied. The cost to the Palms Casino Resort will be more than $1 million in fines and fees to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The men being offered prostitutes and drugs by nightclub hosts, security guards and bottle runners turned out to be undercover officers. The Gaming Control Board today detailed the activity in a 17-count complaint involving Moon, the former Rain and Ghostbar nightclubs, along with the Ditch Fridays pool parties. The Palms has agreed to pay the fines, while overhauling its security staff and club operations. "We are deeply concerned and disappointed about the matters outlined in the complaint as they are not consistent with the values of our company and Nine Group nor do they demonstrate the environment we want and intend to provide for our employees, guests and community, and we are resolved to address these problems comprehensively and decisively," the Palms said in a statement. The incidents in the complaint happened before the Palms took over ownership of the Nine Group, which manages nightlife, restaurants and the pools at the casino. Resort officials said the change allows the Palms greater control over employees in the clubs and its pool.
The former owner of the Courtyard New York Manhattan/Upper East Side has filed a US$400 million lawsuit against Marriott International, alleging the hotel company conspired with labor unions to drive up costs at the property while leaving other Marriott hotels in New York City non-unionized.
Madison 92nd Street Associates LLC alleges that under the agreement between Marriott International, Bethesda, Maryland, and the New York Hotel and Motor Trades Council, AFL-CIO, the hotel’s operating costs increased by US$2 million annually. The property went bankrupt in 2011. The legal dispute between Marriott and Madison 92nd Street Associates LLC is long-standing, as the former hotel owner first filed a lawsuit against the hotel’s operator, Marriott subsidiary Courtyard Management Corp. for negligent management in 2009. Madison 92nd Street Associates LLC alleges it was assured by Marriott that the hotel would not become unionized.
Whole World Water, a social enterprise supporting access to safe and clean water, is set to launch on March 22, World Water Day.
The model encourages spas, hotels, resorts and restaurants to filter, bottle and sell their own water and contribute 10% of the proceeds to the Whole World Water Fund, which benefits clean and safe water programs around the world. Whole World Water was founded in 2012 by documentary filmmaker Karena Albers and Jenifer Willig, former CEO of the (RED) campaign. ClimateCare will manage the fund, and an exclusive bottle created by product designer Yves Behar and fuseproject will serve as the icon for the campaign. Members pay an annual membership fee of US$1,000 per property. The fee will fund a multimedia marketing campaign that includes a social media platform, global events and a feature-length documentary film. Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Hotels, Banyan Tree, Auberge du Soleil, Tao Restaurant Group, The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte, The Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe, Oberoi Hotels and Resorts, Dusit Hotels and Resorts, JetWing Hotels, The Ranch at Live Oak Malibu and Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas have joined the campaign. “Since 2008, Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas have banned imported water in favor of bottling its own filtered water. Revenues were contributed to clean drinking water initiatives whose work has meant water access for over 600,000 people previously denied,” said Sonu Shivdasani, founding member of Whole World Water. “Our resorts have proved that this solution works.” Whole World Water is aiming to align with 1,000 members by the launch of the campaign in March. More information about the initiative, including how to become a member, is available on the Whole World Water website.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments…
The billionaire New York hedge fund manager who led the $225 million bankruptcy buyout of Trump Entertainment Resorts is resigning as the casino company's chairman of the board. Marc Lasry, chairman and chief executive officer of Avenue Capital Group, announced Friday evening he will leave the Trump Entertainment board of directors on Feb. 28. Bob Griffin, who serves as president and CEO of Trump Entertainment, will replace Lasry as company chairman. "Trump Entertainment has made marked progress since reorganizing, which provides me with the opportunity to step down as chairman," Lasry said in a statement issued by the company. Avenue Capital, the biggest investor in Trump Entertainment, has three representatives on the company's board of directors, including Lasry. Michael Elkins, a portfolio manager at Avenue Capital, will take Lasry's place on the board.
Mr Kapil Chopra has been appointed as President, The Oberoi Group. Mr. Chopra will be responsible for all The Oberoi and Trident Hotels in India. An alumni of The Oberoi Centre for Learning and Development (OCLD), Mr. Chopra's experience as a hotelier spans over 19 years. Most recently, Mr. Chopra was the Executive Vice President of the Group and was instrumental in opening the two flagship properties - The Oberoi and Trident in Gurgaon. Mr. Chopra was also voted "Hotelier of the year" by Hindustan Times in 2012. The Oberoi Group was voted 'World's Leading Luxury Hotel Brand' by the World Travel Awards in 2012. Furthermore, under Mr. Chopra's leadership, The Oberoi, Gurgaon was voted 'World's Leading Luxury Hotel' by the World Travel Awards for the second consecutive year in 2012.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Oslo has been robbed of the mundane, and the entire city is buzzing with excitement. The offender is none other than THE THIEF, the city’s first waterfront hotel, opened January 9 on the islet of Tjuvholmen, Scandinavia’s most exciting urban renewal project. Thanks to a collaboration with the new Astrup Fearnley Museum and the hotel’s own curator, an enviable collection of contemporary art graces the hotel’s 119 rooms and public spaces. THE THIEF’s owner Petter A. Stordalen had a vision to create fantastic experiences without compromising the world around it. As such, an array of sustainable initiatives, from efficient solutions to reduce energy and water consumption to individual climate zones in each of the guestrooms, meets the finest in design, architecture and gastronomy at THE THIEF, the culprit of a truly perfect crime.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation today announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Qingdao, introducing the Hyatt Regency brand to China’s booming coastal city in the Shandong province. Hyatt Regency Qingdao will be the first upscale urban resort in northern China with an idyllic ocean setting.
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, achieved strong growth in India in 2012 with 13 hotel openings and 13 new signings, sealing its position as the number one international hotel operator in India by number of hotels and earning industry accolades along the way. Carlson Rezidor closed the year with a total India portfolio of 63 hotels in operation and 44 hotels in development. The 13 hotel openings in India in 2012 have also helped Carlson Rezidor to score several “firsts”. The Group saw the opening of its first Radisson Blu hotels in Ahmedabad, Ghaziabad, Jaipur and Nagpur, as well as the establishment of the Group’s first hotels in Hyderabad and Kandla.
Choice Hotels International has added 46 hotels to its family of brands under the Quality Inn, Comfort Inn and Econo Lodge flags. This is Choice's largest single conversion transaction, with the exception of brand acquisitions.
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