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Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Costa Concordia, has launched legal action to get his job back, nine months after the luxury cruise liner capsized with the loss of 32 lives.
Captain Francesco Schettino is also claiming back pay, after it emerged that he had been dismissed by Costa Cruises, the company that owns the Concordia, in July. "Costa Crociere confirms that it has concluded the disciplinary procedure against Schettino, following the sinking of the Costa Concordia, ordering his dismissal," the company said in a statement. The captain has claimed that he managed to save lives on the night of the disaster by steering the listing ship so that it sank in shallows off the coast of Tuscany, rather than in open water, reports the Daily Telegraph. He has said that many more lives would have been lost had he not made the manoeuvre as the ship began to take on water after a rocky shoal tore a massive rip in its hull. He is expected to appear for a court hearing next week at which he is expected to be sent to trial.
Due to the number of guest requests for information on New York City's more than 3,000 food trucks, Thompson Hotels' New York concierges have joined forces to create a dedicated "food truck concierge."
The food truck concierge aims to help guests navigate and locate the city's mobile food sources, which include the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck, Rickshaw Dumpling Truck and Tacos Morelos, among many others. The food truck concierge can advise on the exact locations and cooking times of trucks across New York as well as downloading a food truck app directly to guests' smartphones.
The luxury segment experienced the largest increases in all three key performance metrics during the week of 30 September-6 October 2012, according to data from STR.
The segment's occupancy rose 8.4% to 78.6%, its average daily rate increased 6.3% to $288.78 and its revenue per available room grew 15.3% to $227.02. Overall, the U.S. hotel industry's occupancy rose 2% to 65.6%, ADR was up 5% to $110.01 and RevPAR increased 7.2% to $72.17. None of the chain-scale segments reported decreases in any of the key metrics during the week. Among the top 25 Markets, New Orleans rose 17.8% in occupancy to 81.2%, reporting the largest increase in that metric. Nashville, Tennessee, followed with a 13.1% increase to 72.4%. Miami-Hialeah reported the largest occupancy decrease, falling 6.1% to 70.1%. Chicago ended the week with the largest ADR increase, rising 14.8% to $154.11, followed by San Francisco/San Mateo (+11.8% to $250.70), and Oahu Island, Hawaii (+11% to $184.34). Dallas fell 5.2% to $91.27 in ADR, posting the largest decrease in that metric. Six markets achieved RevPAR increases of more than 20%: New Orleans (+29.7% to $116); Chicago (+25.9% to $122.28); Seattle (+24.1% to $93.27); Denver (+23.6% to $83.50); Nashville (+21% to $75.69); and Houston (+20.8% to $67.78). Miami-Hialeah fell 8.8% in RevPAR to $99.08, posting the largest decrease in that metric.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts have appointed Toni Hinterstoisser as general manager of Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht. Originally from Berlin, the forty-year-old brings more than twenty years of international hospitality experience to Amsterdam. Hinterstoisser started his hospitality career in 1991 as an apprentice at the InterContinental Hotel Berlin, while also performing additional assignments at other InterContinental Hotels in Germany. In 1996 he graduated from the University Centre "César Ritz" in Switzerland and the University of Massachusetts in America, after which he became Restaurant Manager at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels. In 1998 he switched-over to Hyatt, where he was appointed as conventions and catering manager and contributed to the opening of the Grand Hyatt Berlin. Seized by the unique service concept of Hyatt, Hinterstoisser occupied various management positions for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. He served among others as assistant director of food and beverage at Grand Hyatt Beijing, director of food and beverage at Park Hyatt Tokyo and, subsequently, became executive assistant manager at Park Hyatt Zurich in 2005, where under his leadership, the hotel's signature restaurant Parkhuus achieved a 14-point ranking in Gault Millau, one of France's most influential food guides. At the end of 2008, Hinterstoisser made the journey to North America where as a general manager, he opened one of the first Andaz hotels: Andaz Wall Street in New York.
Kevin Speidel has been named area managing director for Hilton Worldwide Hotels & Resorts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A 25-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Speidel most recently served as managing director for two of the Waldorf Astoria brands historic resorts, Casa Marina and The Reach, in Key West, Florida. In his new position, Speidel will directly manage the day-to-day operations of the 598-guest room Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina as well as coordinate hotel operations between five management properties in the area, which include Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina; Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort; GALLERYone, a DoubleTree Suites by Hilton; Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach, a DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Fort Lauderdale. Speidel began his career in 1987 at the Somerset Marriott as an intern, before he was promoted to assistant housekeeper at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. In 1991, Speidel started his journey south as director of front office and services at the Marriott at Sawgrass before his first tour of duty at the Casa Marina and The Reach in 1993 as resident manager, a position he held until 1995. From 1996 to 2003, he worked for Interstate Hotels Corporate where he held key management positions in Rhode Island, Hawaii, Pittsburgh and Miami before beginning his area director post at Casa Marina and The Reach in 2003.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
The Gettysburg Hotel is preparing to undergo a multi-million dollar renovation expected to finish in early spring, 2013. The hotel was established in 1797 and is owned by Gettysburg College. The renovations aim to maintain the historic integrity of the property, and the property will remain open while the renovations take place. Changes to the 119-room property will be present in all areas of the hotel, including the guestrooms, meeting and banquet space, lobby and the restaurant. The lobby space will receive a fireplace, communal table, televisions as well as other added technology. Additionally, an expansion to the existing tavern space and a new dining outlet will be added. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and the hotel is planning to finish renovations in time to celebrate.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announced the grand opening of The Westin New York Grand Central. The new hotel opens in the former New York Helmsley Hotel after the completion of a $75 million renovation. The brand's second Manhattan hotel features a complete redesign of the hotel's interior including 774 guestrooms, more than 12,000 square feet of meeting space, a 3,000-square-foot WestinWORKOUT fitness studio and the upcoming addition of THE LCL: Bar & Kitchen, NYC, the first bar and food concept from Gerber Group in a Westin property.
Cobblestone Hotels along with the City of Rugby, North Dakota celebrated the ground breaking of it's twelfth Cobblestone Inn and Suites today. "Rugby, North Dakota is the perfect community for Cobblestone to expand into" says Brian Wogernese, President of Cobblestone Hotels. "As one of the fastest growing hotel brands in the United States we focus on small communities that have a great need for upper-midscale lodging. Communities like Rugby, North Dakota welcome us with open arms and are a joy to work with." The Cobblestone Inn and Suites is to be located at 402 Highway 2 East, will feature 36 guest rooms, with amenities such as microwaves and refrigerators, coffee service, free high speed internet, and flat panel televisions in each room. The Cobblestone Inn and Suites will also feature an on-site cocktail lounge (C Lounge), exercise equipment, guest laundry facility, an outdoor grill area, and convenience store.
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