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WASHINGTON (August 18, 2020) – A new national report shows  that the hotel industry is facing a historic wave of foreclosures as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to devastate small business hotel owners and its workforce. Since the beginning of the pandemic the hotel segment has faced a historic number of delinquencies and is the most heavily hit sector of the commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market. Nearly 4,000 hotel industry leaders sent an urgent letter to Congress urging immediate action to help hotels avoid foreclosure and the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.

The report, compiled by Trepp, shows that the percentage of loans that is 30 or more days delinquent is 23.4 percent as of last month—the highest percentage on record. By comparison, the percentage of hotel loans that were 30 or more days delinquent at the end of 2019 was 1.3 percent.

From a financial perspective, the report shows that $20.6 billion in hotel CMBS loans were 30 or more days delinquent as of July, compared to $1.15 billion as of December 2019. The highest volume of delinquent hotel loans during the Great Financial Crisis was $13.5 billion. The current percentage of loans that are delinquent now exceeds the highest level during the Great Financial Crisis by 53 percent.

In the letter sent to Congress today, nearly 4,000 hotel industry leaders implored Congress to swiftly enact the HOPE Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Van Taylor (R-Texas), Al Lawson (D-Fla.), and Andy Barr (R-Ky.), intended to provide assistance to small businesses that operate in the ailing commercial real estate market.

“With record low travel demand, thousands of hotels can’t afford to pay their commercial mortgages and are facing foreclosure with the harsh reality of having to close their doors permanently. Tens of thousands of hotel employees will lose their jobs and small business industries that depend on these hotels to drive local tourism and economic activity will likely face a similar fate,” stated Chip Rogers, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). “The hotel industry strongly supports The HOPE Act to give struggling small business hotels an opportunity to keep their doors open and avoid foreclosure. We urge the immediate passage of this legislation so America’s tourism industry can survive and recover when the public health crisis subsides.”

Rogers said the HOPE Act would address the unique challenges of commercial real estate.  It would provide commercial property owners the temporary liquidity they need to keep their doors open in exchange for a preferred equity interest in the property. The legislation would not require any new funding and would utilize existing appropriations from the CARES Act Economic Stabilization Fund.

Other major hotel industry leaders expressed an urgency for Congress to step up to help struggling hotel businesses before it is too late. 

“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is decimating the travel and tourism sector - especially small businesses like hotels. That’s why we need Congress to provide hotel owners with real relief that addresses the needs of small businesses with commercial real estate assets,” said Cecil Staton, President and CEO of AAHOA. “Hoteliers are responsible for millions of jobs in communities across the nation, but unless Congress acts, there may not be businesses left for those workers to return to at the end of this pandemic. We are optimistic that the HOPE Act will help hoteliers to address the debt crisis facing the lodging industry, and save good American jobs and small businesses.”

“Our hotel industry has been devastated by the effects of COVID-19. The financial assistance through the HOPE Preferred Equity lending facility would provide relief and could help stimulate the economic situation in communities throughout the United States,” said Lynette Montoya, President and CEO of the Latino Hotel Association (LHA).

“The HOPE Act is essential in helping provide hotel owners with liquidity when we need it most and will serve to help keep businesses open, thus saving local jobs,” said Andy Ingraham, President and CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators, and Developers (NABHOOD).

 
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MARKHAM, ONTARIO,August 18, 2020Safety and security are top of mind for hotel operators as they strive to protect their staff amidst today’s challenging and ever-changing travel landscape. Maestro PMS, hospitality’s leading provider of cloud hosted, private cloud and on-premise property-management systems for independent and luxury resorts, conference centers, vacation rentals, and multi-property groups, is enabling guests to self-serve from their phone, tablet or desktop, and this digitalization of the stay experience is helping hoteliers prioritize their workers’ health.

“Technology should not be designed to make hospitality inhospitable; instead it should be leveraged to grant guests the freedom to engage with the hotel in ways that are more personal to them and protective to staff,” said Warren Dehan, Maestro president. “While guest safety is key to preserving the permanency of the travel industry, operators must not forget that employees are deserving of the same attention and protections — after all, these workers’ are putting their wellbeing and livelihoods at risk just by coming to work each day. Hotels looking to reopen or that are continuing to operate during this pandemic must create a safety culture that motivates their associates to come to work. Tools and features within the Maestro PMS assist in making that happen.”

Maestro is aiding with employee safety in the following ways:

  1. Curbside and Mobile Check In/Out, Mobile Key and More

Not everyone is comfortable doing business in the digital world. For that reason, Maestro has developed a curbside check-in tool utilizing mobile tablet devices to streamline registration while properly socially distancing staff from guests, and guests from each other. Hotel valets wearing masks and gloves can easily check guests in while they remain comfortably in their vehicles and before they are instructed to self-park. This alleviates congestion and frustration at the front desk and enables management to limit the number of front desk workers per shift. With curbside check in, valets can offer the option of a mobile key (through Maestro PMS integration to a host of door access solutions) or a newly-encoded plastic room key presented to them in a safety sleeve — both of which limit the scope of interaction with staff while providing direct service.

Additional modules and third-party vendor integration solutions including web/mobile/kiosk/iPad self check-in with mobile key integration, express mobile check-out, electronic reg card with signature capture, mobile spa provider schedule, mobile intake and waiver forms, and eSignature document management also limit staff interaction with guests and remove high-touch physical documents. All help drive satisfaction and convenience from the moment travelers enter the property or their rooms. Maestro’s SMS/text-based communication platform ensures that hotel-to-guest messages are instant  since they go directly to personal mobile devices — a format guests are most comfortable with and that drives engagement and revenues.

  1. 48-Hour Housekeeping

Housekeepers are always interacting with guests or their belongings in the room. For this reason, Maestro developed a mobile housekeeping app that protects staff by controlling the availability of rooms and setting a 48-hour time gap between the time a guest departs and the next guest arrives. This means housekeepers do not have to enter a previously occupied room until it sits vacant for 48 hours ensuring that contaminants are contained and have had time to dissipate before disinfecting and sterilizing surfaces. Adopting a 48-hour housekeeping practice will have a big impact on containing virus spread and mitigating risk for employees. It also helps management send an important message to staff that their well-being is a top priority.

  1. Mobile Payment + POS Integration

Staff safety guidelines are not limited to the front desk and rooms. Restaurant workers also need to take precautions when engaging with diners. Recently, Maestro PMS and SilverWare POS unveiled a new, customizable, mobile tableside ordering and payment platform to extend social distancing procedures to dining areas. Through this integration partnership, rather than having a server orchestrate every step of the dining experience, restaurant patrons can scan a QR code at the table to upload a digital menu, order meals, split the check, add a tip, and pay via their personal mobile devices or post charges directly to the hotel room. With all transactional data shared between the hotel’s SilverWare point of sale and Maestro PMS, staff can remain at a distance until their assistance is needed tableside. The In-Seat Contactless Platform replicates the elevated dining experience of a luxury or boutique hotel restaurant, but it is driven through the diner’s mobile device to minimize wait staff interaction and remove physical touch points.

  1. Guest Engagement Measurement

Because social distancing between staff and guests is mandatory today, digital communication is more important than ever before. Maestro’s Guest Engagement Measurement (GEM) tool provides seamless, real-time integration with instant access to relevant guest feedback, intelligence and insights to encourage operational excellence, meaningful differentiation, and a sustainable competitive advantage. GEM facilitates digitally customized feedback surveys while guests are inhouse and after departure and serves as a web administration portal, a response tracking tool, and a robust reporting system. Within GEM and supported integrations, an automated welcome message can be sent via text to guests shortly after check-in and prompt guests to use text messaging from their own devices to communicate any need to the hotel team. Should a guest have a health or safety related issue, he or she can also request help through their device without putting workers at physical risk. Enabling travelers to “use their own devices” will provide a safer environment for everyone.

  1. Mobile Task Management

Maestro’s workorder management module supports the operational activities of the teams responsible for maintenance and repair. By digitalizing workflow and task management, hoteliers can limit exposure of engineers and other visiting vendors and schedule repairs at times that are optimal for social distancing. Maestro’s task management module improves internal communications and operating efficiencies by automating messages and updates related to the status of guest rooms and public spaces. Ensuring operating departments, front desk, housekeeping and maintenance are all functioning cohesively and keeping guests apprised of their requests digitally will further limit direct contact and help keep workers safe.

“The lines between using technology for convenience and ensuring contactless guest engagement post pandemic are crossing,” Dehan said. “Maestro, as a PMS company and a hospitality technology developer, has an obligation to meet needs of its hotel customers in all things that are important to them — and for most that includes employee safety. As new demand comes about, whether its mainstream or due to the pandemic, Maestro can provide a technology solution that solves an immediate need. We are always ready to listen and quickly innovate to ensure that each hotel owner’s investment and their valued human resources are protected for the long term.

“Today we are seeing an unprecedented adoption rate of mobile technologies, and unfortunately, we have the pandemic to thank for that; solutions that hoteliers were once cautiously optimistic about are now wanted top-of-mind,” he said. “Before investing in any solutions, operators should weigh the employee safety benefits of the technology in addition to its ability to enhance the guest experience. It’s hotel leaders’ responsibility to provide the tools their teams need to make safety a reality. Maestro is here to help.”

 
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Calgary, AB – August 11, 2020 – WebRezPro cloud property management system (PMS) by World Web Technologies Inc. (WWT) announces integration with Key Data Dashboard, the leading aggregator of vacation rental market data around the world.

Hotels and resorts need clear visibility into their entire competitive space. In leisure markets, and increasingly in urban markets, vacation rentals are winning a larger share of the overall lodging spend. Hotels that have historically priced only on comparative hotel data are now turning to sources to better understand how to compete and price against these alternative accommodations.

This partnership with Key Data provides hoteliers with clear visibility into short-term rental data in the markets they operate in.

“We are excited to work with WebRezPro to deepen our growing footprint into the hotel and resort space,” said Jason Sprenkle, CEO of Key Data. “WebRezPro’s clients span a diverse and growing set of the leading operators across a mix of hotel, resort, and vacation rental platforms. Their data can add tremendous value to our overall dataset, and in turn we feel confident that we can bring tremendous value to their clients.”

The integration between Key Data Dashboard and WebRezPro PMS allows WebRezPro to automatically share real-time booking data that feeds into Key Data’s in-depth yet easy-to-understand visual reports, saving clients hours of pulling, organizing and analyzing data from various sources.

“Our partnership with Key Data Dashboard supports our goal to provide our customers with time-saving, practical solutions that help them grow revenue and their businesses,” commented Frank Verhagen, President at WWT. “Business intelligence tools are key to making strategic business decisions, especially in a highly competitive market like vacation rentals—and especially now as businesses learn to operate in the wake of COVID-19. Directly integrating WebRezPro PMS data with their Key Data Dashboard will provide property managers with accurate real-time data for sharper insights, and will save significant time compiling reports.”

 
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TORONTO, ON, Aug. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Days Inns Canada today announced the release of its G3 prototype, giving franchisees an economical and contemporary roadmap for new-construction, accompanied by a level of support unprecedented in the business. 


Leveraging the latest trends and owner insights, the designed-in-Canada G3 blueprint features flexible layouts that integrate comfort and innovation to elevate the guest experience and profitability for owners, developers and investors. 


"To offer a revitalized hotel model, we needed to give our franchisees a floor plan that is cost-conscious and brand consistent," said Irwin Prince, President & COO, Realstar Hospitality. "Combining an attention-grabbing exterior with no-nonsense, attractive and functional interiors, G3 builds on the strong foundations of our earlier prototypes and complements our recently introduced Northern Dawn guest room refresh."


The new archetype includes a four-storey exterior façade that is sleek and incorporates a flat-roof design. The interior affords configuration and maintenance efficiencies inspired by consultations with existing owners and operators. An open lobby creates an inviting and welcoming space upon arrival. Wall-mounted headboards and desks maximize the in-room area, coupled with attractive colour schemes, abstract wall art and a modernized casegoods package that blends aesthetic appeal with purpose and versatility.


"Now more than ever, we know that it is essential to increase business to maintain financial viability. We have been working on resourceful ways and turn-key packages to move the brand forward even in challenging economic times," added Prince. 


There are presently 115 independently owned & operated Days Inn hotels in Canada with another five in the pipeline.

 
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TORONTO, ON (August 11, 2020) –With great pain and sorrow, Realstar Hospitality advises of the recent passing of Ron Grant, hospitality industry veteran and former Regional Director of Franchise Development, Western Canada.

"We are shocked and deeply saddened," said Irwin Prince, President & COO of Realstar Hospitality. "Ron's passion and knowledge of the industry were inspirational to everyone who knew him."

Having retired at the end of last year, during Ron's 25 years with Realstar Hospitality, he focused on the development of the Days Inn and Motel 6 brands in Western Canada. Throughout his 50 years in the hospitality industry, Ron developed countless friendships across the country, a testament to his love of people, travel and the hotel business.

Ron passed away on July 31, 2020, at the age of 70, while at his cottage near Sudbury, Ontario, a sanctuary on the lake where he enjoyed spending summers.

He will be deeply missed by his wife Dianne, daughter Samantha, son-in-law Luke, grandchildren Alexandria, Hunter and Ruby Kate, son Carson, daughter-in-law Brandi, and grandson Calvin, many nieces and nephews, extended family in Ontario and numerous business associates.

 

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