NEW YORK—Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has completed its spin-off from Wyndham Worldwide Corporation.

Wyndham Worldwide will now be known as Wyndham Destinations. Executives from Wyndham Hotels and Resorts celebrated the milestone by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday to kick off the 40th Annual NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.

The company also completed its acquisition of La Quinta, which adds 900 franchised midscale hotels and nearly 89,000 rooms to its portfolio.   

“It’s created tremendous value for our shareholders,” Geoff Ballotti, chief executive officer of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts says of the spin-off. “We’re the world’s largest hotel franchiser which is growing at a record clip with a strong portfolio of well-known brands. We’re going to continue what we are doing in terms of growth, in terms of providing consumers with more choice and options.”  

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts has nearly 9,000 hotels across more than 80 countries on six continents.  

The company has 20 hotel brands, including Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada, La Quinta, Wingate, and Wyndham.

Ballotti says the company will continue to look at opportunities to acquire more brands.

“We’re a company that has grown through acquisitions,” Ballotti says. “We’ve acquired a brand every 18 months. We’re looking to continue that.”

Wyndham this week also announced that members of its Wyndham Rewards loyalty program and of La Quinta Returns will get a one-to-one transfer of points between the two programs and a complimentary status match. 

Wyndham Rewards has more than 56 million members while La Quinta Returns has more than 13 million.

Caesars Entertainment expands its global reach

Caesars Entertainment this week announced plans to franchise four of its brands from Las Vegas–Caesars Palace, Flamingo, The Cromwell, and The LINQ.   

“Our unmatched experience collaborating with celebrity chefs and entertainers is an especially appealing differentiator to potential partners looking to carve out hospitality niches in gateway cities and resort destination,” Mark Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said in a written statement.

Caesars Entertainment has already committed to brand and manage two luxury hotels and a beach club at the Dubai-based Bluewaters Island development. In late 2018, Bluewaters Island is expected to become home to Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and Caesars Bluewaters Dubai. They will become Caesars Entertainment’s first non-gaming resorts.

Caesars also recently announced plans to bring a non-gaming Caesars Palace resort to the coast of Puerto Los Cabos, Mexico.

Caesars now has 47 properties. Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards loyalty program has 55 million members.

Loews Hotels eyes growth

Loews Hotels and Company, small by industry standards with 24 hotels, is making big moves.

The company is focusing on opening hotels at destinations that have sports stadiums or theme parks.

Already, Loews has a big presence in Orlando, with Loews Royal Pacific Resort and Loews Portofino Bay.

The next Orlando partnership between Loews and Universal Orlando is set to open in August. Universal’s Aventura Hotel will appeal to younger travelers—those Millennials in their early 20s and 30s who are starting to get more purchasing power.

Loews is also in the midst of creating a $150 million flagship hotel, Live! by Loews-Arlington, Tex., that will be located between the Texas’ Rangers Globe Life Park and the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium.

The hotel, set to open in 2019, will be part of Texas Live!, the $250 million dining, entertainment and hospitality destination being developed by the The Cordish Companies, the Texas Rangers baseball team and the City of Arlington.

Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews, is also co-owner of the New York Giants. Tisch, speaking with USA TODAY at the conference, says he is keenly aware of the irony of it all. He says he and the Dallas Cowboys leadership are friends and colleagues.

“I think it’s great that a co-owner of the New York Giants is building a hotel in the shadow of the AT&T Stadium were the Dallas Cowboys play,” he says.

Loews is also building a hotel in St. Louis’ Ballpark Village, adjacent to the Busch Stadium. The hotel will debut as Live! by Loews – St. Louis, Mo., also a partnership between Loews Hotels and The Cordish Companies. The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team is also part of the development.

The company is looking into entering other similar destinations such as Memphis.

Loews has also started construction on a $325 million, 800-room Loews convention hotel in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. The company is building model guest rooms within the convention center.

Tisch says that unlike his company’s competitors, he is focused on building properties vs. acquiring them.

“We’re not going to grow through acquisitions,” he says.

Alex Tisch, chief commercial and development officer for Loews, says doing such projects near immersive destinations is a plus for the company. They can partner with the stadiums or theme parks to provide guests with perks such as discounted admission.

“We have a really good competitive edge,” he says.

AccorHotels considers buying a stake in Air France KLM

AccorHotels, Europe’s largest hotel company by room numbers, is considering taking a minority stake in AirFrance KLM, its CEO Sébastien Bazin confirmed at the NYU conference after France’s Les Echos newspapers reported the development.

Bazin declined to elaborate on the negotiations.

“We are clearly assessing the feasibility of conditions and pricing,” Bazin said during a press conference. 

But, he added, “it’s very early stages.”

He said there could be synergies between the loyalty programs as the two companies cater to the same clients. 

The move could mean a more seamless partnership between the companies’ two loyalty programs. AccorHotels has 41 million loyalty members while Air France’s Flying Blue has 15 million.


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