Channel District Hotel Set To Begin Construction

Construction of the Hotel Indigo in the Channel District of Tampa is set to begin before the end of the year.
The $29 million, 168-room Hotel Indigo will be located at Meridian, Cumberland and 11th streets near the Florida Aquarium.
We are ready and have loan commitments, and all indications are we are moving forward,” said Ford Smith, president of Tampa-based BayStar Hotel Group.
There are 27 other Hotel Indigos across the United States, with six in Florida and one each in Canada, Mexico and England.
The hotel will be a beautiful and luxurious one, with hardwood floors and area rugs in guestrooms, and a tone setting lobby with a surfboard-shaped check-in rather than the conventional lobby desks.
Each Indigo Hotel tends to have elements that set it apart from the others, but all implement the “Golden Mean” or “Phi,” a concept from the year 1200 that involves ratios of numbers that contribute to pleasant eye patterns.
The hotel should create 50 new jobs, as well as the 150 to 200 jobs created for the construction project.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Will Grow in 2009
With over 25 hotels and 10,000 guestrooms lined up in development projects, the Fairmont Hotel & Resorts will continue its aggressive growth strategy into 2009.
Their impressive portfolio of luxury hotels includes locations such as the famous Plaza Hotel in New York City, the Fairmont Mayakoba in Mexico City and the Fairmont Singapore.
2009 holds a variety of projects for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts including expansion into rapidly growing markets in Saudi Arabaia and China. Before the end of 2009, eleven new hotels will open their doors, including the 222-room Fairmont Beijing and 150-room Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston’s historic North End.
Overall the chain will expand by 3,700 guestrooms in locations as varied as Kenya, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.
September Drops in RevPAR and Occupancy
The US Hotel industry has posted year-over year declines in both RevPAR and Room Occupancy rates for September 2008, according to reports form STR.
Occupancy in September fell 5.9 percent to 60.6 percent, compared to 2007’s 64.5 percent. RevPAR for the month was down as well, decling 3.1% to $65.08 from September 2007’s $67.13.
Some markets still performed well, including New Orleans with a +20.2 percent revPAR, Denver with a +12.3 percent revPAR, New York with +8.4 percent revPAR and Dallas with +6.4 percent revPAR.
The stalwart San Francisco market also reported gains of +8.4 percent in revPAR for the month.
Overall, however, the industry faced a very difficult third quarter in 2008, with revPAR growth moving into negative territoy for the first time since the second quarter of 1993.
“We expect a continued difficult operating environment in the final quarter of 2008. Room supply growth will continue while demand growth (roomnights sold) likely will remain soft in many markets, driven by slowing economic growth.”- Bobby Bowers, STR Senior Vice President of Operations
Middle East Hot Spot for Top Level Hotel Professionals
While worse news is digested daily by Western hospitality companies and hotel franchises, eyes have turned towards the Middle East for a glimmer of hope and a rosier picture.
Dubai, the capital of hotel management companies in the Middle East, continues to astound with their unprecedented success story and growing market share. Hoteliers have long been fleeing to set up shop in Dubai, where they enjoy tax-free salaries, a superior quality of life and the plentitude of career opportunities.
While overall salaries for VPs of development and other high ranking officers in Hotel companies are equal to or less than their counterparts across the world, there are quite a few hidden perks.
First, they keep the 40% that would otherwise be eaten by taxes. Second, they usually have housing provided as they are working there as expats. Putting the numbers together, a position today in Dubai is, in all ways, quite a good deal.
It remains to be seen how much the current crisis will work its way into the Middle East market, but for now they seem quite prepared to weather this financial nightmare. Jumps 21% in Profits
Utell Hotels & Resorts reported a 21% increase in revenue to hotels between January and August 2008 on offers more than 6,000 independent, boutique and small group hotels in 2,000 cities around the world, and averages stays of 2.8 days and an average increase of £8 per night in booking rates compared to 2007.
Even with economic trends on a downward spiral, the operation was able to post a respectable profit.
“We’ve further developed hotelbook this year to enable the independent and boutique hotels represented to better reach travellers globally seeking a unique and personalised experience,” said Wimborne. “The revenue results are evidence that our campaigns are delivering for both hotels and customers.”