Updates from the Hospitality World: Airbnb, Wyndham and Others

Airbnb COO Leaves Position Amid $100 Million Quarterly Loss
Home-sharing company Airbnb lost $100 million in Q2 2019 compared with a $10 million profit in the same period a year earlier, reported The Information. Meanwhile, Chief Operating Officer Belinda Johnson will be exiting her post in March, according to a company statement. Johnson, who joined Airbnb as general counsel in 2011 but has served as chief operating officer for less than two years, cited personal reasons for the move.

Worker Who Warned of Doomed New Orleans Hotel, to be Deported
A construction worker who warned his supervisors about safety concerns, including asymmetrical building measurements and uncured concrete too weak to support weight, before the doomed Hard Rock collapsed on October 12, is set to be deported to his native Honduras on Monday, according to Nola.com. The hotel collapse killed three and injured dozens.

Delmer Joel Ramírez Palma said construction managers from the King Company allegedly told him to ignore the issues, according to Mary Yanik, senior staff attorney at the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, an advocacy group. The New Orleans worker has lived in the city for 18 years.

Japanese Hotel Offers $1 a Night Stay in Exchange for Live Streaming
Asahi Ryokan, a hotel in the Japanese city of Fukuoka, is offering a deeply discounted rate of $1 per night for guests if they allow the hotel to live stream their stay, according to CNN. The live streaming does not include using the bathroom, which is outside the range of the table-mounted camera, and the guests are permitted to turn out the lights during sleep.  

Former President Obama Says the Hampton Inn is his Favorite Hotel Because of its Simplicity
Former President Barack Obama told a group at a conference in Atlanta that sometimes he’d rather check in to a Hampton Inn than a fancy presidential suite, according to Fox News. And the reason is as relatable as any: the lights are simpler.

“Before I go to bed, [I] go from room to room to turn off all the lights, and there are a bunch of different lamps, and sometimes they hide where the light switches are because they want to make them look really cool,” Obama said at a conference hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council. “And it might take me 15 minutes to shut down, where if I was just in the Hampton Inn, there’s like one light switch, one bathroom door, and the bed, and the TV remote; I’m good.”

Wyndham Q3 Earnings Beat Expectations
Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Inc. reported third-quarter earnings of $45 million, according to Hotel Management.

The company said it had net income of 47 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for nonrecurring costs and costs related to mergers and acquisitions, were $1.10 per share. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The hotel and resort chain posted revenue of $560 million in the period, missing Street forecasts.

Wyndham shares have increased 14% since the beginning of the year. The stock has climbed 13% in the last 12 months.

The company noted that the drop in net income reflected contract-termination expenses and transaction-related items. Previous-year results included separation-related and transaction-related expenses associated with the company’s spin-off and acquisition of La Quinta.

Third-quarter earnings benefited from higher royalty and franchise fees and other revenues, as well as increased synergies from the acquisition and integration of La Quinta, partially offset by higher marketing expenses. 

The increase in adjusted EBITDA, meanwhile, primarily reflected higher fee revenues and increased synergies from the acquisition and integration of La Quinta.