We’re bringing together the biggest venue news of the month, in one convenient place. Do you have any advice? Get in touch!
In case you missed it
On BizBash this month, we’ve rounded up exciting new event spaces across the country, including Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Nashville, New Orleans and New York. We also spotted 12 unique locations around the world available for group buyouts, visited six properties that offer pickleball courts for team building, and learned how Georgia’s Barnsley Resort brings Southern flair to events. company.
Looking for more hospitality industry news? BizBash editors also recently met with executives from Accor, who discussed the rise of bleisure travel, and the Four Seasons, who provided a behind-the-scenes look at the luxury group’s creative rebranding. . Meanwhile, longtime hospitality professional Lisa Messina, now the first-ever sales manager for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, shared her insights from her work at one of the nation’s top tourist destinations. Photo: David Newman
Here are four more things you should know this month…
1. IMEX America is currently ending in Las Vegas.
The annual trade show for the global meetings, events and incentive travel industry tends to attract a who’s-who of global destinations, who flood the show with eye-catching booths and interactive activities. We’ll bring you more news from the show next week, but so far reports coming out of the event are showing positive signs for the venue sector.
Several exciting new event spaces have been announced, including a $100 million renovation of the 2.1 million square foot Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, where the show is currently taking place; updates will include technology upgrades, digital signage and an all-new design, all of which are slated to debut in 2024.
Another notable announcement? The Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s new 50,000 square foot luxury event center is scheduled to open in early 2025 adjacent to the hotel. It will include two divisible ballrooms, 10 breakout rooms and a 9,000 square foot rooftop terrace, adding to the hotel’s existing 200,000 square feet of event space. Rendering: Courtesy of Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Various DMOs and CVBs also sounded optimistic during their IMEX announcements, including NYC & Company, which announced 800,000 group nights expected on the books through the end of this year. The bureau also reported that the city’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center is experiencing an upsurge in events, with a 14% increase in bookings from September to December compared to the same period last year.
2. Global hotel occupancy has officially surpassed pre-pandemic levels, but staffing issues remain a major problem.
The positive news from IMEX might not surprise those who have seen the latest data from travel agency Amadeus. The company’s Agency360 and Demand360 data sources show strong indicators of recovery for the remainder of 2022. In fact, for summer 2022, global hotel occupancy averaged nearly 70%, an increase of 5% compared to summer 2022. 2019.
When it comes to group travel, data shows group occupancy is consistently between 1-2% of pre-pandemic levels for the remainder of 2022 as the conference industry begins to rebound; Data from Amadeus also shows that group bookings are starting to stretch with more confidence into 2023, with 4.3 million bookings already made for the start of 2023.
However, challenges remain. According to a new member survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), 87% of hotels are still experiencing staffing shortages. Hotels are looking at higher wages, more flexible hours and expanded benefits to try to recruit employees; national average hotel wages for 2022 now hover around $22 an hour, higher than any year on record.
The AHLA Foundation is also extending its multi-channel advertising campaign to publicize career paths in the hotel industry; Click here for more information. “Today’s tight job market creates unprecedented career opportunities for current and potential hotel employees, and AHLA and the AHLA Foundation are working tirelessly to get the word out,” said the AHLA President and CEO, Chip Rogers. “With salaries, benefits, flexibility and upward mobility at historic levels, there has never been a better time to work in a hotel.”
3. Sustainability remains in the foreground.
This column has reported on innovative sustainability-focused measures several times in the past – and the news just keeps coming in as more venues take drastic steps to go green. Last month, for example, the 377-room Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver eliminated all non-essential single-use plastics from its property, earning North America’s first single-use plastic-free certification from from GreenStep Solutions Inc, based in British Columbia. Photo: Courtesy of Fairmont Pacific Rim
Meanwhile, Universal EV Chargers, a division of Universal Green Group, recently secured nearly $10 million in government green power grants to help the hospitality industry and other businesses deliver services. electric vehicle (EV) charging. “Hospitality businesses like hotels are excellent sites for EV charging stations because they are located where people travel and offer multiple desirable amenities for EV drivers,” said Hemal Doshi, CEO of Universal Green Group, in a press release. “We’ve worked extensively with hotels over the past decade to install their solar panels, and our understanding of their business models and operational needs has largely informed our strategy.”
4. Sonesta unveiled what it calls “an experiential meeting space concept.”
This week, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, one of the fastest growing hospitality companies in the United States, unveiled Sonesta Work Suite, a new multi-zone meeting space concept designed to enhance collaboration. Developed based on customer feedback and accommodating up to 50 people, multi-zone designs offer distinct spaces for working (with seating that promotes brainstorming and head-down working), socializing (with lounge that encourage relaxation and social connection), and recharge (areas dedicated to catering and refreshment).
Interactive and experiential elements include puzzles, brain teasers, anti-stress novelties and other visual enhancements that spark creativity and spark conversations. There are also in-suite dining programs, as well as user-friendly technology solutions to enhance collaboration. Meeting spaces, which can be booked by the hour, are currently available at Sonesta Irvine in California. The concept will roll out across the country in the coming year.