Insights Collective weekly briefing


          It has been a discouraging week. The U.S. recorded more than 3,600 deaths on Wednesday, shattering the previous record. We surpassed 17 million known cases. And we set a national case record, with more than 245,000 new infections.  The South is on a worrisome trajectory. Georgia, Arkansas and South Carolina have all set weekly case records. We continue to see rapid improvement in much of theMidwest and Mountain West. Iowa is adding fewer than half the cases it was at its November peak. South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming are all seeing sustained declines in cases. Tennesseeis identifying cases at the highest per capita rate in the country. Source: New York Times 

          And why is that important [Insights Collective] On a hopeful note, the first doses of the Pfizervaccine have been shipped across the country. We know from industry research that The first two groups to receive doses of the vaccine will be front line health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Most American’s will have access to the vaccine by mid-2021.  



           Vail Resorts is eliminating commissions on lift tickets and ski lessons booked for the upcoming holidays and other high-traffic dates. The resort cited pandemic-related capacity limits at ski resorts in announcing the new policy in an email to travel advisors and wholesale partners. Vail Resorts has told travel advisors that this should be a one-time thing, and commission will go back to normal next season assuming Covid is less of an issue. Source: Travel Weekly 

          And why is that important [Insights Collective] It’s certainly a precedent for many travel advisors to have the ski resorts impose blackout dates for commissions on lift tickets and lessons.  The general issue is that the mountain has to limit the number of people on a given day.  Many of the early-season days have already hit capacity.  Vail Resorts promises this should be a one-time thing, and commission will go back to normal next season. 



          Retail sales decreased 1.1 percent from October to November.  This is the first-time retail spending has fallen in seven months. The coronavirus pandemic has led to new business restrictions, limiting consumer holiday shopping.  Over the five-day stretch that includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, people spent on average less than $312 on holiday-related purchases, a 14% year-over-year decrease. Source: Wall Street Journal / Census Bureau 

          And why is that important [Insights Collective] Anywhere there are crowds, people stayed away from.  With a resurgence of positive cases, and a full six-months until a vaccine is widely distributed, the Fall decrease is likely to persist into Spring 2021. 



           Crown Plaza Orlando is one of three hotels in prime theme park territory that have recently headed to the auction block. The property is worth $45 million. Two other hotels near theme parks are also going through the auction process, a Comfort Inn and the Grand Hotel at Celebration in Kissimmee.  The Grand Hotel saw a high bid of just $7.5 million, far short of the anticipated $12 million the property owner was aiming to achieve. Source: Fox 35 Orlando  

          And why is that important [Insights Collective] — Hotels hitting the auction block were easy to predict, and we hope readers see this development as a testament to the resiliency of the industry.  Individual business owners and investment groups purchase properties and aim to operate them profitability. If they can’t, new business owners and investment groups swoop in and try to make a profit themselves. We’d be more concerned if these properties sat vacant or had no bids, which wasn’t the case in Orlando.  



           Restaurants are teaming with hotels to offer indoor dining in isolated spaces of unused hotel rooms.  Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Café, for example, has created individual dining experiences in the AKA University City hotel, located 23 floors above the restaurant in the same mixed-use space. The three-course dinner at what is dubbed “Walnut Suite Cafe” goes for $65, plus a $50 room charge to keep the space for three hours.  The room charge can also be used a credit for a future night at the hotel. Source:Bloomberg 

          And why is that important [Insights Collective] Necessity is the mother of invention! Hotels and restaurants each need revenue, but current restrictions are preventing that from taking place.  This also introduces the concept that the highest and best use for a hotel room may not be for sleeping, which puts a whole new spin on what constitutes ‘mixed-used development’.