November 1, 2021
Independent hotels in the UK have seen their options limited over the past decade. Branded hotels, particularly in the budget sector, are now the majority and are looking for faltering properties to take over and bring into their portfolios. At the same time the rise of the sharing economy has meant that any building can become a hotel overnight. Independent hotels can get lost amongst the noise.
The pandemic has only added to this marginalisation, with hotels seeing revenues and occupancy cut to nothing and, as the end of government support nears and there is no clear vision on the future for corporate and international travel, selling or conversion to one of the big brands seems like the only option.
The approaching winter brings with it increased VAT, rising energy costs, rising staffing costs, and faltering supply lines. Many hoteliers are starting to question whether they can endure another year and these concerns mean that many sector observers are expecting a slew of properties onto the market.
Some operators will require immediate higher cash flow to avoid insolvency and eventual sale, while administrators, investment houses, financial institutions and developers who take over an underperforming independent hotel will need skilled asset management with a global demand engine to rapidly rebuild local hotel business segments.
Under the pairing, Hospitality Associates will provide asset management, including operations and benchmarking, while Magnuson Hotels will provide the branding, distribution, and highly skilled revenue management team.
The alliance has been created to support independent hotels with their innovation, growth ambitions and passion for the sector but without expensive PIPs, without becoming another cookie-cutter hotel paying fees on every aspect of the business and without excessive spending just to let people know you exist.
Thomas Magnuson, CEO, Magnuson Hotels, said: “We’re not here to take over, we’re here to help, to magnify the performance and uniqueness of each independent hotel asset. We are here to help you grow, but without expensive PIPs, and a true focus on regaining the dream and momentum of the original grand opening.
“It is very easy for independent hotels to get into a silo, to lose touch with their competitive set and become complacent; not noticing the cracked wallpaper, the cracked teapot, the little things. When hotels are struggling, they must look at how they can increase revenue, increase distribution and reduce costs.”
Stephen Miles, director, Hospitality Associates, commented: “It doesn’t always cost money, we’re not going to come in and tell owners that they need to invest thousands of pounds. Sometimes it can be as simple as cutting down the menu. It’s far better to do eight things well than 30 things badly.
“We know what it means to be at the coalface of operations, we have come up the ranks from front line to senior leadership and we have learned that top-down management is not effective. You need to be able to encourage everyone on the team to step up to the plate at times like these and people want to, if they can see you know what you’re doing.”
Kevin Haygarth, director, Hospitality Associates, added: “We’re here to increase the yield for the investor, it’s not just the rooms, it’s the experience. There is huge value to getting your incremental spend up. One can change their revenue stream overnight if one changes their mindset.”
For more information, please visit www.magnusonhotelsworldwide.com/HA-MH.
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