Please excuse the cigar smoke. I just got out of the virtual board-room in my head and it was kind of stuffy in there. The big chiefs seem to like it that way.
So, we were discussing where to go next with our plans for the hotel industry. Looking back, we’ve made good progress. We started low-key, just filching a few chocolate croissants in our serviettes at breakfast. Then we had a bit of a fumble with the chamber-maids in the laundry room which was fun if a bit gratuitous (not you Olga, you’re special!). And then we implemented rate parity to completely pervert the market and take away pricing and distribution potential from the hotels. What next?
A few Bourbons later and we got it. Wait until the economic downturn leaves a few chains limping behind the rest of the herd and then pounce on them. Maybe start with a couple of fawns and then work over the extended family.
In this week’s New York Times, in an article entitled ‘After a Rough Night, Hotel Investors Are Waking Up’, we see that ‘Blackstone teamed up with two other private equity players in May to acquire the Extended Stay hotel chain out of bankruptcy court’. Tasty and a good side-dish for the company’s earlier acquisition of Hilton. And the outlook is equally good. It seems there is no shortage of chains weighed down by heavy debt.
Commenting for the New York Times, Ted Mandigo, a hospitality consultant, says many targets look ripe. “It’s a matter of getting in there early and trying to beat the bidding war,” he says.
If the going remains good we might just have enough hotels in each city to enable us to set the prices ourselves. The Holy Grail is coming our way.
It seems that the plan is coming together nicely. All we need to do now is keep out of the sights of the competition-bureau gamekeepers and that pesky self-righteous evangelist over in England. Maybe we should duck back into the laundry room. Olga, where are you sweetheart?