The National Air and Space Museum receives a generous donation, urban hotel markets are still struggling, and HD announces the 2021 Wave of the Future honorees. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
Report sheds light on the state of urban hotel markets
Earlier this month, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released a sobering report confirming that 21 of the top 25 U.S. hotel markets remain in a depression or recession. Although there has been an increase in leisure travel as of late, business and group travel, which accounts for the hotel industry’s largest stream of revenue, is expected to take much longer to rebound. Urban markets have been hit the hardest—with RevPAR down 52 percent from $149.80 in May 2019 to $72.04 in May 2021. According to the survey, the seven hotel markets in a depression are San Francisco, Boston, Washington DC, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and Minneapolis.
An unmatched airport lounge experience at LAX
The ultra-luxury private airport terminal PS at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will soon add a social lounge to its offerings, reports Travel + Leisure. The Salon will be available for PS members and non-members over the age of 21 to enjoy for $695 per person, per visit beginning July 31st. In addition to ample space and comfort in a stylish environment courtesy of interior designer Cliff Fong, those heading to or from the Salon are chauffeured via a plush BMW. “We decided early on that adding a social lounge experience would be an enhancement for those traveling alone or on business,” says co-CEO and founder Joshua Gausman. “Providing a beautiful environment with great (and included) food and drinks where you can meet others made a lot of sense.”
The Smithsonian Institution receives largest donation in its history
Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos has opened his checkbook and donated a staggering $200 million to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. The donation, which was announced on Wednesday, is the largest philanthropic gift the Smithsonian Institute has received in its 175-year history, according to the New York Times. The museum will allot $70 million to help with its renovation, while $130 million will be devoted to constructing a new education center that will be called the Bezos Learning Center. “Every child is born with great potential, and it’s inspiration that unlocks that potential,” Bezos, also the founder of rocket company Blue Origin, said in a statement. “My love affair with science, invention, and space did that for me, and I hope this gift does that for others.”
Car rentals are the top travel segment pushing U.S. inflation
New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that travel price inflation is contributing to driving up the national inflation rate, reports Skift. The inflation rate, which hit 5.4 percent as of June, is at its highest monthly level in 13 years. Furthermore, car rental is the travel segment driving numbers up most—with an 87 percent year-over-year change. Car and truck rental prices have risen 76.25 percent from June 2019 to June 2021. The bureau’s numbers also show that a price hike in domestic air travel and hotel stays is also adding to inflation numbers.
Meet HD’s 2021 Wave of the Future class!
For nearly two decades, Hospitality Design (HD) magazine has annually honored a group of designers, architects, brand executives, and owners who are young enough to be considered visionary but tested enough to be accomplished as our Wave of the Future. With their keen attention to detail, ability to adapt to changing times, and desire to question the status quo, this year’s 10 honorees are helping to reshape the future of design. Honorees will be featured in HD and celebrated during the HD NextGen Forum on October 18th and 19th in New Orleans. Learn more about the 2021 class here.