Hotel Michel Angelo Thu, 06 Jan 2022 14:16:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Hotel Michel Angelo 32 32 Hoteliers are redefining flexibility to meet the challenges of work Thu, 06 Jan 2022 14:16:29 +0000

The performance of the US hospitality industry improved steadily in 2021 amid increased demand, especially from leisure travelers, but the industry’s workforce has not rebounded to the same pace relative to pandemic lows.

As lockdowns lifted, travel restrictions eased and the economy strengthened, hoteliers capitalized on new travel demand, but struggled to bring staff levels back to what ‘they were before the layoffs and time off at the start of the pandemic.

As 2022 approaches, the industry continues to face calls for higher wages, better benefits and more career opportunities amidst labor shortages in the industry. nationwide in which all other employers are a competitor.

The leisure and hospitality sectors of the economy have been hit hardest by the jobs crisis, according to Aran Ryan, director of accommodation analysis at Tourism Economics. Employers in the industry have laid off nearly 50% of the workforce and continue to face challenges despite some progress in recent hiring efforts, he said.

Many employees who left the industry after being made redundant or laid off weren’t waiting for their old hotel jobs to reopen, and some hotel employees who kept their jobs during the pandemic now want to do a change, he said.

At the same time, employers in the hospitality industry are unsure of how to staff their establishments, as demand varies by market and booking windows for clients remain short.

Service levels are likely to be adjusted as hotel managers seek to more productively use the available workforce, which will include more investment in technology and training, as well as a review of process, said Ryan.

“If we get through the year, we’ll come out with this productive and more valued workforce,” he said.

Prospective employees are looking for flexibility, which could mean working part-time, sharing a job with someone else, or working remotely, said Ann Christenson, executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Aimbridge Hospitality. .

“Companies that are flexible in the way they define it, how they respond to this need for flexibility, will certainly find that they all have the advantage when it comes to the war for talent,” he said. she declared.

While many companies reported high employee turnover in 2021, Christenson said Aimbridge’s turnover rate was 10% lower than in 2019. The company still has a significant number of job vacancies. employment but has focused more on retention efforts.

The challenge in 2022 is for people to look for something different from before – more than a job, potential employees want a sense of purpose and belonging, she said. Knowing this helps Aimbridge tailor its employee value proposition and engagement with associates, she said.

Sue Sanders, senior vice president of strategic planning and director of human resources at Hospitality Ventures Management Group, said employee retention has been particularly difficult for the company as it grows its hotel portfolio.

At a new hotel the company recently took over, the outgoing operator was not forthright about plans for staff, she said.

“We polled everyone and even offered them retention bonuses,” she said. “We couldn’t understand why people weren’t signing their deals and signing up. Lo and behold, a few days before the actual transition, we found out it was because the outgoing manager had another property in the area and was taking everyone there.

Some hotel workers are all leaving hotels and the service industry together, Sanders said.

“What surprised me is that … even at a very high level someone will resign without notice or on very short notice,” she said. “I’ve never seen this before in my career.”

HVMG mainly stabilized its workforce in August, with enough associates to match its activity levels, Sanders said. The company has added 14 hotels since July, keeping some staff at those properties and hiring to replace those who left during the transition.

The company has increased wages to match local market levels, she said. It also paid bonuses, granted raises and increased benefits. The payroll has gone up, but that’s because incomes have also gone up, she said.

“It will continue to cost us more, but we cannot operate unstaffed hotels,” she said.

Sanders attributed the company’s success in staffing to centralized efforts to find, assess and recruit hourly associates.

“I think it’s a differentiator, and it’s allowed us to stabilize and maintain that stability,” she said.

“We will certainly continue all that we have done in recruitment and retention, but then we are doubling our staff,” she added. “Developing our own leadership among managers has always been a priority, but this is the year in which we have already devoted more resources to it in the budgets, already in a plan to be implemented here at the beginning of 22”.

Aimbridge has seen an increase in the number of applicants over the past quarter as more people return to the workforce, including some who have left the industry, Christenson said.

These “boomerang” employees have a passion for hospitality, and Aimbridge gives them a sense of belonging while investing in their career advancement, she said.

The daily pay, or concert pay, that Aimbridge implemented in 2021 gave employees access to more than $ 2 million in pay before regular pay periods, Christenson said, adding that it helped reduce staff turnover.

Aimbridge has also deployed recruiters in several key markets that have a higher number of openings, which has reduced the time it takes to fill vacancies by more than 60%, she said. The rapid response to applications has been essential in a context of stiff competition for new hires, she added.

“Having these market recruiters dedicated to this has really been one of the best investments we’ve made in our recruiting strategy,” she said.

Sanders said working with high schools and universities would create opportunities to show the benefits of a career in the hospitality industry. With this in mind, HVMG has created a strategic partnership with Kennesaw State University.

There are also opportunities to attract employees from other sectors.

Retail and restaurants are two of the industries most similar to hotels, and even with minimal customer experience, those employees could be trained to work at the front desk, Sanders said.

When recruiting in a market, Aimbridge considers all types of industries and organizations for new hires, Christenson said. That said, it focuses on industries where employees have experience with some form of service, such as healthcare, restaurants, and retail.

“Do you have a passion for people? Do you have a desire to make a difference in people’s lives? It doesn’t matter what industry you come from then if you have a passion for it. We can train you. great what we think we have to offer when it comes to hospitality, ”she said.

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Business people: January 5, 2021 Wed, 05 Jan 2022 20:38:26 +0000

Rosen retires from Benfint, Lyons and Shuman

Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, PA announced on December 31 the retirement of Jordon Rosen as Director of Estates and Trusts,

He is retiring after over 21 years at BLS and over 43 years in public accounting.!

Prior to joining BLS, Jordon was a partner in other CPA firms, but noted that Carolyn Fausnaugh of Carolyn J. Fausnaugh & Associates, PA had the greatest impact on his career. He credits Fausnaugh (one of the first female CPAs to have her own practice in Delaware) for bringing him to the state and serving as his mentor. He ended up owning a CPA practice when he finally bought half of his practice.

Jordon began his career at BLS on November 6, 2000, when he joined as a director with a focus in taxation. He was admitted as a shareholder and director on December 1, 2003 and then developed and developed a practice in matters of inheritance, donations and trusts. He was inducted into the NAEPC Estate Planning Hall of Fame in 2020.


Chesapeake announces executive promotions

Chesapeake Utilities Corp., Dover, announced the promotions of six executives of the company, effective January 1, 2022:

  • Jeff Sylvestre, promotion to the position of director of operations
  • Kevin Webber, promotion to director of development
  • Michael galtman, promotion to the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Accounting Officer
  • Mike Cassel, promotion to the position of Vice-President, Government and Regulatory Affairs
  • Stacie Roberts, promotion to the position of Vice-President, Corporate Governance
  • Lindsay Orr, promotion to Assistant Vice-President and Associate General Counsel

Sylvester will assume responsibility for all business operations of the company. This includes oversight of unregulated transactions in addition to current responsibilities for regulated segments of society. Its expanded role will include Propane Operations, Eight Flags and the operations of Marlin Gas Services.

In 2019, Sylvester was appointed Senior Vice President of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. He oversees the Company’s regulated operations in Delmarva and Florida.

Webber will focus more on developing and expanding new businesses, including in renewable energy. He will be responsible for business development, energy logistics, sales and the incubation of new business opportunities such as RNG, hydrogen and a new office for environmental sustainability. Webber was promoted to Senior Vice President of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation in 2019. He joined the company in 2010 and since then has served as President of the Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), as well as Vice President of Gas Operations and Business Development. for this subsidiary. Webber currently oversees propane gas operations, combined heat and power operations, mobile utility and compressed natural gas (CNG) pipeline solutions, and enterprise-wide business development.

Galtman was appointed Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation in April 2019. He oversees the company’s technical accounting, financial reporting, financial analysis and planning functions, which include budgeting, forecasting and the financial component of strategic planning. Galtman works directly with the Company’s management team on M&A transactions, strategic initiatives and associated financial analyzes. In his new role, he will oversee all accounting functions of the company and take on the role of Senior Accountant. He has over 20 years of accounting experience with public companies and the Big Four accounting firms.

Roberts will continue to be responsible for corporate governance at Chesapeake. Roberts has been an assistant vice president of corporate governance since 2019. Roberts provides advice to the company’s management team, including the board of directors, on corporate governance and compliance matters.

Orr will continue to help develop and expand the Company’s internal legal efforts. Orr joined Chesapeake Utilities Corporation in 2019 as Associate General Counsel and advises senior management and business units on the company’s legal affairs, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations, regulatory matters and major business transactions. . Prior to joining Chesapeake, Orr worked in the legal department of Exelon Corporation, and prior to that he practiced litigation and employment law at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP (now Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP) and Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, both in Wilmington.

Siegfried appointed vice-president of Arteisan

The Board of Directors of Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Artesian Resources Corporation, named Stanley siegfried Vice President of Wastewater Operations.

Siegfried has over 30 years of professional experience in the construction of utility plants.

Siegfried began his professional career in construction after graduating from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree. Siegfried became the owner of a construction company, to which Artesian contracted the construction of some of its wastewater treatment plants.

In 2018 he became Director of Wastewater Maintenance for Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc., and in 2020 he was promoted to Director of Wastewater Operations.

In his new role, Siegfried will manage future expansions and upgrades to Artesian’s wastewater systems and the rehabilitation of existing systems.

Belfint, Lyons appoints shareholder

Stephanie L. Chapman has been appointed shareholder of Belfint, Lyons & Shuman, PA (BLS) and director of the International Services Practice Group, effective January 1.

Stephanie celebrated her 12th birthday at BLS in May 2021. She started as a supervisor in the Tax & Small Business department in 2009. She brought with her several years of experience in other accounting firms in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, as well as Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Masters of Accounting, both from the University of West Florida.

Soon after joining the BLS family, Stephanie began to focus on building an international services practice which, along with other BLS members, accounts for 10% of the company’s revenue.

Chapman obtained an AICPA international tax certificate.

Haughton appointed Sales Director at Courtyard by Marriott Newark UD

Donielle Haughton as the new Director of Sales at Courtyard by Marriott Newark – University of Delaware Hotel. Ms. Haughton has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining us at the Marriott, she held the position of Director of Sales and Operations at Holiday Inn Express & Suites, where she was responsible for managing and overseeing the company’s sales, day-to-day functions and management. of hotel operations. Thanks to her contributions, the hotel has won the Torchbearer Award for three consecutive years, starting with Ms. Haughton in that role.

In her new role at Marriott, Ms. Haughton will be responsible for directing, planning and executing all sales-related initiatives and activities. She will also work closely with the Finance / Revenue team to generate financial projections.

Haughton holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with a minor in Finance from the University of Wilmington. Haughton won the Delaware Hotel and Lodging Association “Manager of the Year” award in 2019.

Bayhealth adds doctors

Bayhealth announced that two doctors have joined their practices.

Jonathan sarik, MD, is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is the most recent physician to join the team. He is accepting new patients at Bayhealth Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Sussex Campus, located in Milford. This practice is part of the Bayhealth Medical Group, a partnership of highly qualified physicians, their clinical staff, and an administrative support team that operates practices in central and southern Delaware.

Sarik graduated in medicine from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He then completed a General Surgery Residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was twice nominated for Excellence in Trauma Residency.

Bayhealth is delighted to welcome a gastroenterologist Michal bartel, MD, PhD, at Bayhealth Gastroenterology, Dover. Dr Bartel is a highly qualified medical specialist who helps patients with problems with the gastrointestinal system. In addition to performing common procedures like colonoscopies and endoscopies, it offers many advanced techniques to diagnose and treat a wide range of digestive system disorders. Bartel joins fellow gastroenterologists Bhavin Dave, MD, and Muhammad Hanafi, MD, as well as medical assistant Stephanie Nguyen, PA-C, in practice. Dr Bartel welcomes new patients.

The practice is part of the Bayhealth Medical Group.

Bartel comes to Bayhealth from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, where he was a gastroenterologist and therapeutic endoscopist. After graduating from Heidelberg University in Germany, he completed an internship in surgery and also worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Immunotherapy group. Subsequently, he did another internship and residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New NH. He then completed a Gastroenterology Fellowship and an Advanced Endoscopy Fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

ChristianaCare promotions

Carla Aponte Johnson has been appointed director of community health and social integration at ChristianaCare.

She is responsible for the oversight and growth of all integrated social care programs in the clinical space. In addition, she leads partnership work across the organization to ensure the integration of social care into new models of community care.

Aponte Johnson joined ChristianaCare in 2011. During this time she educated pregnant women and adults about diabetes as a community educator; led the Health Ambassador and Health Guide programs while implementing the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Market; and worked as a senior program manager to develop the inaugural team of community health workers. As a manager, she oversaw the growth of this program with over 40 full-time equivalents across multiple clinical sites.

Ashlee Rowles, MHA will assume operational and project leadership within ChristianaCare’s women’s and children’s services.

Rowles joined ChristianaCare in 2017 as an administrative researcher at the University of Iowa.

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🌱 Grace Lee participates in the assembly race + opening of the Moxy LES hotel in 2022 Wed, 05 Jan 2022 18:25:22 +0000

Rise and shine, Lower East Side-Chinatown! It’s your host Patrick Murray here with 3 titles to start your day.

First of all, the weather forecast for the day:

Mostly cloudy with a high of 39 and a low of 32.

Here are the best stories in the Lower East Side-Chinatown today:

  1. Community organizer and small business owner Grace Lee entered the state assembly race in the 65th Borough of Lower Manhattan. Lee enters the race with a lot of community support, including the endorsement of Aixa Torres; President of the Smith Houses Tenants Association. She named improving access to healthcare and COVID resources, ensuring small businesses thrive and tackling anti-Asian hatred among her top priorities if elected. (The village sun)
  2. The 303-floor Moxy Lower East Side set to open in 2022. The new hotel will offer contactless kiosk check-in, various technological equipment, a co-working space, a fitness center and three flexible meeting studios. (Welcome net)
  3. Read a rave review of the beloved local restaurant Dhamaka. the IIndian restaurant located in Essex Market caused a stir among the many exciting new restaurants on the Lower East Side. (Grub Street)

From our sponsor:

Hey Lower East Side-Chinatown, are you looking to buy a home, refinance, or just explore your choices? To verify the new Patch mortgage center for all your real estate financing needs!

Today in Lower East Side-Chinatown:

  • Screening “Dragon Inn” at The metrograph. (2:00 p.m.)
  • Screening of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” at The metrograph. (4.30 p.m.)
  • SESH Comedy, BYOB comedy club on the Lower East Side. (8:30 p.m.)

From my notebook:

  • Whimsy the Chihuahua, 9 years old, animal shelter has a lot of love to give! (Facebook)
  • 12 New York restaurants open in 2022, including one in Chinese district. (thrill)
  • 5 open doors to discover in the piece. (Lower East Side-Chinatown Patch)
  • the Lower East Side from 1985. (Facebook)

More from our sponsors – thank you for supporting the local news!


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Love the Lower East Side-Chinatown Daily? Here are all the ways to get more involved:

You are all caught up for today! I’ll see you soon.

Patrick murray

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The Massad House Hotel in downtown Richmond has closed after 60 years, but the new owners of the building plan to renovate and reopen the hotel | Economic news Wed, 05 Jan 2022 00:25:00 +0000

The Massad House Hotel, a staple in downtown Richmond for about 60 years, has closed.

But the plans of the new owners are to renovate the hotel, rename it and reopen it over the next year.

The four-story hotel building at 11 N. Fourth St., along with four other nearby buildings and three parking lots, was sold last week for $ 4.4 million.

An entity related to Douglas Development Corp., a Washington-based developer that owns significant real estate assets in downtown Richmond, has acquired the buildings and parking lots from the Massad family or its various business interests.

John Massad, 92, who used his savings to buy the hotel building in the early 1960s, said it was time to sell his real estate properties.

“It’s sad because I’ve been downtown for so long. There are a lot of memories there. But it was the right decision, ”said Massad. “I’m just exhausted. There comes a time to walk away. “

The 75-room hotel closed on Friday, he said.

The closure of the Massad House marks the end of a long history for the Massad family-owned hotel, said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism, the non-profit organization that provides services. to support the hotel industry in the region.

StageCoach Hotel and Casino in Beatty, Nevada Chooses CasinoTrac Management System Tue, 04 Jan 2022 17:04:00 +0000

MINNETONKA, Minnesota., January 4, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Table Trac, Inc. (OTCQX: TBTC) announces that it has signed an agreement and installed the CasinoTrac StageCoach Hotel and Casino management system located in Beatty, Nevada.

Chad Hoehne, President of Table Trac Inc, said, “As a last minute addition to our Nevada customers, we are delighted that The StageCoach Hotel and Casino has chosen and installed the CasinoTrac management system. Plus, I’m proud of our support team, for putting together a complete installation from start to finish in just two weeks. “

“We believe that the Casino Trac system will allow us to retain our existing customers while stimulating future growth for our customers. the installation went very smoothly and professionally. Thanks, Table Trac “, said Jim henderson, General manager.

About Table Trac, Inc.

Founded in 1995, Table Trac, Inc. designs, develops and sells casino management systems. CasinoTrac currently operates in casinos in 13 countries, including United States, central and South America, the Caribbean, and Australia. More information is available at

Forward-looking statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve numerous risks and uncertainties. Actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements due to certain factors, including those set forth in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For more information:
Robert siqveland
Table Trac, Inc.

SOURCE Table Trac, Inc.

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New federal law aims to end maddening surprise medical bills Mon, 03 Jan 2022 21:54:21 +0000

Ssay goodbye to surprise medical bills.

The federal No Surprises Law, which protects consumers with private health insurance by prohibiting most surprise bills from off-grid providers, came into effect on January 1.

In the past, many patients who received emergency care from a facility or doctor outside their network – or scheduled elective care involving an unemployed doctor – faced unexpected bills afterwards. their treatment. These bills often came from medical providers that were difficult (if not impossible) for patients to research ahead of time: you could do your homework and make sure your primary surgeon participated in your insurance plan, for example. example, only to have a non-participating anesthesiologist treat you before surgery.

But now those bills should be gone.

“Thanks to new rules to protect consumers, excessive reimbursable costs will be limited and emergency services must continue to be covered without any prior authorization, whether or not a supplier or installation is on the network.” , according to the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Some states have laws in place to protect consumers from surprise bills, but this is the first comprehensive federal legislation to address the subject.

Air ambulances are also included in the No Surprises Act, so there shouldn’t be any surprise bills if you need to be airlifted for medical treatment. Be warned, however, that ground ambulances are not included in the No Surprises Act. So, you might still face surprise medical bills if you need a traditional ambulance ride.

Lawsuits against medical providers are ongoing, but are unlikely to impact the ban on surprise bills. (If the lawsuits are successful, however, they could lead to increased health insurance premiums, according to the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.)

How common are surprise medical bills?

Previously, receiving a surprise bill from an off-grid provider after emergency care was common. Among privately insured patients, about one in five emergency claims and one in six hospitalizations in the network included at least one out-of-network bill, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported in 2021.

And two in three adults say they worry about unforeseen medical bills, which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, according to the foundation.

What if you receive a surprise medical bill?

In the past, out-of-network providers often billed patients directly. Then the patient should submit this off-grid claim to their insurance and collect any possible reimbursement, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Under the new law, providers must submit the off-grid surprise bill to the patient’s health insurance plan, which must then notify the doctor or hospital of the network’s cost-sharing amount for the claim. The health insurer will then send an upfront payment to the provider, and the patient will receive a explanation of benefits (a statement explaining what was covered and what the patient owes to the non-network provider).

Only after all this can the off-grid provider send an invoice to the patient. Importantly, the bill cannot exceed what you would have had if the providers had accepted your insurance, adds the Kaiser Family Foundation.

If you receive an invoice from a non-network supplier greater than the amount indicated in your explanation of services, you should ask your provider for a revised bill, according to the Center on Health Insurance Reforms. If this does not resolve the problem, file a complaint with the federal “No Surprises Help Desk”. in line or by phone at 1-800-985-3059.

Keep in mind that although federal law prohibits surprise billing, consumers are still responsible for all network costs – and figuring them out can still be complicated. For tips on how to cut medical bills, check out Money’s guide to saving money on medical bills, prescription drugs, and more.

More money :

Average COVID-19 hospital stay costs exceed $ 400,000 in some states: study

Healthcare Now Costs Retiring Couples $ 300,000, Latest Fidelity Estimate

How to Save Money on Prescription Drugs, Medical Bills, and Other Health Care Costs

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Commercial real estate could be on the verge of further lending growth in 2022 – Business Observer Mon, 03 Jan 2022 18:49:53 +0000

After the volume of commercial real estate loans rebounded after a difficult 2020, the number of transactions is expected to increase further this year in a climate of higher interest rates, according to industry experts with whom Commercial Observer spoke at. the end of 2021.

CRE’s total debt to commercial banks increased by $ 116 billion as of December 1, 2021, compared to 2020, when the market was largely at a standstill during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, figures show from data analytics firm Cred iQ. Private label securitization also increased in 2021, to $ 159 billion, from $ 63 billion in 2020, with Cred iQ estimating a slight increase to $ 161 billion for 2022.

ACORE Capital co-founder Warren de Haan predicts many positive winds behind CRE loans in 2022, assuming the omicron variant turns out to be just a short-term hurdle and given the high volume of transactions in the market. side of investment sales in 2021. His company plans to increase its lending business to around $ 10 billion in 2022, from $ 7 billion in 2021, and expects there to be an increase in lending. transaction activities at all levels of non-bank platforms.

“I expect 2022 to be a banner year on the investment sales side, and for us on the lending side, I think it will be a record year as well,” said de Haan. “Banks continue to face regulatory pressures, and debt funds – like ourselves – I think they will enjoy a greater share of the market.”

De Haan noted that there is now a record amount of dedicated capital for CRE from private capital, pension funds and foreign investment. A lot of capital was raised early in the pandemic, seeking distressed opportunities that in most cases never materialized, de Haan says, which he says means more money that never remains on the sidelines while waiting to be invested.

CBRE’s outlook for 2022 calls for high loan origination volume through 2022 as borrowers seek to lock in lower rates ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected monetary tightening policy. Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities (CMBS) issuance is expected to remain high this year due to investor appetite for higher yields if the Fed’s reduction in asset purchases is conducted in a manner that does not not disrupt credit markets, according to CBRE.

The Fed is expected to hike interest rates three times in 2022 to cope with rising inflation, a move that could prompt banks to become more aggressive on lending in order to increase net interest margins. De Haan cautioned, however, that lenders will need to be aware of the potential for these rising interest rates to negatively affect cap rates, which could lower the value of some properties.

“In general, as lenders, we build a lot of cushions into our underwriting to accommodate rising interest rates,” de Haan said. “We’re all somehow programmed to be a little more conservative than the equity folks.”

According to de Haan, around 80% of ACORE’s lending business is focused on acquisition finance, which he says will present a lot of opportunities in 2022 across a number of industries. Karen Ramos, head of mortgage syndications for the Americas at Crédit Agricole CIB, agreed that loan issuance in 2022 is expected to see year-over-year growth that is expected to equal or even exceed pre-market levels. pandemic, in large part thanks to borrowers seeking revaluations at lower margins. refinances executed in 2020. Ramos also noted that there is strong demand for acquisitions from real estate investment trusts, private companies and investment funds to strengthen balance sheets, as well as “continued pent-up demand.” from investors.

Interest rate hikes would push more borrowers to fund deals early in the year at lower rates, Ramos said. Following these increases, she expects lenders to continue their aggressive strategies with industrial and multi-family transactions and, to a lesser extent, office transactions. Lenders will be more cautious about hotel deals with higher rates and “very selective retail,” Ramos said.

Alternative lenders have dominated much of the CRE debt markets over the past year and this trend is expected to continue into 2022, according to CBRE, aided by life insurance companies finding value in many assets. multi-family and industrial. CBRE predicts that life insurance companies will remain active financiers this year, with some also selling portfolios to private equity firms, who tend to be more aggressive when it comes to yield.

This year could also see an increase in refinancing operations, particularly in the CMBS space. There are a number of agreements that were issued 10 years ago at much higher fixed interest rates, as a result of the last financial crisis, that will be repayable.

Alison Coen, senior managing director of Greystone’s CMBS lending group, expects a strong start to the market in 2022 due to low interest rates in the range of 3.25-3.75%. She expects CMBS duct volume alone to increase by around 20% this year.

“The timelines from 2012 are kind of a built-in floor for duct production this year, and they’ll go up from there,” Coen said. “While all types of properties will play a role, industry, self-storage and multi-family homes, when we can get it, will continue to be in favor. “

CBRE also expects another strong year for the multi-family sector – the darling of the commercial real estate world – in 2022, helped in large part by a growing range of debt options available to it from traditional credit sources. as well as debt funds and mortgage real estate investments. trusts. Incredibly liquid multi-family debt markets are likely to help stabilize and possibly compress cap rates even when interest rates rise, according to CBRE.

Solomon Garber, partner at non-bank lending platform Bridgeton Capital, said he expects record volume in the first half of 2022, before hot multi-family and industrial sectors start to cool slightly.

“I think you are going to see a peak of madness in pursuing the multi-family and the industrial; then at some point, maybe in the second half of the year, people start to go down and say maybe from an equity perspective, debt perspective, multi-family and manufacturers are getting overheated ” said Garber, who, before joining Bridgeton last October, managed the national rigs for North East Shore. “At some point, they have to withdraw and something has to give way. “

Michael Eglit, head of arrangements in the United States for Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies, foresees a “strengthening real estate fundamentals ”in 2022 that will help it leverage the $ 25 billion in global lending volume made in 2021. He said that in addition to growing transaction activity, Blackstone is finding more sources of capital, particularly in long-term fixed income securities. space.

“It would also not surprise us to see an increase in the volume of office and retail transactions as equity investors gain more clarity on the future of these asset classes and in some cases seek a return. higher, ”Eglit said.

Garber said the office market could be hit even harder in 2022, assuming remote work trends largely remain in place even as the pandemic subsides. He said that while Class A buildings in major markets may weather the storm due to holding long-term leases with large corporations, sponsors of smaller assets will face a much more difficult road in trying to receive financing for transactions.

“The big companies that control all these big markets like the Facebooks and the Google’s of the world, they’re going to take up more space because it’s such a small percentage of their overall budget and they want to meet the different needs of their customers. employees. ” Garber said. “There are going to be the haves and have nots and the weaker office buildings are going to die at a faster rate. You will begin to hear more of this story.

The hospitality industry will also face persistent challenges in 2022, with more sponsors needing debt than there are lenders willing to issue capital to struggling hotels. Garber noted the intense pain the accommodation industry still faces, with many hotels still falling short of pre-pandemic occupancy levels and room rates. This could cause many lenders to lose patience after giving some leeway in 2021.

Bridgeton is looking to fill part of that void with $ 350 million in funding slated for the first nine months of 2022, much of which will be dedicated to the hospitality industry. Garber’s platform was launched by hotel developer Bridgeton Holdings, which owns the Walker Hotels in Manhattan and the all-new Marram Montauk on Long Island.

ACORE also launched a billion dollar hotel rescue capital fund last February, intended to help some hotel borrowers hard hit by the pandemic. De Haan said hotel assets for which he believed there would be funding opportunities ended up recovering faster than expected. He pointed out that omicron, however, has the potential to disrupt the industry again in early 2022, with canceled reservations that would cause borrowers to need that bailout capital.

De Haan, for his part, predicts that lenders are likely to continue to be patient with hotel borrowers as long as they commit to contributing equity to troubled deals.

“I think as long as there is a lot of equity in the deal, as long as the borrower has continued to bring equity into their properties to support them, I think you will see the lenders playing the game. game, ”he said. “If the borrowers decide to stop investing equity and fund depleted reserves and things like that, I think you’ll see lenders start to hit their end of the line. “

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Why aren’t long-abandoned Japanese hotels being dismantled, even after the recent discovery of corpses? Mon, 03 Jan 2022 00:01:09 +0000

MIYAZAKI – An abandoned hotel in southwestern Japan where young people found a corpse entering the desolate ruins of a challenge that remains standing for more than a year after the corpse was found. This journalist was gradually able to discover why large buildings without a known owner are left untouched and neglected.

It all started in the ruins of a hotel in the town of Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture. At around 12:50 p.m. on April 15, 2020, two men in their twenties from outside the prefecture called the police from the ruins of the hotel, saying there was a corpse there.

An abandoned hotel where a dead body was found in April 2020 is seen in Ebino town, Miyazaki prefecture, August 26, 2021. (Mainichi / Shunsuke Ichimiya)

The nine-story hotel is located along National Road 268 which connects the nearby towns of Ebino and Kobayashi. It is far from urban areas and the Japanese Self-Defense Force Ebino camp is nearby. Considered closed in 1997 at the latest, the hotel has since been abandoned. The ruins have been touted as a “haunted place” online.

According to the Ebino Police Station of the Miyazaki Prefectural Police, the two young men entered the abandoned hotel compound without permission and found the corpse of a man, who was lying face up on a bed in a guest bedroom on the sixth floor. The gray-haired man was approximately 170 to 180 centimeters tall and wore a short-sleeved T-shirt and pants. The body was later identified as an Ebino resident in his 50s. Police believe about a year has passed since his death, and since there was no suicide note or other clues, the man’s movements prior to his arrival at the hotel are apparently unknown .

In August 2021, as more than a year had passed since the discovery of the corpse, this reporter visited the abandoned site to find the glass doors of the entrance shattered and the color of the entire building turned yellow. -green. Peering inside the hotel through shattered windows at the back of the building, empty cans and relatively new masks and other items were scattered around the room, suggesting that someone had broken in on the spot. The fire escape stairs had deteriorated and rooms were on the verge of collapsing.

Masks, empty cans and other items strewn about, suggesting someone had entered the property, can be seen through a broken window of an abandoned hotel in the town of Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, August 26, 2021 (Mainichi / Shunsuke Ichimiya)

Setsuko Iriki, a 72-year-old woman who lives nearby, said for several years during the night that she saw beams of flashlights escaping from the windows on the upper floors of the hotel and heard the youth voices. The woman said she was scared and turned on a security light outside her house. “I want them to demolish the building soon, and if it’s difficult, I would like the area to be blocked off so people cannot enter the building,” she said.

According to the prefectural police, people who enter abandoned ruins without authorization could be charged with crimes, including trespassing. However, there were no tapes to ban entry in the vicinity of the hotel. The property management section of the Ebino municipal government said the legal entity that owns the hotel building has already been dissolved and if the city puts up barricade tape or fencing, the city can be held responsible. management of the establishment. This is why the municipal government cannot get involved so easily.

Dismantling the hotel would present even greater obstacles. The Vacant Housing Special Measures Act, which came into force in 2015, has allowed municipalities to dismantle and forcibly evacuate vacant housing that is at risk of collapsing or severely deteriorating the surrounding aesthetic.

The glass door of an abandoned hotel is seen smashed, with nothing blocking the entrance, in Ebino town, Miyazaki prefecture, August 26, 2021 (Mainichi / Shunsuke Ichimiya)

However, it is difficult to actually achieve this. Surveys of local governments across Japan have found that in cases where the owner is unknown, building dismantling expenses cannot be collected, and municipalities therefore naturally tend to be reluctant to undertake dismantling work that would require taxpayer dollars. Additionally, dismantling large-scale buildings like hotels can end up costing hundreds of millions of yen, or around several million dollars, and some parties are concerned that if the false understanding that administrative bodies will eventually dispose of the buildings spreads, causing moral hazard when homeowners carelessly abandon their homes.

Was there anything that could have been done before the abandonment of the establishment? The legal entity that owns the hotel has already been dissolved, but the names of several managers have been entered in the commercial register. After consulting a telephone directory, I was able to meet a man in his sixties who was the director of the company. According to this man, the president of the company at the time has already passed away. Regarding the inclusion of his name under the title of director, the man said: “I just lent my name after being invited by the president, and I don’t know any details myself.”

The hospitality industry has suffered great damage as people have been confined to their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic. It is feared that the problem of large buildings whose owners have disappeared may worsen further.

Parts of an emergency staircase are about to collapse at an abandoned hotel in Ebino town, Miyazaki prefecture, August 26, 2021. (Mainichi / Shunsuke Ichimiya)

Chie Nozawa, professor of urban policy at the School of Political and Economic Sciences at Meiji University, said: “Japan only thought about building establishments and not considering closing them. As similar problems may arise for condominiums in the future, it is necessary to organize a system to set aside the expenses of dismantling buildings. We are in a time when disasters are occurring more frequently, and the issue of abandoned houses has entered a new phase.

Nozawa also spoke of the need to create national guidelines so that administrative bodies can determine without hesitation which properties need urgent treatment. She went on to say, “Local governments should share their knowledge and wisdom with local residents in order to prepare for using the abandoned ruins. It is important to know the owners of abandoned houses under normal circumstances and to be able to contact them in the event of a disaster. ”

(Japanese original by Shunsuke Ichimiya, Miyazaki Bureau)

]]> Want to escape ? Try this luxury ghost town in Africa Sun, 02 Jan 2022 16:29:00 +0000 CIUDAD DE LA PAZ, Equatorial Guinea — In a jungle glade, here are 50 luxury villas on manicured grounds.

Each 7,100 square foot home has four bedrooms, two living rooms, an office, staff quarters and a dining room. And in each dining room is a formal table set anytime for 10 diners, ready in case all the African Union Heads of State are visiting at the same time and want to host dinner parties.

Which they never do.

Meaning that in a jungle glade there are 50 empty luxury villas on manicured grounds.

It’s all part of the surreal reality of Ciudad de la Paz, a capital from scratch imagined a decade ago by Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, a dictator whose coffers briefly overflowed during an oil boom. who came and went.

What started out as a visionary or conceited project, or both, failed, leaving behind a white elephant in the Central African forest. Wide boulevards and a 35 km bypass without cars. Sites without construction. Apartment complexes without tenants. Shopping centers without stores and cinemas without films.

And a spectacular five-star golf resort with no guests.

“It’s an incredible city that makes no sense,” says a European who works here.

Ciudad de la Paz is part of the great tradition of strong men who build great monuments for their own power. President Félix Houphouët-Boigny moved the capital of Côte d’Ivoire from Abidjan to his hometown, Yamoussoukro, and built there the largest church in the world, Notre-Dame de la Paix.

Mr. Obiang built a scaled-down version of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in his own hometown, Mongomo. But he kept his biggest ambitions for the forest capital, a city designed for a population of around 200,000.

Reduced version of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea, the hometown of President Teodoro Obiang


Michael M. Phillips / The Wall Street Journal

Inside the basilica.


Michael M. Phillips / The Wall Street Journal

He named it Ciudad de la Paz, in Spanish for the city of peace.

Equatorial Guinea, made up of a few islands in the Gulf of Guinea and a mainland between Gabon and Cameroon, is the only former Spanish colony in sub-Saharan Africa. After independence in 1968, the country was ruled by Mr. Obiang’s uncle, Francisco Macías, whose stated philosophy of government was “In politics the winner wins and the loser dies”.

Among other atrocities, Mr. Macías had scores performed in a football stadium as the pop hit “Those Were the Days” went through loudspeakers. – That was the time, my friend. We thought they would never end.

In 1979, Mr. Obiang knocked down his uncle, who died in front of a firing squad.

For the past 42 years, Mr. Obiang, 79, has run the country as a family business that has drawn international criticism for allegations of corruption and human rights violations.

In 2013, the US Department of Justice accused the president’s son and heir apparent, Vice President Teodoro “Teodorin” Nguema Obiang Mangue, of having accumulated a fortune of $ 300 million through corruption while he was in office. government post paid less than $ 100,000 per year. Among other expenses, according to court documents, he bought eight Ferraris, seven Rolls-Royces, five Bentleys, two Lamborghinis, a Gulfstream V jet, a $ 30 million Malibu mansion and over $ 3 million in Michael’s memorabilia. Jackson.

When these corruption allegations surfaced in the press in 2011, Mr. Obiang Mangue called the United States Ambassador to Malabo for help in defending his reputation. “I have never stolen money from our country’s treasury,” he told the ambassador, according to a State Department cable in court records, claiming his income came from government contracts legitimate.

The Justice Department has attacked Mr. Obiang Mangue’s assets in civil forfeiture suits with names such as United States v. One Michael Jackson Signed Thriller Jacket.

The US government and Mr. Obiang Mangue settled in 2014. The settlement agreement did not contain any admission of wrongdoing by Mr. Obiang Mangue. He kept his Michael Jackson crystal-encrusted touring jet and glove, but the Justice Department seized the proceeds from the sale of the mansion, a Ferrari and a collection of Michael Jackson statues. In September, the United States announced that it was using $ 26.6 million of the transferred assets to provide the people of Equatorial Guinea with Covid-19 vaccines and other medical care.

Oil Minister Gabriel Obiang Lima Abaga, another of the president’s children and often the regime’s face to the outside world, did not respond to written requests for comment on allegations of corruption and human rights violations surrounding the family reigning.

Equatorial Guinea’s ambassador to Washington did not respond to requests for an interview.

An empty boulevard approaches the unfinished presidential palace in Ciudad de la Paz.


Michael M. Phillips / The Wall Street Journal

“We are determined to take the necessary actions to improve governance and fight corruption,” the country’s finance minister, Valentin Ela Maye, told the International Monetary Fund in September.

The discovery of offshore oil and gas in the Gulf of Guinea in 1996 both fueled alleged corruption and allowed Obiang to imagine his new capital.

The president, who survived a foreign coup attempt in 2004, said the new seat of government would be better protected than Malabo, the current capital of Bioko Island, from maritime attacks.

“We need a safe place for my government and for future governments,” Obiang told the BBC in 2012.

At the time, an architecture blog, ArchDaily, described a plan centered around Avenue de la Justice, 250 feet wide and inspired by Avenue des Champs-Élysées in Paris.

There was talk of a Formula 1 circuit, a lagoon with speedboats and sailboats and a cathedral served by a funicular.

But when oil prices fell in 2014, the government ran out of cash and the city’s work was halted. The names of Chinese state-owned construction companies are still painted on signs outside the shells of government office buildings, but cranes have stopped lifting and diggers have stopped digging.

A blocked ministry building is named after a Chinese construction company.


Michael M. Phillips / The Wall Street Journal

Sparkling twin office towers with upscale apartments, a shopping mall, and cinemas collect dust on the road to the unfinished Presidential Palace.

Hundreds of surveillance cameras still cover all angles on all the empty roads, although it is not clear that anyone is looking through the cobwebs covering the lenses.

The project, although stalled, won Mr. Obiang some admirers.

In 2013, the president gave New Yorker Victor Mooney, a long-distance rower, $ 30,000 to sponsor a transatlantic rowboat called the Spirit of Malabo.

After Mr. Mooney completed his trip in 2014, Mr. Obiang granted him Equatorial Guinean citizenship and promised him a house in Ciudad de la Paz.

Mr. Mooney has not visited the city, but expresses no doubt that Mr. Obiang will keep his wish.

“I haven’t occupied the house yet, but I’m sure it’s in the works,” says Mooney.

Dr Ousmane Ba, an American teaching English at the African American University of Central Africa, one of the few functioning institutions in Ciudad de la Paz, credits Mr Obiang for his vision.

“He laid the groundwork for something that could have been great,” says Dr Ba.

Library of the African American University of Central Africa, one of the few functioning institutions in Ciudad de la Paz.


Michael M. Phillips / The Wall Street Journal

Administrators hope the university start-up, built for 5,000 students, will have 500 this year. But it has been embroiled in controversy. Swedish rector Dr Said Irandoust complained that the regime appoints professors on the basis of political and family ties.

Last month the education minister called him “bossy” and “arrogant,” and cut his contract short.

Locals estimate that there are perhaps 2,000 residents in the city, 400 of whom work at the Grand Hotel Djibloho.

The $ 400 million Italian-built resort has 452 rooms, plus all 50 villas. In a typical day, maybe 15 or 20 rooms are occupied. Some days the hotel has no clients.

The hotel loses about $ 5.5 million a year, covered by the Obiang government, according to managing director Vincenzo Presti, director of Luxury Hotel Management Ltd., the private company operating the hotel, based in London.

Vincenzo Presti, General Manager of the Grand Hotel Djibloho, exhibits the presidential suite.


Michael M. Phillips / The Wall Street Journal

Hotel staff could be forgiven for thinking that they are running a hotel for the sake of running a hotel. To keep morale up at daily staff meetings, Mr. Presti has his team pretend to operate a hotel in Madrid, New York, or some other big city.

To keep morale up, he sees the hotel as an opportunity to train young Africans in hospitality professions. “It’s like it’s a school, even though there’s no one here,” he says.

The breakfast buffet is stocked with croissants and fresh fruit. There is a spa, convention center, and fertility clinic run by a Spanish doctor. The golf greens are trimmed. Rooms, including a presidential suite in which Mr. Obiang has never slept, are cleaned daily

“It’s in the middle of the forest,” says Presti. “If we don’t continue, the forest will enter the hotel.

Write to Michael M. Phillips at

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Universal healthcare in Bangladesh could be a reality Sat, 01 Jan 2022 18:00:00 +0000

Recognizing the essential role of health, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution in 2012, urging countries to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) – the idea that everyone, everywhere, should have access to quality and affordable health care. This year’s UHC Day theme focuses on investing in health systems for all. Strengthening health systems for universal health coverage and global health security are key high-level global public health goals for healthier and safer societies.

The key to success is the right leadership and governance structure, supported by a good health financing system. With the 2012-2032 health financing strategy in place, the country has the political goodwill to build its health sector. However, the allocation to the health sector to date represents less than 10 percent of the total budget for the fiscal year and less than 1 percent of GDP. To achieve the vision of UHC, the government should refocus its attention on the health sector and increase the budget allocation to meet the demands placed on the delivery of the public health system.

Closely linked to funding is the ability to deliver good health services coupled with a performing health workforce. The low budget allocation means that there are shortages of skilled human resources, equipment and medical supplies. This situation is not unique to Bangladesh, but is prevalent in many emerging markets. It presents an opportunity to work with the private sector, to complement and fill gaps in the health sector. The private sector can provide additional care to fill capacity and specialty gaps to create a strong and strengthened health care infrastructure that can increase access for local communities. In addition, the focus on high quality care ensures better patient outcomes.

Private equity helps bridge this gap in public funds, working with governments to provide long-term financing. In addition, private investment also creates economies of scale for healthcare in emerging markets which can reduce costs for consumers and improve quality, which in turn will have a significant positive social impact for consumers. while ultimately freeing up private capital for other much needed health investments.

Currently, individuals bear a large portion of medical costs, with up to 67 percent of expenses borne by households through out-of-pocket payments. This system creates a significant financial burden for poor families, sometimes forcing them either to forgo treatment or to go into debt. To reduce this burden, the government must increase funding for health care. To address this, strong funding structures are essential. Innovative public-private partnerships could also solve this problem.

The global COVID-19 pandemic offers the government an opportunity to re-prioritize health on the national agenda. While there is no “one size fits all”, we must build on the existing evidence and chart a deliberate path towards this vision.

The author is the CEO and Managing Director of Evercare Hospitals, Bangladesh.

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