Hyatt, Starwood & Choice Are Optimistic About Corporate in 2016

In the recent round of fourth-quarter earnings reports, Hyatt Hotels Corp., Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Choice Hotels International each communicated positive outlooks for corporate and group demand, though to varying degrees.

Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian told analysts the company expects corporate negotiated rates to increase 7 percent year over year during 2016. Starwood, too, reported increases in corporate negotiated rates, “with average rate up in the mid-single digits” for 2016 among its North American clients, according to new CEO Thomas Mangas. Choice, for its part, said it expects growth in revenue per available room from business travelers in the year ahead.

On the group business side, Hyatt group rates grew more than 6 percent in the fourth quarter. Group business revenue at same-store Starwood-operated hotels in North America increased 8 percent over the previous year during the fourth quarter. Hyatt reported a slight, 0.1 percent decrease in average daily rate to $181.68 during the fourth quarter.

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This NYC Startup Will Make Your Next Business Trip the Easiest Yet

Booking business trips is often a hassle. Between connecting flights and renting cars there is so much to plan. This new startup helps make your business trips easier. NexTravel is the all-in-one travel management platform that will take care of nailing down all the specifics of your business trips down to even rebooking cancelled flights.

AlleyWatch sat down with CEO Wen-Wen Lam about the future of business travel and how Nextravel is changing the business travel landscape. For the interview, click here.

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What Does 2016 Have in Store for Boston Venues and Events?

Looking for a new venue to host your next event? Here are the most anticipated Boston restaurants, corporate event venues, hotels, conference centers, and party rooms to open this year.

1. Currently in the middle of the biggest renovation since its opening in 1949, the Museum of Science is in the process of creating the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River.

2. Boston’s South End will welcome SRV, a Venetian-style bacaro, early in the new year.

3. Table at Season to Taste is a contemporary French restaurant from chef Carl Dooley, who appears on the current season of Top Chef. He and catering industry vet Robert Harris will open in mid-January on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge.

4. Chef and World Barbecue champion Andy Husbands will open Smoke Shop in early spring. Housed in the former Tommy Doyle’s space, the restaurant has undergone complete reconstruction with an array of event spaces.

5. With high demand for event space at Puritan, the beloved Cambridge restaurant just took over the empty space next door. Beginning in January, it will become Puritan and Company, a private dining space that will hold 30 guests.

6. Juliet will be the first brick-and-mortar concept from Bread and Salt Hospitality. The casual Union Square café and restaurant will seat 19, including at a six-seat dining counter.

7. Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square debuted a new wing in mid-December and is now booking for 2016 events. Thanks to the expansion, there’s now 6,000 square feet of meeting space, a 2,000-square-foot outdoor terrace, and nearly 100 additional guest rooms and suites.

8. Boston’s financial district now has the city’s first luxury CrossFit gym. Opened in December, Brick Boston is now booking private events and parties for 2016. The 22,000-square-foot space won’t be your typical gym space, however.

9. Stoked Pizza, the beloved food truck known for its regular spots on the Rose Kennedy Greenway and Lawn on D, announced plans to open its own spot in Washington Square.

10. Chef/owner Rachel Klein will debut RFK Kitchen in Needham in April.  The space will be available for buyouts; smaller groups can book a semi-private space with audiovisual capabilities that will seat 12, a front lounge for receptions of 30 guests, or an interactive chef’s counter for 26 guests.

For more, visit BizBash.

SRV Photo: Morgan Ione Yeager