Briefs: Historic pay hike for hotel workers outside NYC; Georgia’s first Mövenpick

BIGGEST PAY HIKE FOR HOTEL WORKERS IN NYC SUBURBS: The Hotel and Gaming Trades Council (HTC), the union for hotel and gaming workers in New York and Northern New Jersey, has reached a deal with hotel owners and operators to hike the wages of hospitality workers by $7.50 per hour. This is reportedly the highest increase in the union’s 100-year history. The agreement covers 7,000 members across 87 hotels from Princeton to Albany and Long Island, HTC said. Hourly wages of housekeepers and front desk workers will increase from around $20 an hour to $47 by 2028, depending on their location. Hourly pay for cooks will rise to nearly $31. The contract increases employer contributions to the union’s defined benefit pension plan by 40% during its term, including new benefits to subsidize child care and housing costs. The five-year deal has been ratified by the employers and will be ratified by workers later this month, according to HTC President Rich Maroko. The agreement excludes hotels in New York City, where union members are also represented by HTC as wages in the city remain higher than in the suburbs.

Rendering of Mövenpick Kobuleti

ACCOR TO OPEN MÖVENPICK IN GEORGIA: Accor has signed an agreement with Georgia-based development company Archi to launch the Mövenpick brand in Kobuleti, Georgia. Scheduled to open in 2028, Mövenpick Kobuleti will occupy multiple floors in one of the high-rise buildings on the eastern coast of the Black Sea. The hotel will have 120 rooms, a gastronomic restaurant with high-end cuisine, a cocktail bar, a sushi bar, a gym, two pools and a wellness center. Guests can enjoy Mövenpick’s signature chocolates at the hotel lobby during the traditional daily Chocolate Hour. The Mövenpick Family program will offer an animation program in the children’s club and a special menu for families traveling with children.

ALEENTA OPENS IN CHIANG MAI: Thailand-based luxury boutique hotel company, AKARYN Hotel Group, has opened Aleenta Retreat Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. This is the third Aleenta hotel by the Aleenta brand. The resort offers 44 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a bar, a wellness center and a spa. Rooms include one- and two-bedroom pool residences and a four-bedroom teak villa with a private swimming pool. The teak villa is made of antique golden teak that the hotel’s owner collected before restoring and reassembling it into a new construction. Opened on April 6, the hotel is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Thomas Singenberger has been appointed as the new resort manager.

CAL NEVA SELLS: Billionaire Larry Ellison has sold the Cal Neva Resort on Lake Tahoe’s north shore to Denver-based real estate company McWhinney. The property reportedly sold for $58 million. The iconic property was once owned by Frank Sinatra. Ellison acquired the resort out of bankruptcy in 2017 for $38.6 million. Ellison had planned to transform Cal Neva into a luxury property, but it remained closed since he acquired it. McWhinney is partnering with real estate investment and management company Kor Group and luxury boutique operator Proper Hospitality to convert Cal Neva into a Proper-branded resort.

GREAT OUTDOOR COTTAGES TESTS HOUSEBOAT PROTOTYPE: Great Outdoor Cottages, a construction team of developers and adventurers that design cabins, park models and cottages, has announced the successful splash test of its first Bungalow Boat unit. The “houseboat” project has been in the works for the past few months and is now ready to move into production. The luxury floating boats are ideal for glamping on the water, including a full kitchen, queen-sized bed and a screened porch with seating. Developing the prototype unit for months, Great Outdoor Cottages tested it on March 25 at BluFin Bungalows & Marina in Chincoteague Island, Va. Production of the bungalow boat units is currently underway. The units will be shipped, assembled and made available to the public jointly with BluFin Bungalows & Marina’s opening this summer. Great Outdoor Cottages is a sister company of Blue Water, which owns and operates BluFin Bungalows & Marina.