Newsday (Suffolk Edition) from Melville, New York on June 9, 1985 · 99
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Newsday (Suffolk Edition) from Melville, New York · 99

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Location:
Melville, New York
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 9, 1985
Page:
99
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li j i awp:ai iiii - " - - 9 '- - - ' V ? I i By Daniel Kahn THE MOTEL tta is going by the wayside but new growth in ho- tell geared for specific customers will enable the lodging industry to maintain a reasonably healthy growth rate for the next decade according to leading induitry consultant The first signs of what promises to be a profound change in our industry are already there said Albert J Gomes a senior principal of Pannell Kerr Forster an accounting and eon suiting firm at a recent industry conference in New York The motel segment has now come foil circle" Many of the roadside motels built a quarter of a century ago have reached the end of their design life Gomes said and a trend away from f tance auto travel in favor of aifli will soon make the motels "locational-ly obsolete to boot” As motels fade from the scene though the industry will be strengthened by new hotels going up in the center cities and their suburbs and in resort cities in the Sunbelt The new construction will increase the number of rooms nationwide from the existing 27 million to three million in 1995 and the occupancy rate will creep up from 662 percent to 68 percent said Saul Leonard a national partner in the leisure time industries division of Laventhol & Horwath an accounting and consulting firm Two segments — the new all-suite hotels and the older lower-priced economy brand — will lead the modest growth Leonard said He estimated that the number of all-auite hotels will double over the next five years while the economy properties grow at a slower rate and only in selected markets "Remember they are starting from a smaller base" he said Currently there are about 300 all-suite hotels with about 52000 rooms in the UA according to Laventhol & Horwath Economy hotels the firm said have grown slowly from 10 chains with 250 properties and 20000 rooms in 1970 to 60 chains with 2400 properties and 240000 rooms today- In the last few years the big chains have divided the market into five major groups: luxury executive all-suite middle and economy This division was the industry’s response to a declining occupancy rate that began in the late 1970s and persuaded chains to break from traditional hotel construction "The segmentation was ftieled by a drive for greater market share” said Granville Gargiullo a director of management advisory services for Pannell Kerr Foster As the traveling public twaniMi more niliiifcfonted he ssid "hotels no longer could be all things to all people The chains realised they had to go after different market segments with different products if they were to continue to grow" Where will the new hotels be built? Builders of large luxury hotels will concentrate on resort cities primarily in the Sunbelt the consultants said while airports — particularly those designated "international" — will attract upscale convention hotels Builders will also renew their inter est in the center cities and their suburbs consultants said although the affluent suburbs may have a problem finding an adequate labor supply for the minimum-wage jobs If the hotel strike currently under- way in New York City is prolonged !! could weaken the industry there which is facing growing competition from hotels that are swinging up around it in Westchester Long Muifl New Jersey and Connecticut accord- ing to Steven W Brenner head of Steven W Brenner Associates of New York "Many travelers are going outside the city now” he saidSnd that could become a habit if the strike lasts 4 more than a week or two” ' During the past 40 years the num- ber of hotel rooms in we city have do- dined about 20 percent to 96341 according to a report by Brenner and Pannell Kerr Forster That inrfnA— 1749 removed from the availability list last year But an upswing in construction this year and next led by the 1876-room Marriott Marquis in Times Square will add more than 2700 rooms the report said ' The nearly-completed convention center on Manhattan’s West Side un- doubtedly will produce additional ho- tels and renovation of older hotels j Brenner said although renovation costs rise with the age of the buildings and in some cases can equal the cost of new construction "After the Marquis I see a lot of new construction — assuming the convert-4 tion center is a success" Brenner said "I see an opportunity for moderate and economy hotels in the city” Of course economy is in the eye of the buyer Moderate-priced rooms in? the dty now cost an average of about 1 $60 a night without discounts By 1990 Brenner said that will rise to3 about $100 : Dismantling Britain’s W elfare State! By Arthur Gavshon Nowaday Special Correspondent P LONDON RIME Minister Margaret Thatcher’s government has begun the process of dismantling Britain’s cradle-to-grave welfare state launched in the aftermath of World War n as a visionary attempt to build a better healthier nation to meet the challenges of the 21st Century In part the system is becoming a victim of its success To be blunt the British social security system has lost its way” claimed a government policy paper announcing a series of broad changes last week The government says the welfare system gobbles up one-third of the nation’s $160 billion annual budget and Thatcher and her key ministers have told the House of Commons that the country no longer can afford it With an aging population and declining North Sea oil revenues the costs of the program by the year 2000 will have become simply horrendous In an effort to turn the system around the government has proposed cutbacks changes or means-tests in a variety of programs including the national pension plan maternity payments death benefits and benefits for children the poor and unemployed Opponents of the Thatcher government see the proposals as a betrayal of what for years has been an all-party consensus on the need to provide a safety net for the nation’s poor disabled homeless hungry and jobless "An offense against decency and common sense” was opposition Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock’a description of the sweeping changes And liberal leader David Steel asserted that the government’s proposals which still have to be transformed into firm decisions had "dug a hole in the poverty line" through which tens of thousands of the most vulner-able dtisens would descend These protests were becked by Britain’s labor unions the Child Poverty Action Group Help the Aged and other groups In a sense for a country that had lost an empire and which since World War II has been plagued by chronic economic crises the creation of a welfare state was loaded with the soodsofita own destruction A free health service provision of prenatal and postnatal care a statutory 40-hour work week subsidized foods and the whole spectrum of benefits meant that over the years people were becoming healthier Because they were healthier they lived longer Because thqy lived longer the evolving earo-ings-linked state pension system became increasingly more costly Because of the cushion of unemployment health and other forma of insurance and housing support young people married sooner and felt they could rear families more safely All this meant that each year spending on social services imposed an ever-heavier burden on the national kitty Compounding these problems has been the feet that a postwar Britain anmwnittsd to maintaining foil employment found itself from the early 1970s with the first world oil crisis simply nnahla to pay its way A process of cutbacks began which meant that unemployment started to rise back toward pre-war levels And with the advent of Thatcherism and its insistence on retrenchment the number of jobless hit record peaks Unemployment stands now at about 35 million or one in eight members of the workforce Michael Meacher Labor’s spokesman on social security called the proposals "a black day for the people of Britain a monument to six harsh years of Thatcher rule The thanes of this policy statement are more means-testing bigger cuts penalising the pensioners the unemployea and the low-paid in order to enrich further the already-rich” But there was praise for Thatcher’s proposals by industrialists and by the City of London where big business holds sway Spokesmen for business groups said the government’s plans would halt "the slide to chaos” a reference in part to the system of supplementary benefits for the neediest There are currently 16000 paragraphs of rules to guide officials who administer the qrstem and one m every eight Britons claims help under a variety of headings Under this system claimants can get help for the purchase of ftimiture bedding stoves clothing ma- temity and ftineral expenses There are more than? 15 million such applications yearly and the govern- ment now intends to abolish the arrangements and to replace them with a new limited social ftind out of which payments will be discretionary rather than automatic In other words claimants will have to be means-tested before they can receive granta If Parliament passes the reforms as is expected ' they are likely to be implemented around 1987 which coincides with the period just before Britain’s : next national election As things stand now the changes seem unlikely to prove vote-winners Right now however Thatcher's rating among the pollsters could hardly be worse According to a survey taken in May an immediate election would leave the Conservatives with a deflated represent a- tion of 66 seats in the 650 seat House of Commons Among the major reforms proposed: The state eamings-linked pension system is to be iimiiAWl over 15 years with men under 50 and women under 45 given the right to join private pen- in programs to which employers will contribute The state intends to urge more and more people to think of retiring at 60 although this will not be mandatory Now men retire at 65 women at 60 The state intends to reduce unemployment benefits in order to ensure that it wont pay for people relying on the state rather than taking jus The state will focus maternity allowances on working expectant mothers with discretion' over when cash is drawn Widows who get a weekly allowance now will be paid a lump sum of $1800 - The state will reduce housing benefits in rela tion to income rises Death grants of about $40 ars to be abolished f ' In political terms the most important result of Thatcher’s strategy is likely to be the final destruction of Britain’s postwar bipartisan approach to the main features of the welfare state Already Kinnock has vowed to restore the eamings-related pension system if and when Labor returns to office This presages a long and bitter struggle on an issue that once united Britons 1 1 i ! ! ! ! :!

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