Durdin sizzles in opening round

first_imgTOYOTA, Aichi Pref. – Australian Tamie Durdin reeled off three straight birdies to complete a sizzling 7-under-par 65 for a one-shot lead after the first round of the Chukyo TV Bridgestone Ladies Open on Friday. Winless Durdin, who produced her best finish of the season with a tie for 10th at last week’s Vernal Ladies, picked up two shots through her first three holes at Chukyo Golf Club before getting to grips with the Ishino Course on the back nine. The 30-year-old from Adelaide birdied the 10th and the 13th holes before her birdie rush from the 16th put her one stroke ahead of Shinobu Moromizato. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more

USC Pro Day Gives Athletes A Chance To Shine

first_imgPlay VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUND Session ID: 2020-09-19:30716cdef133c1968a6eca1f Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-494553-4148545170001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – All-Southeastern Conference guard A.J. Cann and 1,000-yard tailback Mike Davis were the main attractions during South Carolina’s pro day, a much more low-key affair than the past couple of must-see sessions.A year ago, dozens of NFL representatives came to Williams-Brice Stadium to watch No. 1 draft pick Jadeveon Clowney workout. In 2013, scouts watched injured running back Marcus Lattimore take his first strides toward getting drafted.On Wednesday there were personnel from 28 NFL teams in attendance – with much of the focus on Cann and Davis.Cann is a 6-foot-4, 311-pound lineman who blends above average strength with quick feet to slow down defenders. He spent time working out for New England Patriots personnel.last_img read more

Ole Miss will be fined $250K next time fans storm the field

first_imgVaught-Hemingway StadiumVaught-Hemingway StadiumOXFORD – The next time Ole Miss fans storm the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, it will cost the school a quarter of a million dollars. The Southeastern Conference announced new – and much harsher — field-storming rules on Friday at the league’s annual spring meetings. Per the new policy, first-time field storming offenders will be slapped with a $50,000 fine. Schools will pay $100,000 for a second offense and $250,000 for third-time and any other subsequent offenses.Previously, the league rules gave out a $5,000 fine for the first offense, $25,000 for the second and $50,000 for the third. The penalties would also reset after three years. No more. Ole Miss had to write a $50,000 check to the SEC last October, when its fans committed their third offense and stormed the field after the Rebels beat then-No. 3 Alabama. Schools don’t get a blank slate with the new rules, so the Rebels would have to fork over the full $250,000 if it happens again.“This is designed to be a deterrent,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive told reporters in Destin, Fla. “This is designed to try to change the culture about rushing the field, understanding that it’s viewed by some as a tradition. But it’s a tradition that runs into the question of health and safety of not only the fans themselves but the coaches and players.”Of course, the Rebels didn’t have to dip into their own pockets to pay the fine last season. On top of the $50,000 fine, the fans ripped down the goalposts, which cost an estimated $11,000 each to replace — bringing the total to $75,000. Ole Miss set up a fundraiser website, which brought in more than $80,000 in donations. Kentucky, LSU and South Carolina were also fined last year. “It’s just a way of sending a message. It’s a way of communicating to the conference that this is serious,” Slive told ESPN.com. “And the money is serious.”Slive also added that the commissioner may also levy “additional penalties” on top of the $250,000 fine for third-time offenses if he feels they’re necessary.last_img read more

Former Kumul captain Numapo laid to rest

first_imgRugby League BY MICHAEL KOMA Rugby league international and former PNG Kumul captain late Bal Numapo was laid to rest in his birthplace, Ognil village in Sinesine, Chimbu Province yesterday, 29 days after he succumbed to a stroke on August 1. About 500 mourners showed up at the scene to witness the burial service administered by pastors Nul Moses and Emos Kumuno of Mu Lutheran Church. Pastor Moses’s sermon was based on 1 Peter 2:22-25 which relates to Jesus Christ suffering for the sake of humanity. After the funeral service family members were allowed to pay their last respects to late Numapo before the casket was carried to the tomb for burial at around 1.47pm. The casket was convoyed to Kundiawa from Goroka last Monday where the Simbu provincial administration paid tribute to late Numapo in a “well-organised” funeral ceremony at the Dickson Field. The casket was transported to Ognil (Dumun) village, 20km east of Kundiawa where thousands of mourners from Sinesine and other parts of the Highlands region showed up to pay tribute and contribute towards the ‘haus krai’. Among those who arrived in Ognil were Chuave MP Wera Mori and his Sinesine counterpart Kerenga Kua. The two ministers, including Simbu provincial Governor Michael Dua, donated an undisclosed amount of funds towards the funeral expenses. Provincial administrator Michael Bal Temai also visited the ‘haus krai’ with his personal contributions. Funeral committee chairman Lendo Bal thanked those who contributed towards the former Kumul skipper’s funeral. The late Bal Numapo was also senior public servant who served under the auspicious of the provincial administration for the past three decades.last_img read more

They left Messi’s captain’s armband

first_imgBarcelona superstar Lionel Messi will wear the captain’s armband at the Catalan club in the 2020/2021 season, El Mundo Deportivo announced.Reserves of the Argentine will be Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Serge Roberto. The three will be vice-captains of Barça for the third consecutive season, reminds BGNES. After the end of last season, Messi informed Barcelona of his desire to leave the “Nou Camp”, taking advantage of an option in the contract that allows him to leave for free.However, the club refused to release him, saying that this option has already expired. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner decided not to sue the club where he spent his entire career. On September 7, he held his first training session under new coach Ronald Koeman.last_img read more

The growth of the FGC – Watering the grassroots

first_imgHow does the growth of the FGC compare with other esports and how has it improved? Esports has come a long way in the past few years. We’ve seen a boom in sponsorship and revenue towards games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends; which makes for huge improvements on production quality, player care and overall happiness of the community. However, when it comes to the FGC, there is a different approach. Fighting games differ massively from MOBA’s and other games such as Counter-Strike or Call of Duty, where you require a team and a practice regiment to go with it. The FGC sees themselves as very grassroots and likes to keep the community vibe on a more humble level. With this, they maintain control over how they would like their community to be run. However, they miss out on a more considerable prize pool potential, sponsorship opportunities and production that would no doubt boost fighting games into the mainstream gaming audience.Regardless, this hasn’t stopped the FGC and overall, these communities maintain their raw passion for the game, putting out their blood, sweat and tears to run events, with little to no profit.SEE ALSO: GOML 2019 shaping up to be Canada’s premier FGC eventThis said, fighting game competitors are starting to see a small improvement to the prize pool, as more sponsors take notice of this dedication to the game. The concept of the FGC is still a new one to sponsors looking to invest their time and money into these communities. Though, esports giants like Team Liquid, TSM, Cloud 9, CLG and Echo Fox have already dipped their toes into smaller FGC games; which leads the way to more exposure.Kashan Khan, a Commentator, Content Creator and Player for Team Liquid said: “It was a lot different. Five years ago was when it started getting better. Sponsorships started helping, so the venues got better too. “Smash in particular started with very humble beginnings. Prize pools, venue quality and entrants shot up.”One of the issues for the FGC is the game revenue. For example, Super Smash Bros. Melee is still going strong, but it’s not a game that you can purchase skins, characters or general DLC for. Nintendo in the past year or so has noticed that game is still a thriving community and has helped out in places. However, with newer Smash games such as Smash Bros. Ultimate, are patchable that has the potential to make significant revenue with in-game purchases such as the ‘Fighter’s Pass’. Could Smash Bros follow a game pass or skin models like League of Legends or Fortnite?Sadly, this isn’t even close to the massive revenue titles such as League of Legends makes. In League, you can buy multiple characters followed by multiple skins for your characters and wards. There’s even a gifting system where you can gift your friends with skins or characters. The revenue from this is enormous, and Riot Games can then invest that money into events such as the LCS. According to SuperData, League’s revenue for 2018 was $1.4 Billion, and the prize pool for the Worlds 2018 was $2.25 million(£1,950,740). Super Smash Bros. Ultimate sold a whopping 12 million copies by January 2019, yet the prize-pool for the Smash Ultimate Summit was just $51,917 (£40,084).Though some fighting games make some revenue on in-game purchases, it’s not at the same level.Sujoy Roy, Director of Esports at Luckbox said: “There were always people playing, but now people are watching. For instance, that’s where gambling comes into it, monetising this brings more viewers.”This means the FGC has to look elsewhere. Content creation from players, events streamed on Twitch, player sponsorship and gaming company sponsorship; Capcom regularly supports the Street Fighter community and holds events like Capcom Cup. There are other outlets such as gambling and betting on players too. With exposure from content creation especially, there’s been a rise in pay for the players, even if it’s not necessarily from the tournament prize pool. “There were always people playing, but now people are watching.” Twitch and Youtube are such helpful platforms for these high-level players who can provide knowledge, entertainment and also an insight on tournament life. The FGC remains supportive, so streams and videos tend to be popular; giving the FGC and it’s players more exposure.“Players have finally started making enough money, that’s when players realised it was worth it,” said  Esports Agent for Evolved Talent Agency, Barry Lee.So how can we help push the FGC communities so that the players can further benefit from the efforts that they put into their game? It’s already started being put in place for team games, and I believe it’s better cared for players. For instance, the typical stereotype gamer stays up all night playing video games and chugging energy drinks. SEE ALSO: Optimising esports performance – Healthy body, healthy mindNaturally, this stereotype doesn’t line up with peak performance in tournaments. Almost no player would benefit from no sleep or an unhealthy diet. Forcing a healthier lifestyle on players isn’t a feasible option but giving players who are not part of a team the resources is a good start. Esports teams have houses in which a nutritionist, dietitian, fitness coach and so on. This means the team are much more likely to succeed.However, players from the FGC who don’t live in their team houses lack the same support. Admittedly, it might be expensive to hire a team of people for just a single player but having someone send nutritional, fitness and sleep information to their FGC players might help. Greg Laird, founder and CEO of Chaos Esports Club believes it’s a positive thing to see more focus on fitness in esports: “It’s great to see we have more access to new resources; a lot of teams have dieticians or nutritionists, fitness coaches and so on.”An improvement in health and wellbeing can pay dividends to a player’s performance at a big tournament. This leads to slicker gameplay which creates a snowball effect. Fantastic gameplay makes for better online content and highlights, which then breeds more exposure to new sponsors. Sponsors are looking for someone to represent their brand, and at a guess, they may be more likely to invest in a more stricter high level ‘athlete’ than the old sleepless stereotype gamer.ESI HALL OF FAME 2019 REGISTRATIONlast_img read more

Deery Series has new point leader for Friday show at Lee County

first_imgDeery Brothers Summer Series top 20 point standings – 1. Joel Callahan, Dubuque, 182; 2. Andy Eckrich, Oxford, 181; 3. Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque, and Matt Ryan, Davenport, both 176; 5. Curt Martin, Independ­ence, 168; 6. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, 156; 7. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown, 155; 8. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, 144; 9. Jeff Aikey, Cedar Falls, 141; 10. Tyler Bruening, Decorah, 139; 11. Justin Kay, Wheat­land, 138; 12. Todd Malmstrom, Hampton, Ill., and John Emerson, Waterloo, both 137; 14. Dalton Simonsen, Fair­fax, 133; 15. Eric Pollard, Peosta, 132; 16. Gary Webb, Blue Grass, 126; 17. Brian Harris, Davenport, 118; 18. Chad Holladay, Muscatine, 117; 19. Paul Nagle, Nevada, 99; 20. Stacy Griffis, Solon, and Terry Neal, Ely, both 85. The Aug. 2 event at Donnellson is the fifth installment of the 2019 IMCA Late Model tour. Joel Callahan of Dubuque is one of the four different drivers with series wins thus far and put his name at the top of the point standings with a fifth place finish last Wednesday at West Union. Also running are IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts for national, regional, state and track points. The track website is www.leecountyspeedway.com. Pit gates are open all day. The grandstand opens at 5:30 p.m., hot laps are at 7 p.m. with racing to follow. Spectator admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $5 off for veterans, $8 for stu­dents ages 11-17 and free for ages 10 and under. Pit passes are $30 for adults, $20 for kids ages 7 to 13, $15 for ages 4-6 and $5 for three and under. Friday’s main event, the 495th in series history, pays $2,000 to win and a minimum of $300 to start.  Friday marks the 26th visit by the series to Lee County, and the first since September of 2010.  Thirteen different drivers have won Deery events at Donnellson. Mark Burgtorf of Quincy, Ill., owns six career wins there while Gary Webb of Blue Grass has raced his way to victory lane on four occasions and Curt Martin of Independence is a three-time winner there.  The IMCA Late Model tour travels to Boone Speedway for opening night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Super Nationals fueled by Casey’s on Sept. 2. Following the Lee County date are $2,000 to win Deery shows at Quad City Speedway on Aug. 11, at Quincy Raceway on Aug. 18 and at West Liberty Raceway on Aug. 24.  DONNELLSON, Iowa – There’s a new point leader when the Deery Brothers Summer Series makes its much anticipated return to Lee County Speedway this Friday. IMCA.TV will broadcast the Friday race program. last_img read more

Redskins sign ten to the practice squad, including several fan favorites

first_imgCB Adonis AlexanderDE Ryan BeeWR Jehu ChessonTE J.P. HoltzT Timon ParisS Jeremy ReavesRB Craig ReynoldsWR Cam SimsLB Darrell WilliamsLB Chris Odom Defensive backs Alexander and Reeves made an impression on coaches and fans during camp. Both players are an injury or poor performance away from being called up to the main roster. In other moves, the team moved Shaun Wilson and Jordan Brailford to the injured reserve and signed defensive lineman Treyvon Hester. This is in addition to their signing of former Philadelphia Eagle Wendell Smallwood. Please follow and like us: The practice squad in the NFL allows players to practice with the team and attend team functions, however, another team can pick up players off the practice squad. That team, however, must give the practice squad player an active roster spot. center_img One player of note is wide receiver Cam Sims. Sims appeared to be surpassed for a roster spot by the big play ability of Steven Sims Jr., particularly as a kick returner. Cam Sims was not helped by a poor performance against the Baltimore Raven in the teams last preseason game. When the Washington Redskins cut their roster to 53 players on Saturday, many fans wondered what would become of their favorite fringe players. Those questions were temporarily answered on Sunday and Monday as the Redskins have announced their initial practice squad. The following players have been signed by the team to the practice squad: last_img read more

2015 Subaru STI: Blueing past the competition

first_imgYou’re awesome, dude.Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the type of place that’ll make you feel that way. The 11-turn asphalted climbing and diving ribbon of perfection in Monterey, Calif., isn’t the type of track that puts you to sleep. The longest straight, a run from Andretti corner through the start/finish line, is a blind hill before you hit the first two turns. It wakes you up like hot coffee in your face at 97 mph.Laguna Seca is also the best place to take the Subaru, the automaker’s newest in a slew of cars that quite frankly, everyone seems to love right now. The 2015 WRX STI is the last of the compact cars to come from Subaru for a while and the brand’s halo car; the summit of all-wheel drive mountain.Normally, the words “halo car” means expensive, loud, impractical or a combination of any or all three. Halo cars are engineering exercises first, bedroom posters second, and realistic comes in at a distant third. But for Subaru and the STI, its heritage is firmly planted on solid ground — or, rather, loose gravel.In the 1990s, Subaru dominated world rally with their all-wheel drive systems and drivers. The enthusiasm for those cars trickled down to the Impreza STI, a stiffened, more powerful version of their road car, complete with a tail wing borrowed from a mid-sized Cessna and iconic blue with gold wheel paint scheme. The small production and numerous special editions of the STI have kept the sports car in rarified air for more than two decades, even if the car wasn’t spectacular.This car doesn’t have that pedigree. Beginning in 2008, Subaru shifted from rally to road racing, in part, because of a rules change.The 2015 WRX STI is a road car, through and through, and it’s better for it.Up front, the STI sports the older, bigger 2.5-liter engine from the last generation. The inclusion is a surprise considering the WRX has a smaller engine this time and STI often shared many similar components with the less potent version, engine included. The turbocharged, flat four cranks just over 300 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque in the STI, virtually unchanged from the generation before it. The decision to carry over an engine is risky, but not as risky as slipping a shift on Laguna Seca’s famous corkscrew (that’s because it drops 59 feet vertically in 450 feet of track, like falling out of a five-story building in a race car).In the 2015 STI the engine feels maxed with a chassis that won’t lose grip. Pulling gears and pushing the engine is infinitely easier when you know your fillings will break loose before the tires ever will. That’s due to stiffened cross members and bigger stabilizer bars up front, a stiffened rear subframe and all sorts of higher strength steel in the chassis everywhere that stiffens the STI 24 percent over last generation. Engineers claim the STI can pull nearly 1g in a corner, which is a great way to wake up in the morning.It’s possible to dork out on the STI’s suspension. Beginning with the Impreza two years ago and moving to the WRX last year, it’s been clear that a stiffer, stronger and better chassis was due for the STI when it finally arrives in showrooms this spring. It was a calculated move for Subaru, considering high performance cars follow the formula of either supreme engine or supreme chassis. There really wasn’t any question of whether the STI would be stiff, rather if it’d live up to the expectations set before it. Does it?High five, dude.To say that the STI is the best STI so far does a disservice to the heritage of the car. It’s really a different STI, and one that’s better than I could imagine. As Subaru’s halo car, it lives up to the expectation that a sports sedan can be handling first, power second. The STI’s quicker steering ratio this year dives the car into the corners at a flick, and active torque vectoring keeps you there.Driving an STI at its limit is holding a bear by the ears; you’re shocked that you made it that far and you’re deathly scared of letting it go. I highly recommend it.As for the interior, it has one. The 2015 STI is better than last generation, but you’re not driving the car for its interior. Starting at $34,495 for a base STI and $37,395 for the STI Launch Edition (blue paint scheme and gold-colored BBS wheels) the launch edition will be the go-to model for the first 1,000 customers to buy one.Subaru expects only 4,000 will be sold in the states this year, which makes it a relatively low-volume car. But for the customers brave enough to challenge the 2015 Subaru STI, there’s only this:You’re awesome dude. HIGH RES GOLD WHEEL OPTION Modesty is totally overrated.The pyramids weren’t built to be the second-biggest sand castle on the planet, and there’s a reason we sent TV cameras to land on the moon. Excellence deserves attention.If you’re going to make a car that goes, grips and growls like a jungle cat, put a spoiler a foot and a half off the deck and then high-five yourself. That’s what life is like in the 2015 Subaru WRX STI. Repeated high-fives to yourself after you’ve conquered the physical world.last_img read more

Rooms with new views: Hotels try their hand in home-sharing

first_imgTravelers sometimes want a cookie-cutter room in a downtown hotel, and they sometimes want a cozy Tuscan farmhouse to share with friends.Hotels have always been good at providing the first one. Now, they’re trying to figure out how to provide the second — and blunt the growth of competitors like Airbnb. But they’re having mixed success.Marriott said Tuesday it’s expanding its six-month-old home-sharing pilot in London to three additional European cities. On the same day, Hyatt announced it was pulling out of a money-losing collaboration with luxury home-sharing company Oasis.Analysts say hotels are wise to experiment. Airbnb now has 5 million listings on its site, up 25 percent from a year ago. By comparison, Marriott grew 5 percent last year to 1.3 million rooms. In some markets, like New York and Miami, studies indicate that home-sharing is already eroding hotel profits. This Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, photo shows the living room of a flat that will be available for short term rent in London. Hotel companies are getting into the business of home-sharing. Marriott has been testing this in London in partnership with a home-sharing company called Hostmaker. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) This Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, photo shows the bedroom of a flat that will be available for short term rent in London. Hotel companies are getting into the business of home-sharing. Marriott has been testing this in London in partnership with a home-sharing company called Hostmaker. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) This Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, photo shows entrance to a flat that will be available for short term rent in London. Hotel companies are getting into the business of home-sharing. Marriott has been testing this in London in partnership with a home-sharing company called Hostmaker. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) This Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, photo shows a view from the top floor of a flat that will be available for short term rent in London. Hotel companies are getting into the business of home-sharing. Marriott has been testing this in London in partnership with a home-sharing company called Hostmaker. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)center_img 1 of 5 This Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, photo shows the bathroom of a flat that will be available for short term rent in London. Hotel companies are getting into the business of home-sharing. Marriott has been testing this in London in partnership with a home-sharing company called Hostmaker. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth) But it’s not yet clear how far hotels are willing to expand into home-sharing, which challenges their traditional business models. It costs more to clean homes scattered in various neighborhoods than rooms at a central location, for example.The barriers are so great that at least one major hotel company — Hilton — is giving home-sharing a pass for now. The company’s CEO, Chris Nassetta, says the quality, consistency and amenities that Hilton customers expect are best provided in hotels.Other hotel companies, like Marriott, say they can bring order and standards to the chaotic home-sharing market. Hotels promise perks they say Airbnb can’t match: fully vetted properties, fluffy white towels and popular loyalty programs that let members use points to book homes.“The lines are beginning to blur, and depending on what kind of trip it is, sometimes a home feels better than a hotel,” said Jennifer Hsieh, Marriott’s vice president of customer experience.Marriott began testing home rentals in London in the spring. This week, it’s expanding that pilot program — called Tribute Portfolio Homes — to Paris, Rome and Lisbon. Marriott says the program will now include 340 homes.Hotels aren’t necessarily luring different customers with their home-sharing options. Instead, they’re finding that existing customers want more options, says Steve Caron, vice president and head of vacation rentals for Comfort Inn parent Choice Hotels, which has partnered with RedAwning, a company that oversees 20,000 rental properties.Take Craig Sowerby, an author and freelance travel writer based in Barcelona, Spain. He’s a Hyatt loyalty member and usually stays in hotels, but he decided to try an Oasis apartment for a one-month trip to Buenos Aires earlier this summer.There were some hiccups. He had to pay upfront, months in advance, for the full $1,745 cost of his stay. He got fresh towels and sheets weekly, but there was no other cleaning. The WiFi didn’t work.On the plus side, he said, he earned credits toward his elite Hyatt status as well as points for future stays. The apartment was also far nicer than the Airbnb he subsequently rented in another part of Argentina. But he thinks it will be a challenge for hotel chains to deliver the same standard of service in shared homes.“If the hotel chains end up simply offering a ‘more expensive Airbnb,’ then their potential market will be limited to those of us who are points or elite status obsessed,” Sowerby said.For its part, Hyatt invested $22 million in Oasis in 2017 but in the second quarter of this year, it wrote off its investment as a loss, saying regulatory hurdles in some cities were limiting Oasis’s growth.On Tuesday, vacation rental management company Vacasa bought Oasis and Hyatt ceased its affiliation, although Vacasa is honoring reservations that Hyatt members already made. In a statement, Hyatt said it recognizes that customer demand for alternative accommodations remains strong, and it may discuss a future tie-up with Vacasa.Onefinestay — a luxury home rental company bought by AccorHotels in 2016 — offers properties like a three-bedroom villa on Maui for $975 per night.But AccorHotels took a similar $285 million charge in the second quarter, primarily due to losses at Onefinestay. AccorHotels also said it believes home-sharing needs to be part of its portfolio, but the business hasn’t grown as planned.Maggie Rauch, senior director of research at the travel consulting firm Phocuswright, says making home-sharing profitable will be a challenge for hotels.“Does it make sense for Marriott to build a new Marriott around this flexible shared space? Is a hotel company going to buy a brownstone in Brooklyn?” she said.For now, Marriott’s exposure is limited. It partnered with Hostmaker — a U.K.-based home-sharing management company — which scouts homes and makes sure they meet Marriott’s standards. Marriott only takes a cut for homes that are rented through the Tribute site.But Hsieh said home-sharing does have some financial advantages. For example, Marriott has found that home-sharing customers are generally leisure travelers who stay twice as long as typical hotel customers.Hotels can also charge more for entire homes. Tribute offers a three-bedroom home with a full kitchen, three bathrooms and a balcony in London’s Kensington neighborhood for $956 per night plus a $129 cleaning fee. It’s around the corner from the London Marriott Kensington, where a guest room with a bathroom and two queen beds costs $330 per night.Nearby, Airbnb lists a three-bedroom apartment with a basement-level entrance for $782 per night plus a $169 cleaning fee and a $234 service fee.As hotels continue to experiment, the pressure from home-sharing sites isn’t going away. In fact, Airbnb is making hotel-like moves of its own.In late September, it added rooms from 50 boutique hotels in Thailand to its platform through a partnership with a Thai hotel association. Last year, it bought Luxury Retreats, a high-end home-sharing site. And it’s trying to standardize what guests can expect with a new designation called Airbnb Plus for properties that pass a quality inspection.Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s policy director, says Airbnb considers online travel agents like Expedia its main rivals, not big hotel companies. The need for accommodations is so vast that Airbnb and hotels will continue to coexist, he says, but Airbnb will do better at providing unique places.But hotels aren’t giving up yet. Daniel Mount, an associate professor of hospitality at Pennsylvania State University, says they should continue to dabble in home-sharing even if it doesn’t promise big profits.“I don’t think five years from now, hotels want to look back and say, ‘Wow, we should have done that five years ago,’” Mount said.last_img read more