Business Digest: Central Texas hotels hit by data breach


13 Central Texas hotels hit by data breach

One of the largest hotel operators in the world is cautioning guests that malware was deployed at a number of franchised locations to obtain credit card information.

InterContinental Hotel Group says it believes the malware could have harvested names, credit card numbers, expiration dates and verification dates between Sept. 29 and Dec. 29.

The chain said it was already in the process of implementing enhanced security measures for handling credit cards at the time the incident occurred. Those efforts continue.

Several of the affected hotels are in Central Texas, including:

  • Holiday Inn Express, 7601 E. Ben White Blvd., Austin
  • Holiday Inn Express, 8500 N. Interstate 35, Austin
  • Holiday Inn Express, 8300 N. RM 620, Austin
  • Staybridge Suites, 13087 N. U.S. 183, Austin
  • Holiday Inn Express, 491 Agnes St., Bastrop
  • Candlewood Suites, 1100 Cottonwood Creek Trail, Cedar Park
  • Holiday Inn Express, 500 S. Washington, Fredericksburg
  • Holiday Inn Express, 431 N. I-35, Georgetown
  • Candlewood Suites, 451 N. I-35, Georgetown
  • Candlewood Suites, 1471 N. I-35, New Braunfels
  • Staybridge Suites, 520 S. I-35, Round Rock
  • Holiday Inn Express, 4892 W. U.S. 290, Sunset Valley
  • Candlewood Suites, 1850 Scott Blvd., Temple

InterContinental Hotel Group says it has set up a hotline for guests with questions. Call (800) 290-9989 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Keller Williams co-CEO moves to new role

Chris Heller is changing roles at Austin-based Keller Williams, moving from co-CEO to operating partner and a regional owner, the company said Wednesday.

John Davis is now sole CEO of the real estate franchise, the world’s largest by agent count with more than 157,000 associates in 800-plus offices.

“Chris Heller did an incredible job leading us through this transition and has helped to launch several new ventures,” the company said in a written statement. “We are grateful for Chris’s many contributions … including launching our expansion outside of North America.”


Emirates cuts U.S. flights, blames new rules

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, slashed its flights to the United States by 20 percent Wednesday, blaming a drop in demand on tougher U.S. security measures and Trump administration attempts to ban travelers from some Muslim-majority nations.

The Dubai government-owned carrier’s decision is the strongest sign yet that new measures imposed on U.S.-bound travelers from the Mideast could be taking a financial toll on fast-growing Gulf carriers that have expanded rapidly in the U.S.

Dubai was one of 10 cities in Muslim-majority countries affected by a ban on laptops and other personal electronics in carry-on luggage aboard U.S.-bound flights.

The latest travel ban suspended new visas for people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and froze the nation’s refugee program. Like an earlier ban that included Iraqi citizens, it has been blocked from taking effect by the courts.

Emirates said the flight reductions will affect five of its 12 U.S. destinations, with the first cutbacks starting next month.


American Express profit falls, but tops forecasts

Credit card company American Express said Wednesday that its first quarter profit fell 13 percent from a year earlier, as the company continues to deal with the aftermath of losing its partnership with warehouse chain Costco.

The New York-based company said it earned $1.24 billion in the quarter, down from $1.43 billion in the same period a year earlier. American Express earned $1.34 a share compared with $1.45 a share a year ago. That beat analysts’ forecasts of $1.28 per share, according to FactSet.

American Express had first-quarter revenue of $7.9 billion, down 2 percent from $8.1 billion in the same period a year earlier.

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