Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Hotel Recession Reaches 20 Months

by Calculated Risk on 7/07/2009 12:21:00 PM

From HotelNewsNow: Industry enters 20th month of recession

Economic research firm e-forecasting.com, in conjunction with Smith Travel Research, announced HIP edged down 0.7 percent in June, following a decline of 1.2 percent in May. HIP, the Hotel Industry’s Pulse index, is a composite indicator that gauges business activity in the U.S. hotel industry in real-time. The latest decrease brought the index to a reading of 82.5. The index was set to equal 100 in 2000.
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“This recession continues to drag out, just one month shy of matching the longest one the industry felt back in May ’81 to January ’83, which lasted 21 months,” said Maria Simos, CEO of e-forecasting.com
Hotel Recession Click on graph for larger image in new window.


And a quote from The Arizona Republic: Resorts suffer financial strains (ht Jonathan)
Richard Warnick of Warnick & Co. said he'd be surprised if nearly all hotels and resorts, here and across the country, weren't in technical default on their loans, falling below required minimums on debt service coverage, for example, given the sad state of travel. That is often a precursor to more serious financial problems that prompt lenders to foreclose.
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He and others say hotels have committed economic suicide by slashing rates to levels not seen even in the aftermath of 9/11, and many are concerned it will take years to get back to "normal," or at least the new normal.
Actually the hotel industry has "committed economic suicide" by overbuilding and taking on too much debt.

Smith Travel Research is now forecasting RevPAR (revenue per available room) off 17.1% this year and declining another 3.7% next year.