Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hilton to Close Portland Hotel for Four Weeks this Winter

by Bill McBride on 9/03/2009 02:35:00 PM

From The Oregonian: Portland's hotels face grim prospects (ht Shawn)

[F]or two weeks in November and one week each in December and January, the Hilton's presidential suite -- along with all other rooms in [the original 23-story building] -- will go dark. [The newer Hilton will remain open.]
...
Downtown Portland hotels are also facing stiffer competition after Sage Hospitality Resources of Denver opened two new hotels with more than 500 rooms just as market went into its funk. At one of those hotels, The Nines, Sage's business was off so much that it sought a delay in loan payments to the City of Portland's urban renewal agency.

Marks, the Hilton general manager, said early this week that the hotel routinely shuts entire floors during slow weeks to cut cleaning and energy costs. He projects the Hilton's occupancy could be as low as 30 percent in some winter weeks.
It is routine for hotels to close floors, but unusual to close an entire building (although Hilton has a newer tower across the street).

There are a couple of key points in this story: occupancy has declined, especially business related travel, and there is too much new supply on the market. Lower demand meets higher supply, and the result is lower prices - and hotels cutting costs, closing buildings, and more and more hotels unable to meet their debt payments - and some even unable to make their payroll.