USA Today reports ‘Hard Times Send Hotel Industry into Survival Mode’

A really good article from USA Today about hotels struggling to survive.  Check out the full article on USA Today’s website.

The article features some high-profile hotel closures such as the W Hotel in San Diego and the Ritz-Carlton in Las Vegas.  The article also mentions how 76 California hotels have already fallen into foreclosure and that 330 out of the states 10,000 hotels have defaulted on their mortgage payments in the last year.

As far as the cuts, the article really only mentions that Concierges are being replaced by lower-cost employees and some hotels are changing their approach to food and beverage.

We have noticed quite a few changes at hotels over the last year or so to cut costs or drive revenues.  A few of the changes we see:

  • Many hotels have closed restaurants and bars.  Instead of having 2 or 3, many have closed all but one restaurant and one bar.
  • Hotels have cut costs and gone green by eliminating newspapers and printed folios.
  • Parking rates are on the rise.  Many hotels have increased the parking fees for both self-parking and valet parking.
  • Breakfast buffets have really been changing.  The prices have increased and the quality and selection of food have decreased.
  • Overall staffing has really decreased.  Many hotels have eliminated positions like bellmen or concierges.  Also, we see longer lines at check-in because the hotels have fewer GSAs with similar occupancy as in the past.

What are you doing to survive?  Please post in our comment section!

23 Story Hilton Hotel to Shut Down For 4 Weeks to Save Money

A Hilton Hotel in Portland, Oregon is preparing to shut down for 4 weeks to save money.  The hotel is the largest in the state of Oregon.  The hotel consists of two different towers located across the street from each other.  One of the towers will remain open.  The story was originally reported in the Oregonian and can be found here.

Our take:  This story has been picked up by many news outlets and is being used to show how badly hotels are hurting.  The main problem in that area is the 500 new hotel rooms that opened recently.  We think the hotel is just being smart and planning ahead.  Even in good times, many hotels close floors or even entire towers for weeks or months at a time.  Closing floors can save a lot of money on cleaning and energy costs if the demand for the rooms is not there.

The story does a good job of reminding us all to take a look at our upcoming forecasts.  Do we have an opportunity to close floors and reduce costs?