These Are Grim Times for the Hotel Business. But, Shhh, Say Nothing.
This morning's Wall Street Journal wonders whether Blackstone Group LP is still real happy about its $26-billion leveraged buyout of Hilton Hotels Corp. last year -- because, er, "more hotel owners and operators [are] posting dismal results and giving dour forecasts," write Lingling Wei and Kris Hudson. Course, they didn't pull this out of their respective hats. While Dennis Nessler, editor of Hotel Business, recently wrote that his is a "volatile" business capable of deep lows and sky-hights, he also acknowledged "the industry’s relatively low rating from many analysts who don’t consider it a sound investment right now."
On Monday, the same day Marriott warned of lower-than-expected returns, The New York Times put it thusly: "The hotel business is hurting." And then there's this observation from today's Wall Street Journal story, courtesy Jim Woods, a partner in Dallas-based hotel developer Open Hospitality Partners: "If you've been an owner of hotels for the past couple of years, you've done quite well. But the next couple of quarters are going to be difficult as fundamentals are deteriorating." Oh, and in all the Election Day hubbub yesterday, maybe you missed this? Thought so. --Robert Wilonsky