Movers and shakers from the hotel industry were gathered together last week in Los Angeles for the Americas Lodging and Investment Summit, where they discussed the prospects for business this coming year.
Bracing for Better Business Climate
Real estate companies as well as hotel businesses are looking towards the coming year with hope despite the fears they have about the European economic situation and challenges finding debt financing.
The economic recovery has been business-led, which has given a boost to US hotel occupancy rates. Nevertheless development of new projects seems to still be stalled as credit conditions remain tight, making the building of new hotels difficult. Yet, the hoteliers remain optimistic.
“People are expecting 2012 to be a pretty positive year, with solid performance by the industry in terms of the demand for hotel accommodations and the ability to get deals done,”
Arthur de Haast, chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said at the summit.
Billion Dollar Industry
Jones Lang, a hotel investment services firm, predicts that hotel deals in the Americas will at least do as well as last year’s level, reaching about $15 billion in value.
Hotel deals increased in their activity in the first two quarters of 2011, but substantial slowing down occurred at the end of last year due to the economic troubles in Europe began to make headlines.
Even though Europe has by no means recovered from its woes, most people at the three-day hotel summit believed that a further recovery which includes room-rate rises, will make the hotel sector seductive for investment.
“There’s a lot of money on the sidelines waiting to pounce and find opportunities,”
said Christian Charre, president and chief executive of the Charre Group, a Florida-based hotel brokerage and consulting firm.