Tuesday, June 1, 2010


The short answer is “yes”. The longer answer is that we are in the midst of the worst economic crisis in the history of our nation. You can’t get around the fact that unemployment is at 10% and, by the way, the real number is probably closer to 20% when you include those who are underemployed. Today, it’s almost impossible to get business loans. The thing that makes this downturn stand out from others that I have experienced in my 40+ years in the business is that all sectors – hotels, office, retail, and apartments (basically the entire real estate sector) have been impacted similarly. I am thankful that the majority of our hotels carry top-tier franchises and that this allows us to weather the storm better than most. You have probably heard the saying, “All boats float during similar tides” and I believe this is true. However, if you have a well-located hotel with a top-notch franchise, you are going to enjoy more buoyancy and, in fact, recover at a faster rate than other hotels affiliated with lesser franchise flags. Our investors are currently under tremendous financial pressure and we must do our best to help them make their debt service payments. Therefore, we have to be sensitive to their needs and the urgency factor therein. Having said that, we as a company have done a great job of preserving jobs for more than 700 people. I personally am focused on growing our business in a manner which will not only save jobs, but provide employment opportunities for others that might not otherwise be able to find gainful employment. The fact that we have identified our three key stakeholders as our guests, associates, and investors has served us well during these difficult times.

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