Recession, uncertainty headline hotel industry’s 2008
Recession, uncertainty headline hotel industry’s 2008
24 SEPTEMBER 2018 7:57 AM

HNN recaps 5 things to know from 2008 with repurposed stories as part of its look back at 10 years of the hotel industry.

GLOBAL REPORT—The Great Recession hit in 2008, and hoteliers were predicting the hard times and navigating through them throughout the year.

Three well-known executives, Bill Marriott, then chairman and CEO of Marriott International; Barry Sternlicht, CEO of Starwood Capital Group; and Jonathan Gray, then senior managing director and co-head of the Blackstone Group, said tougher times could be ahead for the industry at the 30th Anniversary NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, held in June of that year.

“I can’t go much than beyond next week,” Marriott said when asked to predict the next 12 months. “International will be strong. (In the U.S.) weekend business is soft and midweek transient business is beginning to soften.”

Development pipeline data from STR, HNN’s parent company, slowed in the second quarter of 2008 over economic concerns and credit challenges.

Projects in the active pipeline fell to 5,898 in the second quarter of the year, while the number of rooms dropped from 665,250 in Q1 2008 to 664,327 in Q2 2008. While there was a dip, the pipeline saw an 18.1% total increase in rooms from July 2007 to July 2008.

This was also the year that U.S. President Barack Obama was elected into office for his first term. An article from STR’s Chad Church showed that hoteliers in Washington, D.C., were expecting a large crowd for his inauguration.

For the night of inauguration, 19 January 2009, a midscale hotel in Springfield, Virginia, was running at $400/night while an upper-upscale hotel inside the Beltway was going for $1,200/night.

Another major event that happened during the year was the 2008 Olympic Games, held in Beijing. The Games resulted in higher hotel rates and revenue spikes for the city, according to data from STR. Beijing posted an occupancy rate of 88.47% around the games, and “hotels increased their average daily rate between 272.40% and 384.57% over the same days in 2007.”

While the games generated a lot of hotel demand in Beijing, that demand fell off almost immediately after the games. STR data shows that occupancy dropped to 42% the day after the Olympic Games ended.

2008 wasn’t an easy year for hoteliers, but it helped shape today’s industry. Continue reading the stories below for more articles relating to the hotel industry in 2008.

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