Well folks, here we go again. The 2010 Americas Lodging Investment Summit kicks off today in San Diego, and after a punch-us-in-the-gut-and-kick-us-when-we’re-down 2009, it couldn’t come soon enough.
I’m not saying these next few days will be filled with a sugar-coated haze of fairytale prognostications that will make us forget our current woes. (Because let’s face it, things still could be much, MUCH better.) What they can bring, however, is a much-needed shot of all-for-one optimism. Attending the big conferences has a way of doing this. Something about seeing familiar faces, the buzz of activity, and the best and brightest minds of our industry on stage is like getting a locker-room pep talk from Knute Rockne at halftime.
And if nothing else, these flagpole industry conferences get us focused toward better times ahead.
Luckily for us, those better times are on the way. You remember 2010, don’t you? At last year’s ALIS, this is the year in which many industry pundits assured us recovery would come.
Granted, things might not look so great now, but we’ve still got 340-odd days to work with, and some firms already are calling for improvement.
For example, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels will today release a slightly upbeat Americas hotel transactions forecast at ALIS. In the report, JLLH says deal volumes are expected to increase by at least US$3.5 billion for the year, driven by the bottoming-out of RevPAR, the significant amount of equity entering the market and increased pressure on some owners and lenders to sell or recapitalize assets. These factors will result in the narrowing of the bid-ask spread and an increase in seller financed deals.
“This increase will mark the first rise in two years, but is still approximately 40 percent below the annual volumes recorded from 2000 to 2003,” said Arthur Adler, managing director and CEO-Americas for Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, in a release.
Read "JLLH: Americas hotel transactions to grow by 67 percent in 2010."
DLA Piper will also release some interesting new findings today from its 2010 Hospitality Outlook Survey. The report reveals that while the majority of survey respondents expect a full industry rebound in 2011, the next 12 months are rife with reasons for a guarded belief that 2010 will show signs of improvement.
“This growing sense of cautious optimism has been spurred by hospitality executives’ strong sense of confidence that current market conditions continue to create ‘good’ buying opportunities, which will be led by investment activity from private equity and foreign investors,” according to the outlook.
Read the DLA Piper 2010 Hospitality Outlook Survey.
And let’s not forget the talking heads. In her latest article, our managing editor Stacey Mieyal Higgins gets a sneak preview of the newest outlooks from the big three forecasting firms, Smith Travel Research, PKF Hospitality Research and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Each projects demand to pick up in 2010, despite continued revenue woes.
“I certainly stand by the theory that demand will be stronger in first-quarter 2010,” said Scott D. Berman, the firm’s principal and U.S. industry leader, hospitality & leisure. “The uptick may be somewhat delayed, we may not see it in the first quarter, but we’re confident based on the economic forecasting that demand will see an uptick in room nights. That being said, all the pressure is on pricing.”
Read "Forecasters: Only way to go is up in 2010."
There will no doubt be other important updates about 2010 and beyond as this year’s ALIS conference unfolds. So whether you’ll be joining your peers at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront or manning your home base elsewhere, check back with HotelNewsNow.com during the coming days and weeks for all the latest news, updates and analysis.