CHEAP HOTEL ROOMS AVAILABLE FOR THE ASKING
Mitt Romney donor, Bill Marriott slimed
Last week I went to visit friends in Mexico City for a few days. I was astounded how inexpensive the hotels were-- and even more astounded when I saw how empty they were-- as were the great restaurants, museums and other tourist spots. I asked the concierge at the Embassy Suites and he said the season is a bust and he attributed it to Americans have no money for travel. This morning's Washington Post makes it clear that it isn't just Mexico City hotels that are suffering.
Marriott International, one of the world's largest hotel operators, released a stream of unsettling news for the industry yesterday: Its second quarter profit fell 24 percent, to $157 million; it lowered yearly profit estimates again; and most importantly, it said revenue per available room, a key measure of hotel strength, could decrease this year in the United States by 1 percent.
...With oil prices soaring, getting from point A to point B -- either by car or plane -- has become more expensive for leisure and business travelers, who are now looking to cut back on trips. Throw in weaker corporate results, which cause companies to further tighten their belts, and airlines cutting flights and capacity, which makes it more difficult and expensive to travel, and Marriott executives are faced with an unappealing environment.
Demand for hotel rooms falls, then so do rate increases-- even as costs rise. It's basically as simple as that. In a call with analysts, Marriott chief financial officer Arne Sorenson said, "No one listening today will be surprised to hear that the slowdown in the U.S. economy has impacted our business."
Marriott's stock is also in the toilet and fell another 7% ($1.87) yesterday. It's down 50% in the last six months. And the trend isn't confined to Marriott but spreading throughout the industry, all part of the Bush Economic Miracle.
I fly internationally a lot. There really are no other airports that I've gone to that give the flying consumer as gratuitously as miserable an experience as the U.S. airports. And while few in the rest of the U.S. are as overtly fascist as Atlanta's airport, the whole experience of flying is something most people would rather avoid these days. And driving? Well, the Bush Economic Miracle has worked its wonders there too. Oh, I forgot, John McCain's economic wizard, Phil Gramm, says its all in our minds. Silly me; I need to stop whining-- and start doing something more effective.
Labels: Bush economic miracle