Buckle up

Buckle up

I have no doubt during the middle of last week when the Dow
was dropping faster than a hotel rate in a flash sale, everyone who was
predicting a strong industry rebound or buying full-service hotel assets based
on improving fundamentals was starting to choke on their lattes.

I was tempted to blog then about what the impact of the
double-dip recession in the U.S. would be on the hotel business, which no doubt
is no good. But I hesitated as the only thing I knew for sure was that I was
not sure what to think.

Here I sit a week later on Monday night, August 15. The Dow
has recovered everything it lost from the two big drops from the previous week
and I remain in the same position ? unsure, and a little spooked. By the time
you read this, the economic roller coaster may have started gyrating again ? I
don?t think so this week, but any noteworthy event seems to send investors into
a tizzy.

My point today is make no sure plans. No one seems to be
able to call the market. Business remains steady for the moment, but any
downward trend will likely have business travelers off the road in no time. I
hope Washington politicians can find some common ground, that China?s economy
and real estate market remain stalwart and Western Europe can find a way to stabilize
its business. None of those are sure bets by any stretch of the imagination.

At this very moment, however, my hope has been restored,
somewhat ? at least enough to think those hungry, hopefully well-capitalized
hotel buyers betting on double-digit RevPAR gains in 2012 and beyond are not
completely out of luck.

What do you think? I would love to see a bit of
prognosticating done below via the blog response tool. Don?t worry, you don?t
have to put your name on it and it could make for some interesting banter.