The hotel business keeps getting worse.
The latest hotel data from Smith Travel Research have everybody asking, when does this bottom out? No one knows.
For the week ending March 14, the U.S. hotel industry continued posting worsening declines in all three key measures (compared with the similar week in 2008): Average occupancy was down 15.7 percent. Room rates were down 11.2 percent. And revenue per available room (RevPAR) -- the number every hotel is most interested in -- was down 25.1 percent. That is a shocking drop, and major layoffs are going to hit the hotel industry, where jobs are already been cut, if these trends don't start turning upward.
As has been the case for months, luxury hotels have been the worst clobbered. In the luxury niche, occupancy was down 20.3 percent; room rates were down 15.5 percent and RevPAR (gulp) was down 32.7 percent.