While the lodging industry remains in what the majority of its players cite as an “elongated” period of prosperity, the viewpoints of many of those—from panelists to attendees—at this year’s 26th Meet the Money National Hotel Finance & Investment Conference is that the handwriting is on the wall for a perceptible downward shift.
“This is really a turnaround year,” said Jim Butler of Jeffers Mangels Butler & Mitchell, LLP, the conference organizer who brought together some 400 owners, operators, developers, lenders and analysts at the Sheraton Gateway LAX for the annual two-day event.
“January of this year to the present has marked the first time since the [financial] recovery that people are starting to worry seriously again about a downturn, about financing, about interest rates. It’s gone from ‘All is going very well’ to ‘Boy, there are some things we better focus on,’” Butler said.
All of those concerns and more were part of the conference’s hot topics, which ran the gamut from the state of Chinese investment in the U.S. to the variety of ways to finance a project or transaction to what sort of dance buyers and sellers are beginning to do.
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