Projections Show Dangerously Low Occupancy Rates. So Let’s Build a $550 Million Hotel!

There’s probably never been a worse time to build this sucker, which ain’t stopping Mayor Tom.

The first sip: PKF Consulting of Atlanta revised its 2009 forecast of the hotel industry after the stock market crash and now expects a 4.4 percent nationwide drop in occupancy rate, which would result in the worst rate since Smith Travel Research started tracking the data in 1988.

The fallout? Lower hotel rates and smaller hotel staffs, which is not good news at all for Dallas because of its already historically low occupancy rate. And ’09 isn’t looking better as it faces a projected 4.8 percent drop in occupancy to reach a pathetic 56 percent.

Of course, Mayor Leppert and the city council will be digging dirt on a new convention center hotel next year, which makes plenty of sense, especially when you consider this part of the USA Today story: “Part of the problem is that declining demand for hotel rooms will coincide with a boost in new rooms -- a double whammy for hotel owners and operators.”

The second sip: Bloomberg’s Joe Mysak provides thoughtful commentary on the hotel mess.

The third sip: I passed on writing about the Cesar Chavez uproar because I’m past the point of exhaustion on the issue, but both Jeff Siegel and Pete Oppel posted must-reads.

The fourth sip: What can the President-elect Obama do to support philanthropy, volunteering and civil society overall? Larry James weighs in.

The fifth sip: Time to fire Rick Carlisle already?

The final gulp: I always suspected Rod Dreher smoked pot. Here’s proof. --Sam Merten

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Sam Merten
Contact: Sam Merten