It was a week of high anxiety for U.S. hotel owners seeking financial relief from the federal government and the CMBS bond market. Hotel owners rushed applications to SBA-approved lenders to qualify for the agency’s Paycheck Protection Program. Some primary lenders such as JP Morgan cut off applications, saying they had met their quota as early as Monday. Meanwhile, hoteliers with CMBS loans were frustrated with attempts to seek relief, fearing a loss of capital reserves as well as triggering financial penalties and legal costs. In this update of Long Live Lodging’s special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hotel industry, we feature owners and financing experts who are feeling the pain of an economic downturn of historical proportions.
The Hunter Hotel Investment Conference will be the industry’s first large event to be held during the coronavirus pandemic. The Atlanta event will be a hybrid format of in-person and virtual access, also an industry first. Lee Hunter, chairman of the conference, knows the level of expectation is high among other conference planners as well as industry professionals eager to network after more than a yearlong hiatus. Episode 316 of Lodging Leaders podcast features Hunter as he tells what it takes to re-launch the industry’s conference circuit amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The coronavirus crisis has dramatically altered the traditional competitive set most hotels use to benchmark their business performance. During the pandemic, properties have reduced services; they’ve closed either permanently or temporarily; or they’ve transitioned to alternative uses by contracting out to essential travelers or social agencies in search of housing. Episode 315 explores the genesis of the hotel industry comp set and how the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the strategic business tool. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s ongoing coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.