Hotel owners are facing the same problems as homeowners, being upside down on their properties with no good escape. Please consider Hotel foreclosures jump in California.

In California, 175 hotels are in default — the first stage in the foreclosure process — according to a report from Atlas Hospitality Group, an Irvine-based brokerage firm. Another 31 have been foreclosed, nearly one third of them in the Inland region.

Of those in default or foreclosure, about 75 percent obtained new loans between 2005 and 2007 for construction financing, re-financing or to buy the hotel, according to the firm. Atlas Hospitality estimates that 2,500 hotels — about 25 percent of the state’s entire hotel population — refinanced or obtained new loans in that time meaning more defaults and foreclosures could be on the horizon.

The industry has been rattled by foreclosures before, especially in the mid-1990s, but the impact today is more widespread, hitting both low-end and high-end properties in every region, Reay said.

Those who bought hotels between 2006 and 2006 are likely sitting on properties worth at least 50 percent less than what they paid, he said. [Mish: obviously there is a typo in the date range]

Reay’s firm is marketing The Block at Big Bear, a 50-room hotel that catered to snowboarders. The hotel’s owner walked away earlier this year and closed the hotel, which is in default. The hotel was appraised for more than $4 million in 2006. Today, Reay’s firm, working with a court-ordered receiver, is asking $2.04 million for the property.

Hoteliers will likely have to survive at least two more years of low revenues, diminishing profit margins and fewer rooms booked by travelers unwilling to spend.

Atlanta-based PKF Hospitality Research has forecast that the revenue hoteliers earn per room will reach its lowest point of the recession in the third quarter of this year.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay In Foreclosure

In Hawaii, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa is in foreclosure after owner defaults.

The Sheraton [Keauhou] Bay Resort and Spa on the Big Island is going into foreclosure after the resort’s owner defaulted on its mortgage, another sign Hawaii’s beleaguered tourism industry is suffering during the global recession.

Owners Koa Hotel LLC have defaulted on nearly $60 million remaining on their mortgage, interest and fines. Koa Hotel is owned by the New York private equity firm Brickman Associates. The property’s major creditor is Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which filed for bankruptcy last year.

The resort’s business declined amid a broader drop in visitors to Hawaii since last spring. So far this year, 15 percent fewer tourists have visited the Big Island compared to the first part of 2008.

Anyone who bought hotels in anywhere in the US between 2003 and 2007 more than likely overpaid, and by as much as 50% or more. Tourism is down everywhere and that tourism is not going to recover for years, perhaps decades as cash strapped consumers attempt to repair balance sheets.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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