Bleak 2009 Shrinks Revenue for State's Biggest Hotels

by Robert Bell  on Monday, Mar. 8, 2010 12:00 am  


Optimistic Outlook

Both Davis and Schatzl said they expected business to pick up in the second half of this year.

"We think 2010 is going to be improved," Schatzl said. "The convention calendar in Hot Springs looks very good, but I think there are still threats. A weak economy [or] perhaps rising gas prices could be a threat to the industry recovering. But with Hot Springs being a convenient drive, I don't think higher gas prices would hurt us too much."

Although the first part of the year has been slow, Davis said, he has seen signs that the industry could be improving.

"We're seeing that March has a little bit more buoyancy, not only in our market, but in several other of our hotels as well. The transient market seems to be rebounding slightly, which is good news for all of us. And the group market is again starting to pick up somewhat."

The transient market refers to individuals who are traveling for work or leisure, he said.

"We are seeing signs in our company that individual transient reservation booking pace is improving over the last four or five weeks," Schatzl said. "The pace of reservations is picking up."

Davis said he and his colleagues were "cautiously optimistic" about the second half of 2010.

"We estimated, I think correctly, that the first quarter was going to be a tough quarter, with some slight growth in the second quarter," he said.

But despite the gradual improvement, "overall it will be flat or slightly above what we did in 2009," he said.




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