Bob Hunter said he was taking the cautious out of the “cautious optimism” phrase that has described the lodging industry for the better part of three years. “The glass is more than half full,” he said during the opening of the 24th annual Hunter Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta on Monday.
Unbridled may not be the exactly right word to replace cautious, but there’s no doubt the mood at the Marriott Marquis the past two days has been far more positive and real than at any event during the past three years.
“We should stop talking about doom and gloom,” said Carlson Rezidor EVP Nancy Johnson, also the AH&LA chair.
“We should feel pretty damn good,” said FelCor Lodging Trust Chairman Tom Corcoran during his keynote address. “We’ll have a long term run of success now. This will lead to a great decade for the industry.”
Even the numbers guys were confident. Mark Woodworth reiterated PKF’s forecast, calling for a 5.8% boost in revenue per available room this year, led by a 4.1% gain in average daily rate. PKF has reported six straight quarters of ADR growth, and with new supply limited, Woodworth said, “We are confident forecasting a sustained period of attractive industry profit growth.” PKF’s latest issue of Hotel Horizons projects occupancy gains through 2016, which would be an unprecedented six-year run of growth that began in 2010.
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