Hotel foreclosures in California more than quadrupled last year as business travelers and vacationers cut back spending and commercial real estate values sank, forcing owners into default. In 2009, hotel revenues took their steepest decline in more than two decades, and the occupancy rate in Los Angeles now hovers at a meager 65%.
The newest downtown hotel complex buzzed with activity this week as carpenters, electricians and gardeners hustled to put the finishing touches on the $970-million skyscraper that rises over the Los Angeles Convention Center and the L.A. Live entertainment center.
The hotels open in an atmosphere that is strikingly different from the glittering times that spurred their construction. In 2006 when developers announced plans to build the 1,001-room complex, the typical Los Angeles hotel enjoyed double-digit annual increases in revenue and robust occupancy rates.
The Marriott will be the headquarters hotel for the L.A. Convention Center, which hosted more than 420 events in fiscal 2007-08. With nearly 100,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, the new Marriott can supplement the convention center's 720,000 square feet of exhibit space.