|By Eric Wolff, North County Times,
Escondido, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jan. 11, 2012--The number of hotels in foreclosure leaped 66.7 percent in 2011 from 2010 in California, and San Diego County had more hotel foreclosures than any other county, a report from a hotel consultant said Wednesday.
Hotels struggled through the recession and weak recovery of recent years. As tourism dissipated, hotels defaulted on loans and fell into foreclosure. But tourism revenue has been rising in recent months and the spike in foreclosures in 2011 may mark a foreclosure peak for this economic cycle, said Atlas Hospitality Group, an Irvine consultancy that produced the report.
"As we predicted, the number of hotels in default increased through the first half of the year and then leveled off, while the number of hotel foreclosures continued to climb," Atlas said in its report. "There were two major factors in the decline in default filings, first the rising RevPAR's and secondly increased hotel values."
RevPAR is revenue per available room.
Riverside County added two new hotel foreclosures in 2011, increasing the number of lender-owned properties in the county by 14.3 percent from 2010. The number of hotels in default fell 24.9 percent to 24.
In San Diego County, lenders foreclosed on 11 hotels in 2011, increasing the number of foreclosed hotels by 69 percent from 2010. The number of hotels in default dropped 54.4 percent to 14.
Among San Diego County's hotel foreclosures was Lake San Marcos Resort and Country Club, which has been in bankruptcy.
A recent increase in tourism spending may turn the trend around. A recent report from the Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau showed an increase in consumer spending, and the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau forecasts more visitors and more tourism spending in 2012.
Call staff writer Eric Wolff at 760-303-1927, follow him on Twitter at ericwolff or find him on Facebook at facebook.com/NCTHousing.
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