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San Diego Hotel Performance May Mirror the Rest of Nation Says
Starwood Hotels and Resorts CEO Frits van Paasschen

By Lori Weisberg, The San Diego Union-Tribune
October 22, 2010

As the lodging industry struggles to emerge from one of the nation’s deepest economic downturns in decades, San Diego’s hotels may well be the bellwether for what lies ahead for most of the country, believes top Starwood Hotels and Resorts executive Frits van Paasschen.

In town for the recent 100th anniversary of the US Grant Hotel, which is a Starwood-managed property, van Paasschen hastened to point out that hotels already are seeing occupancies approach pre-recession levels, although many have had to discount to fill vacant rooms.

“San Diego is seeing occupancies that mirror the rest of North America , although not at the high levels we’re seeing in gateway cities like New York or Chicago,” said van Paasschen, who joined Starwood as CEO in 2007. There are 10 Starwood-branded hotels in the county, only one of which is owned by the company.

Lori Weisberg

Frits van Paasschen is CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which h
as 10 branded hotels in San Diego County

San Diego County's occupancy rate through August of this year was 69.5 percent, an increase of nearly 6 percent over the same time period a year earlier, according to Smith Travel Research. For the United States as a whole, the occupancy level was lower, at 58.8 percent, but the nation's growth in that area was similar to San Diego's, increasing by 5 percent over the prior year.

“Highest end hotels are doing the best," added van Paasschen. "The U.S. Grant and the W are examples of these kind of hotels that are coming back most strongly. When there’s a recovery, people want to go back to the brands they enjoy.

For the rest of the story please visit:


Lori Weisberg, Staff Writer
San Diego Union-Tribune
350 Camino de la Reina
San Diego, CA  92102

Also See: San Diego Leads California with Hotels in Distress; Numbers Surge 160% Over Same Period a Year Ago / October 2010

Questions Surround Why the City of San Diego Has Permitted the Swanky SE San Diego Hotel to Continue Operating Without a Valid Certificate of Occupancy / September 2010

San Diego's Manchester Grand Hyatt Deal with Sunstone Hotel Investors Goes Sour / September 2010

Skin Care Concierges Protect Hotel Sunbathers - The Newest in Amenities? / August 2010

Traveler Preferences are Changing: Upscale San Diego Hoteliers are Increasingly Becoming Pet Friendly Offering Pet Amenities From Surfing Lessons to Pet Psychic Sessions / August 2010

Former Owner of San Diego's W Hotel, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Wants to Acquire Manchester Grand Hyatt / August 2010

San Diego's Downtown W Hotel Now Owned by Lender / July 2010

During Downturn San Diego Hotel Owners Face a Delicate Balancing Act in Calculating When and How Much to Invest in Restorations / April 2010

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