PricewaterhouseCoopers Forecasts a Substantial Reduction in Hotel RevPAR in 2009

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| Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers

NEW YORK, Nov. 7, 2008 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Based on current forecasts for the U.S. economy, and historical data from Smith Travel Research, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP forecasts a 5.8 percent RevPAR decrease in 2009, following a 0.8 percent decrease in 2008. This represents the first consecutive two-year RevPAR decrease since the 7.0 percent and 2.7 percent decrease in 2001 and 2002, respectively.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' revised forecast reflects recessionary economic forecasts by Macroeconomic Advisers, LLC(i) of three consecutive quarters of declining GDP, beginning with the decline in the third quarter of 2008, and resulting in forecasted GDP growth of just 0.2 percent for 2009 overall.

According to the PwC forecast, 2008 RevPAR will decrease by 0.8 percent, primarily due to a 3.7 percent decrease in occupancy, the highest annual decrease in occupancy since 2001. In 2009, demand is forecast to decrease by 2.0 percent, which, when coupled with a 1.6 percent increase in supply, is expected to further reduce occupancy to 58.6 percent, the lowest since 1971. As a result, hotels are expected to continue to lose pricing power, resulting in an ADR decrease of 2.4 percent, which, coupled with a 2.1 point drop in occupancy, is expected to decrease RevPAR by 5.8 percent, the greatest annual decline since the 7.0 percent drop in 2001.



 PricewaterhouseCoopers' Forecast - 2008 and 2009
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            2000  2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009
            ----------------------------------------------------------
 Occupancy  63.3% 59.8% 59.0% 59.2% 61.4% 63.1% 63.3% 63.1% 60.7% 58.6%
 ADR Growth  5.4% -1.4% -1.5%  0.2%  4.2%  5.5%  7.5%  6.1%  3.0% -2.4%
 RevPAR
  Growth     6.1% -7.0% -2.7%  0.5%  7.9%  8.5%  7.8%  5.7% -0.8% -5.8%
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 Source: Smith Travel Research (2000 to 2007) and
 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (2008 and 2009).

"The deteriorating outlook for the economy is impacting travel habits and spending, and hotels are expected to experience reduced occupancy levels, and to a lesser degree, some room rate erosion through 2009," said Scott Berman, principal and U.S. Leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' Hospitality and Leisure practice.

About PricewaterhouseCoopers

PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries work collaboratively using connected thinking to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

(i) The Macroeconomic Advisers LLP forecast was released October 24, 2008.

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