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Phoenix Resorts: 2009 called 'the worst' for Valley hotels

When the owner of the luxury Phoenician resort reported year-end financial results, no negatives were spared in summing up the state of the hotel industry last year. "For the lodging business, 2009 was the worst downturn in our lifetimes," Frits van Paasschen, chief executive officer of lodging giant Starwood Hotels and Resorts, said last week. "Even a tepid recovery will feel good." The hotel pain was especially acute in metro Phoenix, according to new year-end numbers from industry tracker Smith Travel Research. The Phoenix area, traditionally a corporate-meeting hot spot and big winter-vacation destination, suffered double-digit declines in every major industry measure. It was among the worst performers in the country in each category, a dubious distinction that sent some hotels to the brink of foreclosure. One, the historic Wigwam Resort, was sold at a bankruptcy auction. Revenue per available room, a key industry measure that factors in room rates, supply and occupancy levels, fell 25.3 percent, the biggest decline among the top 25 U.S. markets tracked by Smith Travel. That was on top of an 8 percent decline in 2008, as Phoenix felt the effects of the recession earlier than most markets.

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Comment by Powell Gammill
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Why would a hotel want to open upduring these harsh business climates...perhaps because the taxpayer's are subsidizing them to open up:

                                                                                                                         Judge Rules City of Phoenix Must Turn Over Public Records to Goldwater Institute City originally refused to hand over records related to the Wyndham Hotel deal   PHOENIX--At a Superior Court hearing, Maricopa County Judge Kenneth Mangum decided the City of Phoenix must turn over public records related to a deal it is making with the Wyndham Hotel by February 19, 2010. The City was ordered to turn over some documents to the Goldwater Institute and other documents to Judge Mangum for his review.  
In December 2009, news reports stated that the City was offering a sizeable tax break to the Wyndham Hotel through a sales-lease back arrangement. Concerned that unconstitutional tax breaks could be given to the hotel, the Goldwater Institute requested public records to see the development agreement and other related public documents on January 5, 2010. The City refused, saying no documents would be made public until a development agreement has been signed.
"The City of Phoenix admitted in court that it has documents that it can turn over to the public now, and that it is willing to do that," said Carrie Ann Sitren, an attorney with the Goldwater Institute's Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. "It is disappointing that it took a lawsuit and the Court's valuable time to have them comply."
The City said it was concerned some of the documents could affect its negotiations with the Wyndham Hotel. Because of this, Judge Mangum decided the City must turn those specific documents over to him for a private inspection. Judge Mangum will then decide if those particular documents should be released to the public.  

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