Friday, March 19, 2010

Hotels hurting

Neil Cornelssen says he misses the free cookies in the evening at one hotel and the daily newspaper outside his door at others.

He's also noticing that bath towels in a growing number of hotel rooms are shabby and need to be replaced.

Cornelssen, a sales manager in Marlton, N.J., is one of many frequent travelers who say they see the tangible effect that the recession has had on the nation's hotel industry. Among them: run-down rooms with fewer bathroom amenities, closed club lounges, fewer concierge staffers, slow room service, reduced hours at restaurants and bars, and infrequent airport shuttles.

"The unfortunate reality of today's marketplace," says Hotels magazine Editor-in-Chief Jeff Weinstein, is hotels are "more focused on saving cash than delivering the best service."

Obama's phony neo populist attacks on business travel and trade conventions didn't help the industry. And, who was hurt? Blue collar and clerical hotel, catering and convention trade employees.

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