Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Get your hotels for sale!

Crain's is reporting that Strategic Hotels is putting the Chicago Fairmont up for sale. This is a tough time to be selling hotels, and it is not the only property on the market here right now.

I've never really "gotten" the Fairmont, nor has it ever really stood out in the Chicago crowd in my opinion. And its RevPAR is, well, not so good. The one thing it does have going for it is an assumable loan until April of 2012 at LIBOR plus 70 bps. So the thought is buy now and ride out the recession for two more years, because money for big hotel deals isn't easy to come by today.

People are saying this is yet another sign of trouble at the highly levered SHC and that the company needs cash, and now. I don't know. I do not follow SHC enough to tell you. I only know that I always wish Churchllians well, and since Laurence Geller (who says his company is well-positioned) is also chairman of the Churchill Centre, he gets my best wishes. Maybe today's after-market conference call will shed more light on where the company is going.

P.S. Happy Flunk Day!


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