Just a few months ago, the future of the hotel industry in the Tri-Counties looked clear.
Smaller, nimbler, niche-oriented hotels were going to be the wave of the future. But the credit crunch has put a number of these plans on hold.
Construction at Fess Parker’s Waterfront Hotel has been stalled; the restoration of the El Encanto project in Santa Barbara has been pushed back; business at the Four Seasons Westlake Village has been soft; and projects in Ventura and elsewhere may go forward at a much slower pace.
It’s too early to tell if these are temporary delays or if the business model for a new generation of hotels will have to be put on hold. But it is one more sign that the region’s hospitality sector is not immune from broader economic trends.
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