Hoteliers are naturally optimistic people, and often they don't want to admit that the economy or the overall demand environment might be souring on them until they absolutely have to.
And while that happened to a degree earlier during The Lodging Conference, as hoteliers admitted business travel hasn't returned the pace they once hoped for, the whispers grew to a roar on the conference's final day during the Lodging Industry Investment Council meeting.
During that gathering of dozens of high-ranking hotel industry executives, the majority of the group acknowledged the broader economy is now in the midst of a recession. But many are still holding out hope that what is now a technical recession won't grow into the type of deep recession that will keep consumers and corporations from spending on travel.
"Is it a recession? Technically, yes, but I don't think it feels like it to the vast majority of people in the U.S.," said First Hospitality President and CEO David Duncan. "Maybe I've been spending time in different places, but it certainly doesn't feel like it."