What a difference a few years makes. During the recession, the hotel and lodging sector was one of the worst hit industries. On one hand, reduced corporate and consumer spending meant less people traveling for business or pleasure. Rooms went empty and RevPAR numbers/profits dropped like crazy. On the other, values for hotel real estate hit some of the lowest levels not seen in years. That resulted in plenty of underwater commercial mortgages, breached debt covenants and inability to refinance.
The hotel and lodging REITs were stuck. In fact, many were forced to cut formally lucrative dividend payouts to preserve cash and stay afloat.
But you wouldn’t know that when looking at the hotel REITs today.
Profits are up, dividends have been reinstated and sector is booming amid rising travel and activity. The halcyon days are here again for the lodging REITs. And dividend investors may want to take notice.