The state's hospitality industry was strained before Sept. 11and it's gotten far worse, Keeling says. Concern is such that hehas spent the better part of the past two days comparinghospitality industry data from the Desert Storm and Gulf War daysto the present. At best, he's got his fingers crossed that the keyindicators of RevPAR, occupancy, room rates and demand willbrighten when the calendar flips to 2002. Until then, it's going tostay a severely depressed market, he forewarns.

Overall, the Texas hospitality market of today is off 7% fromfirst quarter 1991, but 5% of that is a direct result of moresupply. Some 49,000 rooms have been brought on line in the pastfive years. Before the year's out, "it will decrease substantiallybelow two points," Keeling predicts as current building projectscome on line to swell supply far in excess of demand.

The short term, Keeling says, "is very bad." Occupancy statewideis expected to drop another 10% to 20%. That's a hefty hit in thepocketbook. As for the long term, it too is shaky. There will bestaff reductions and expense slashing in the hotel industrystatewide, but he doesn't foresee a high number offoreclosures.

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