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PORTSMOUTH, NH-While hotel development is continuing its downward spiral, the latest report by Lodging Econometrics indicates that the trend could start to reverse itself by late next year.

In its third quarter Lodging Trends report, which includes a sampling of the latest hotel development pipeline data for major markets across the country, Lodging Econometrics, the locally based industry research firm for hotel real estate, states that the pipeline appears to be approaching a “bottoming.” But the report emphasizes that this will set the stage for increased development activity in either late 2003 or early 2004.

According to the report, the project count for the total development pipeline–which includes all hotels under construction, those scheduled to start in the next 12 months and those in early planning–declined by 99 or 4.8% in the third quarter. The total room count is below 300,000 for the second quarter in a row. That number fell 2.9% to 272,531 rooms this quarter, which is down 50% from the high reached in the third quarter of 1998 and 22% lower than a year ago.

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