If 2011 was the Year of the REITs for hotels, then 2012 might be the Year of Watching the Clock. It can't be denied that there's a great deal of uncertainty regarding the economy, the election and the direction of CMBS—to name but a few issues—but as the year opens, it seems that industry professionals should prepare to dust off their timepieces and start to plan. Things may be starting to recover, but among those entrenched in hotels, the consensus seems to be “don't get too excited—yet.”

In short, lodging is a sector filled with cautious optimism. After all, the gains in early 2011 put hotels back on the map.

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