Europe lending freeze halts hotel development

Expansion plans of major global hotel company forced to slow

Major expansion plans by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide to expand in Europe using management and franchise deals have been slowed because banks have decided to postpone loans to some hotel developers until better times. The company’s regional director for Northwest Europe, Michael Wale, admits: “Developers not having access to liquidity has slowed us down.”
Projects in the UK cities of Birmingham and Manchester, for example, have been put on hold. In Eastern Europe, however, development finance is healthy. “We’re seeing very good growth in the Middle East, growth in Africa and growth in Eastern Europe, so we are still opening hotels,” Wale said.
[pictured: Le Méridien Vilnius; courtesy Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide]