Philadelphia is hit by a double-whammy: Low demand, oversupply
By the beginning of the year, it was clear to all that the region's hospitality industry was quickly losing the momentum it had built during the 2000 Republican National Convention.
The party -- for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, for the many new hotels that dotted the region's landscape and for the ritzy new restaurants -- was over.
The hangover kicked in immediately, and no one's recovered yet.
"The headache is still pretty severe," said local hotel analyst Peter R. Tyson of Horwath Hospitality Advisors. "Last year at this time, we were all just getting excited, with the RNC just around the corner. This year, we're just begging for relief."
Relief is craved, specifically, from an oversupply of hotel rooms, and from too few major citywide conventions, defined as conventions that booked at least 2,000 room-nights.
Only 19 citywide meetings for 2001 were booked going into the new year, down from, 24 last year, and far below next year's confirmed bookings for 26 citywide conventions.
With the help of more than $120 million in city tax breaks to hotel developers, hotel developers added 4,000 rooms, or about double what the city hoped for, in the couple of years prior to the RNC. …