A Stunning Story From The ABR Exposes A Potential Crisis In Hotel Rooms

Fascinating story in today’s Albany Business Review. Unfortunately it is behind a pay wall but here are some of the most salient points.  If you can find a way around their pay wall I highly recommend the piece.  Link To Story


Bruce Levinsky has told the journal that he has sold the Rip Van Dam hotel to investors who plan to develop the site for a 140 room Hotel Indigo. The venerable old hotel was built one hundred and eighty years ago.  The Journal claims it is the last pre-Civil War era hotel in the city.

The reporter interviewed Cindy Hollowood, the general manager of the Holiday Inn. She apparently received a letter from the InterContinental Hotels Group advising her that they had approved the franchise for the new Indigo.  That corporation operates over 5,000 hotels and operates a dozen brands in the world.

For decades Ms. Hollowood has been a stalwart advocate for what I would characterize as unrestrained growth and a long time player in the Republican Party. For as long as I can remember, the Republican Party here in the city has run its election eve event at her Holiday Inn.  Ms. Hollowood was a founding member of the board of the Saratoga PAC.  The PAC has held its events at the Holiday Inn.

For those of us who have viewed with jaundice eyes the sprawl of subdivisions over the last decades there is a certain irony here. That same corporate group proposing the Rip Van Dam development is the parent of the Holiday Inn (her motel brand), The Hotel Indigao, the Holiday Inn Express, and the Crowne Plaza Hotels.

InterContinental sought her comments several weeks ago on the expansion.

There are currently some 2,000 hotel rooms in the city. There are three hotels either under construction or pursuing the rights to build within a mile and a half of Ms. Hollowood’s Motel.  A 113 room Hilton is going up on South Broadway.  Visions Hotels of Corning is proposing to demolish the Turf and Spa Motel at 176 South Broadway thus replacing an existing facility of 43 rooms with a new Fair Field Inn with 89 rooms.  Of course there is the $34 million dollar renovation of the Adelphi Hotel which will be right next door to the proposed Indigo.

Ms. Hollowood is quoted as saying, “We are concerned with this project because it is under the same umbrella of ownership and franchisor as the Holiday Inn flag,”

According to the Review, Hollowood and Todd Garofano, president of the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau expressed worry citing a declining demand for rooms during the past year while the supply just keeps growing.

According to Hollowood there were 18,000 fewer rooms rented during the first seven months of this year than there were during the same period in 2015.

According to Hollowood Hotel Indigo’s average room rate is expected to be about $50 higher than many of hotels in Saratoga Springs. $170.00 is the average year round rate (this includes the sky rocketing amounts paid during racing).

Hollowood is quoted as saying”To think they are going to break the $200 mark for average rate is in my opinion incorrect, especially when there is going to be more supply in the market.”

“I just think most people coming in from the outside really don’t have a good understanding of our market,” Hollowood told the Journal. “It requires more insight than just, ‘Oh, look at how they are performing compared to the rest of upstate New York.'”

“We are particularly disheartened with the franchise group … When somebody is making a decision around a table 10 states away, it doesn’t make any sense, particularly when they look at the way the market is trending downward,” Hollowood said.

When a stalwart like Ms. Hollowood is saying things like this it is pretty shocking. I can’t help myself from feeling a little schadenfreude. Ms. Hollowood has for many years been a cheerleader for growth that eroded much of what had been the country part of our city. I wonder if this experience might chasten her faith in the infallibility of markets.

There appear to be fewer and fewer profitable places to put the huge sums of cash that many of this country’s wealthy people are sitting on. I think the word I am reaching for and that she is experiencing is “bubble.”

10 thoughts on “A Stunning Story From The ABR Exposes A Potential Crisis In Hotel Rooms”

  1. Well written and well deserved finger pointing at Ms. Hollowood. She gets upset only when it effects her wallet…nice community spirit. However, we should welcome all the advocates we can get.


  2. Yes, well written.
    Make no mistake about it, the PAC was formed by a select few well-to-do GOP people including Cindy. They wanted to control as many politicians as they could. It didn’t happen, but being exposed the way they were may prevent them from ever trying it again.


    1. Any time I read a comment from “Henry37” I know it is 100% incorrect. Accordingly; the opposite must, by that very definition, be TRUE!


  3. When the next major climate event or false flag of sorts hits the Guyland, many more rooms will be filled, many more condos will be sold; such as the case after 11 September…as it continues on to this very day.


  4. Wait a minute….Justin Case, and now we have Justin Chase?
    What is going on here?
    Oh, wait, according to Tracy, my comments are “100% incorrect”.
    I struck a nerve with Tracy Millis III. Is he/she a PAC member?
    I don’t know, but he/she is a pro at punctuation, with the semi colon and all that good frilly stuff.
    I give him/her an A+ at punctuation, but D minus in general.


  5. Nobody is putting “huge sums of cash” anywhere. This is plain malinvestment caused by QE and near zero interest rates. There is a bubble alright, its a debt bubble and when it pops Saratoga will be effected like every other city in the country! empty buildings. 2008 will look like the good times!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well said; LGF.
      And it would not be unreasonable for the cash conscious to upgrade all c-notes in one’s procession to the newer United States Treasury Notes from the older Federal Reserve Notes. When the reset arrives, the Fed will seek shelter in the very escapism so eagerly employed by so many risk managers and the old notes may not be deemed legal tender but promissory notes for which they are: debtors paper. It will be high-time indeed when our instruments of exchange have the words: “Bank of The United States of America” upon them. The last two presidents attempting such nonsense were promptly shot.



  6. Justin Chase’s links are to sites that specialize in the usual conspiracy nonsense — Israel blew up the Twin Towers, money isn’t real, NASA regularly withhold evidence of UFO sightings (actual stories that they promote) and so on. Caveat emptor.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: