The hotel industry is facing challenges as the economy discourages personal and business travelers.

Hotel mortgages generally come due in no more than 10 years after inception. So hotel owners who bought or refinanced at the height of the market are facing deadlines just at the time when there are few guests and property values have declined.

A leading hotel consulting firm, Smith Travel Research, recently issued a report that predicted no significant improvement for the hotel industry until 2011 at the earliest.

It's going to be a lot worse than it is now, predicts Bobby Bowers, senior vice president of Smith Travel Research.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, E. Scott Reckard and Hugo Martin (10/07/2009)