Smith Travel Research (STR) materially altered its forecast for 2010 US RevPAR. STR now forecasts that RevPAR will decline 3.7% next year. Research Edge has been predicting negative 2010 RevPAR since we wrote "A GIRAFFE FROM HEAD TO TAIL" on January 29th, 2009. That's quite a while ago.
It's not that STR hasn't been vocal on the US lodging market; one of STR's recent updates (dated 5/3/2009), projected a 1.5% increase in 2010. The difference in these projections is significant, especially given the brief span of time between the respective reports being published. The sell side is still projecting flat-to-slightly up RevPAR in 2010. We doubt the industry has many cost levers left to pull. Estimates need to come down.
The negative catalysts we discussed in our 06/10/09 post, "JOIN THE CLUB" are still very much in play so we are not yet certain down 3.7% is enough. Although with 2009 progressing the way it has (see below) the comp continues to get easier.