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Sarah R. Bratko, Esq.
Vice President of Advocacy and General Counsel
401-223-1120, ext. 115
The American Hotel & Lodging Association sent Congress and the President the following letter:
October 10, 2013
President Barack Obama
Members of the United States House of Representatives
Members of the United States Senate
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and our members in every state and congressional district respectfully urge Congress and the President to reach an immediate agreement to fund the government and establish a degree of economic certainty to allow for continued growth.
Equally important is the looming breach of the debt limit and the need to come together on a plan to address our long-term fiscal challenges. Current fiscal uncertainty and the increasing lack of consumer confidence are disrupting recent economic progress and job creation, in which the lodging industry has played a significant role.
Analysts say that for each day the federal government is shut down, collective American income is reduced approximately $200 million, and our nation's hotels are losing more than $8 million in economic activity - putting jobs at risk and causing repercussions across many other related sectors. Communities near national parks are expected to lose $76 million a day in visitor spending. In Yosemite National Park, for example, lodges and cabins scheduled to be filled to near capacity are instead giving thousands of visitors 48 hours to leave. Additionally, thousands who had planned to visit national parks are cancelling their trips and hotel reservations. Stories continue to pour in from AH&LA members about how their businesses are being negatively affected.
The impacts extend far beyond our national treasures. Hoteliers with international travelers have experienced a significant increase in cancellations because these visitors are confused on whether they will be able to enter and leave normally. Our members in northern states receive calls daily from Canadians checking to see if the border is open.
Current fiscal conditions are leading to increased consumer uncertainty, all to the detriment of economic growth. In short, the government shutdown is increasingly impairing the lodging industry's ability to hire, grow, and contribute to the economy.
It is imperative that Congress and the President act now to address the fast-approaching deadline to raise the U.S. debt limit, or else risk default and further economic damage. Acting to put the debt on a downward path into the future and addressing our long-term fiscal challenges are imperative to stronger consumer confidence, future job growth, and our nation's standing throughout the world. The lodging industry will continue to be a leader in U.S. economic growth if our leaders can provide fiscal certainty.
AH&LA and our members thank you for your efforts to address these critically important issues.
American Hotel & Lodging Association
America's Best Franchising, Inc.
Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association
Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA)
Association of Starwood Franchisees & Owners - North America (ASFONA)
Best Western International
Bev Kaftan, American Payment Solutions, Mesa, AZ
Brian Latture, The Hotel Group, Franklin, TN
California Hotel & Lodging Association
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group
Catherine DeVane, The Hotel Group, Franklin, TN
Chandler Wiens-Thayer, RHW Management Overland Park, KS
Choice Hotels International
Chuck Donnelly, The Lodge at Mountaineer Square and The Grand Lodge, Gunnison County, CO
Colette Wear, Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Lincoln, NE
Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association
Cortney Damiano, Best Western Plus, Olive Branch, MS
Douglas Dreher, The Hotel Group, Edmonds, WA
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association
Host Hotels & Resorts
Hotel Association of Washington, D.C.
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
IHG Owners Association
InterContinental Hotels Group
Jeff Gouge, The Arctic Club Seattle, Seattle, WA 98104
Jeffrey T. Kmiec, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV
Jim Abrahamson, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Arlington, VA
Joe Martin, Stillwater Hospitality, Stillwater, OK
John Shingler, President, Association of Starwood Franchisees & Owners
Josh Messer, Hilton Garden Inn - Eugene / Springfield, Springfield, OR
La Quinta Inns & Suites
Lara Latture, The Hotel Group, Franklin, TN
LaSalle Hotel Properties
Laurel Gaylor, La Quinta Inn & Suites Red Rock/Summerlin, Las Vegas, NV
Liban Abdi, Holiday Inn Express on the River, Corvallis, OR
Maine Innkeepers Association
Mark G. Carrier, B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, Bethesda, MD
Marriott International, Inc.
Massachusetts Lodging Association 3
Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association
Montana Lodging & Hospitality Association
New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association
Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association
Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association
Opal Wedgewood, The Hotel Group, Franklin, TN
Pedro Mandoki, Mandoki Hospitality Group, Gulf Shores, AL
Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association
Rhode Island Hospitality Association
Robert A. Alter, Seaview Investors, Corona Del Mar, CA
Ruby Goodwin, Pacific Palms Resort, City of Industry, CA
Sam Patel, Best Western Mountain View Inn, Springville, Utah
Shannon E. Johnson, Plaza Inn and Suites at Ashland Creek, Ashland, OR
Sonny Sailesh Babu, Atlantic Hotels Management, Carrollton, TX
South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Steven Cooke, American Public University, Charles Town, WV
Tabitha Caldwell, The Hotel Group, Edmonds, WA
Tennessee Hospitality Association
Texas Hotel & Lodging Association
Toma G Brashear, Lanier Parking Solutions, Atlanta, GA
Warren Klug, Aspen Square Hotel, Aspen, CO
William Folkerts, Quality Inn & Suites, Watertown, SDWisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association