Friday, September 18, 2009

The ripple effect of airport issues

As I've previously noted the Riverside Press-Enterprise has provided extensive coverage of some of the financial issues facing Ontario Airport (the official name has "LA" in it, but I'm ornery - just ask Rita Moreno of Arte). Now if an anchor business such as an airport has a decline in business, then you can expect that certain surrounding businesses would also be affected. And this is the case, according to the aforementioned Riverside Press-Enterprise:

The owner of the 299-room Marriott Ontario Airport hotel has stopped making payments on the $26 million mortgage and will give the hotel back to lenders.

Executives with Sunstone Hotel Investors, the hotel's owner, said in a conference call Wednesday afternoon that the hotel's value had fallen about 36 percent to $16.7 million, making it worth far less than the loan.

Yes, you know that this can happen to residential properties, but it obviously can happen to commercial properties also. And revenue isn't good either:

The Marriott Ontario Airport earned profits of $447,000 in the first quarter of 2008 and $274,000 in the second quarter, but lost $23,000 and $55,000 in the third and fourth quarters respectively.

We'll see how long it takes the airport to get out of the doldrums, and if the lenders - or whoever they sell the hotel to - can make some money off the deal.

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