Downgrading: A New Sign of the Times?

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Open less than one year, the Arctic Club Hotel, a Seattle boutique, is taking a step I've never seen before: It plans to reposition itself downward from four-diamond quality to three-diamond level. GM Stan Kott is blunt about the reason: The economy sucks and more guests are looking for value than for high style and high prices. This may be the beginning of a wave of properties built for the high-flying economic environment of the mid-2000s but no longer viable in the current recessionary atmosphere.

The property plans to pursue a national franchise brand and rejigger its restaurant, JUNO, from fine dining to what Kott calls "an urban casual dining outlet."

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