The hotel industry is falling hard from the strong revenue growth it posted last year. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ U.S. Lodging Industry Forecast, Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) is expected to decrease by more than 1% in the second quarter of 2001 compared to the same time period last year, which would be the worst decline since the third quarter of 1991.

PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts RevPAR figures will rise for the entire year, but at much slower rates than in 2000. According to the company, RevPAR figures will grow by about 2.1% this year, a sizeable drop from last year’s 5.7% increase. The news isn’t all doom and gloom, however, as PricewaterhouseCoopers expects lodging industry RevPAR to increase to 4.1% in 2002.

Despite this forecast, industry players remained cautiously optimistic at the New York University International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York June 3-5. However, some industry leaders were pessimistic about the second quarter outlook. Thomas Pritzker, president and CEO of Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp., predicted “a miserable summer ahead.”