Hotel Gossip: The Lowdown on Loews


Loews Regency New York

Not even John Tisch can stave off a bad quarter. Loews Corp., which operates a diversified portfolio, including 18 luxury hotels, reported a second-quarter profit that was below analyst expectations. Manhattan-based Loews, which is run by the Tisch family, said revenues fell 10 percent to $3.53 billion from $3.92 billion last year. Revenue declined across each of Loews' five major operating units.

Loews, whose portfolio includes The Regency in New York and three hotels in Orlando, has taken a hit on the chin similar to other luxury hotel operators, as RevPAR and occupancy levels continue to decline. The current state of the economy has forced hoteliers to be creative in ways they haven't had to be since the fallout from 9/11. Most operators have continued to hold their ground and avoid dropping rates; instead, they have added more value, offering such freebies as upgrades, spa credits and additional free nights in the hope that these enticements will spur bookings.

Loews has looked to pump up its corporate travel. In July, it launched the Flexible Meetings program that offers meeting planners a credit equal to 10 percent of the total room bill toward extra services at the hotel. Bonuses include discounts on audio and visual equipment, airport transportation, food and beverages, suite upgrades and fitness center access.