Last June, the owner of San Diego’s W Hotel, Sunstone Hotel Investors, handed over the keys to its lenders and walked away from the property after defaulting on its mortgage payment. Also that month, the developers of the new Fontainebleau hotel in Las Vegas filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection—and that was before the project was even finished. These are just two of the hundreds of hotels around the country that are struggling to survive in the down economy, and the trend has serious ...

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