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LUXURY LODGINGS TO LEAD REST OF INDUSTRY IN '93, AAA SURVEY SHOWS

 SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Luxury resorts and hotels should outperform the rest of the country's lodging industry this year, an American Automobile Association survey of Five Diamond properties shows.
 Five Diamond lodgings project sales to be up an average 6.5 percent over 1992, compared to estimates of 5.7 percent for the overall industry. Eighty-two percent of Five Diamond properties expect leisure and business/convention bookings to be up.
 This optimistic outlook is a significant turnaround from the difficulties many Five Diamond properties encountered during the recession. Between 1989-1992, fewer than one-quarter of Five Diamond lodgings had room sales that equaled or bettered the 11 percent gain posted by the overall lodging industry.
 Five Diamond lodging managers credit the turnaround to improved efficiency, discounted room rates, mare advertising, target marketing and improved customer services.
 "Many Five Diamond properties took a solid punch from the recession," said AAA President Paul R. Verkuil. "But they have responded so effectively to the changing demands of the economy and their clientele, they are beginning to rebound. This year should be a successful one for the vast majority."
 The Five Diamond is AAA's highest award for excellence in the lodging and restaurant industries. This year's recipients include 39 lodgings in the United States and nine in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The Five Diamond restaurants are all in the U.S.
 Five Diamond recipients will be formally honored at tonight's awards banquet at the Scottsdale Princess.
 Five Diamond property managers report their clientele is changing. Guests are more price and value conscious yet demand more services. They are increasingly from other countries, more casual, health conscious and stay fewer days. Managers report family travel to luxury lodgings is increasing strongly. Business travel is also up though at a slower pace.
 Five Diamond properties have responded to guest demands for added value:
 -- 62 percent have renovated recently, adding business centers, spas and fitness centers, beauty salons and lounges.
 -- 59 percent added technological amenities like voice mail, two- line phones, data ports, in-room fax machines and ATMs.
 -- 44 percent increased complimentary amenities, such as airport shuttles; morning coffee and newspapers delivered to rooms; and in-room safes, hair dryers, irons and ironing boards.
 -- 21 percent expanded children's, teen's and recreational programs.
 -- 10 percent added special services for international guests.
 The following five establishments have attained Five Diamond status each year since the award was first presented in 1977: Marriott's Camelback Inn in Scottsdale; The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.; C Lazy U Ranch, Granby, Colo.; The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.; and the Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver, British Columbia.
 Fewer than 1 percent of the 30,000 lodgings and restaurants listed in AAA's 1993 TourBooks received the Five Diamond rating.
 AAA is a not-for-profit federation of 139 motor clubs with more than 1,000 offices providing its 34 million members in the U.S. and Canada with travel, insurance, financial and auto-related services.
 -0- 2/4/93
 /CONTACT: Jerry Cheske or Geoff Sundstrom of the American Automobile Association, 407-444-8000/


CO: American Automobile Association ST: Florida IN: LEI SU:

JB-AW -- FL010 -- 2942 02/04/93 11:43 EST
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Date:Feb 4, 1993
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