Fundamentals in the lodging industry have recovered to the point where most observers say the worst has passed for the sector. Now firms with the capital on hand such as REITs and private-equity funds, are gearing up for acquisitions to take advantage of attractive valuations and still-limited bank financing. "We consider this a very good time to buy. We expect to be active acquirers over the next 18 months," says Russell Urban, senior vice president of acquisitions and development at HEI Hotels & Resorts.
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