Thursday, February 16, 2012

Camino Real Owners Not Selling

El Paso Inc. reports this week that the Mexican company that owns El Paso's historic Camino Real hotel is not interested in selling the hotel to a group of local investors. A general manager for Camino Real Hotels indicated that the company wants no part of the current downtown redevelopment efforts, and that the hotel is maintained under their rules, "which are Mexican rules for a Mexican company."

Camino Real Hotels purchased the hotel in 2000. Since that time, very little investment has been made into upgrading the hotel to the current standards for an upscale convention hotel. Hotel guests have encountered a broken air conditioning system in the peak of summer, non-functioning hotel phones, out-dated bathrooms, and old tube televisions.

The Convention and Vistors Bureau has stopped recommending the hotel to visitors after special guests had to be moved to the nearby Doubletree during last year's Plaza Classic Film Festival because air conditioners at the Camino Real broke down. Though the Doubletree is much newer and more reliable, it does not have the meeting space necessary to be considered a convention hotel.

Camino Real Hotel Manager René Rubio indicated that the hotel's occupancy last year averaged only 35%.

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