Soaring U.S. construction costs, as well as high land prices and favorable financing, are likely to keep prices for hotels strong for at least the next few years, hotel owners said on Tuesday.

"An inflationary environment for construction costs is good news for companies like ourselves," Bob Alter, president and chief executive officer of real estate investment trust Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., said at a lodging industry conference.

Costs of raw materials and labor have been rising in the wake of hurricane damage in New Orleans and the U.S. Gulf Coast. In addition, burgeoning demand from countries like India and China has driven prices higher.

"In Los Angeles, the price has gone from $60,000 a room to $100,000 -- if you can find a site," said Jonathan Gray, senior managing director at Blackstone Real Estate Advisors.

Companies like Blackstone, which expects to close this week a $3.4 billion acquisition of hotel company La Quinta Corp., have been buying up hotels from brand operators like Hilton Hotels Corp. that are seeking to move out of real estate while asset prices are strong.

"For us, new build is not our thing. It will never be a core feature of what we do." Gray said.

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