To have a better idea of what a potential downturn could mean for the U.S. hotel industry, it’s worth observing how hoteliers behaved during the last one.

Carter Wilson, SVP of consulting and analytics at STR, explained during his session “Chaos or control? Pricing psychology in a downturn” at the 2019 Hotel Data Conference that the company has heard frequently from clients that there was always one hotel in each comp set that was quick to slash rates. As a result, others felt compelled to follow suit.

Wilson said his team looked for evidence of these “rogue hotels” in 2009 to find out who cut rates by 10% or more first and how long it took for others in the comp set to do the same. “Big disclaimer: There were no winners in 2009,” he said. “Every hotel lost substantial (revenue per available room); they just did it differently.”