As I have been preaching the idea that American media could be fueling recession woes, I realized this last weekend that the media could in fact be freaking everyone out about this recession.
Ahh, but is that a good thing?
It was reported last week that California was the first large state to feel the effects of the recession when it reported that unemployment in the state was a whopping 10.1%.
The County of Los Angeles reported a staggering 10.5% unemployment rate as well.
I find this interesting as I travel across the U.S. helping clients better their businesses where I have not seen the effects of a slowing economy.
In my home state of California (soon to be Texas), I expected to see this fear mongering rhetoric as I was able to enjoy some time off in and around southern California.
Note that the unemployment rate in California and Los Angeles County is the result of out of work real estate agents, loan officers, and other banking professionals.
Let’s not forget that California, Los Angeles County is home to the two banks that caused this mess, Countrywide and IndyMac Bank.
Of course unemployment is higher!
What I found was enlightening, optimistic and encouraging as opposed to those of us who sit in front of the T.V. waiting to hear the latest doom and gloom from CNN, Fox News, CNBC, Fox Business News, etc, etc.
Remember, we are talking about California where last week California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced a State of Emergency related to California’s drought.
So I am in Downtown San Diego taking in the sights and good food. As the day came to a close we figured on staying in a local downtown hotel Saturday night to drive back to L.A. the next day.
It was difficult to find a hotel room in downtown San Diego this last Saturday night. Not to mention that the streets were packed with restaurant goers where these crowds are only seen in San Diego in the summertime.
Granted there was a convention in town which created the demand that the hotels responded to with an average room rate of $280.00 per night. Wow.
I did a little survey and found that the Hard Rock Hotel as well as the Omni Hotel in downtown San Diego were sold out or nearly sold out. Recession? What recession?
Since San Diego was not the place to be due to the convention attendees taking up most of the rooms, we decided to try our luck at Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula, California. On our way to the resort, I decided to call just to make sure they had rooms and check on the rate.
522 rooms sold out on a Saturday night at a starting room rate of $340.00 per night.
How is this resort able to sell out 522 rooms at $340.00 per room in a place that encourages guests to gamble?
Again, I ask are we in a recession or is the media guilty of fear mongering?
Please do not misunderstand that the U.S. economy is in trouble and the trickle down effects of failed bank mortgages will continue to negatively affect growth across all industries (I give it till June of this year). But, as I have been writing all along, we need to be prepared.
I would like to think that consumers taking up all the hotel rooms in San Diego and Temecula are savvy consumers and business owners that have realized that credit is probably not the best financial resource…anymore.
I would like to think that these consumers and business owners are stirring this economy with good old fashioned, hard earned cash.
Remember that old rule of having just one credit card for emergencies?
Maybe we should heed that caution.