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Further evidence that the world is a changed place came when the San Jose Mercury News reported the Pebble Beach Co. announced a companywide reorganization that included the elimination of 47 jobs, the second round of layoffs in the past year for the company. In four of the past six months, group cancellations have exceeded new bookings, it reported, and individual reservations are down substantially for this time of year.
Under any other circumstances, May would be the start of yet another busy season for the resort hotels and restaurants, the spas and golf courses that operate under the wing of the Pebble Beach Co. But 2009 isn’t what many were expecting, and Pebble Beach isn’t the only facility in the Monterey area that is feeling it.
Hotels across Monterey County experienced a drop of 14.1 percent in occupancy for the first quarter, compared with the same three months of 2008, according to the newest data from Smith Travel Research, a Tennessee firm that tracks the hotel industry. The fall off is much steeper than the 10.9 percent decline in occupancy felt by the nation's hotel operators. Even the upper end of the spectrum isn’t immune to the ways of the new world.