A hotel real estate advisor panel comprised of an owner, financial advisor, attorney and architect talked about the need for tax credits and other subsidies including adaptive reuse to get a boutique style hotel financed at the third annual Lifestyle/Boutique Hotel Development Conference. One of the major issues addressed is the mindset of lenders that unless the hotel is part of a brand or franchise, they are still reluctant to provide loans. Of course, this lack of money for independents and boutique style hotels has plagued the lodging development industry long before the recession began in our experience. In fact, most non-branded hotels and resorts usually need 10%-20% percent more cash equity than traditional branded hotels require. Again, lenders want to finance something proven like a flag, not a startup in their thinking. In today’s world, many bankers want to avoid their loans ending up in the workout department with a hotel asset manager deciding its fate instead. Still, two of the hotel and real estate advisor panelists at the conference made important points about getting funding with credits for non-branded properties: “Tim Dixon, owner of the Milwaukee Iron Horse Hotel said it was based on nearly US$10 million in free money in state and historic tax credits.” “Michael Kitchen, associate with Chicago-based Paramount Lodging Advisors, said between 1995 and 2010, National Park Service historic tax credits financed nearly 17,000 projects, including 900 hotels;” Earlier this year, other hotel capital advisors echoed this same inability to obtain financing if the hotel was not a brand. Nor, have panelists at other conferences said anything different. Are you a developer, hotel and real estate advisor, investor or owner trying to finance a boutique style hotel. Please share your views on the current lending climate in your experience.