Marriott's (NYSE:MAR) empty rooms are enough to make shareholders so lonesome they could cry.

Hotels, casinos, resorts, and essentially all industries with vacation elements have really struggled through this economic downturn. Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) has proven to be a somewhat recession-resistant anomaly, managing to scrape by without too much bottom-line damage, even in its resort segment. But others, like Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGM), have really felt the sting to their financials. In its third quarter, Marriott would have gotten away with decent results, had it not been for some meddling impairment and restructuring charges.

Marriott's revenue slipped 16.6% -- with declines in every category -- to $2.47 billion. From there, a $614 million timeshare strategy impairment charge helped send the quarter spiraling into the red, landing at a $466 million loss, or about $1.31 per diluted share. Excluding the charges, adjusted net income was $15 million, or $0.15 per share, but revenue per available room on comparable properties worldwide fell about 20% from last year.

Bizarro market
Weirdly enough, despite the terrible economy and relatively poor performances by many in the industry, the market is eating up hotel stocks as if they were the best continental breakfast investors have ever tasted:


Closing Price as of 10/9

52-Week Low

Rise From Low

Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE:WYN)




Host Hotels (NYSE:HST)




Starwood Hotels (NYSE:HOT)








InterContinental Hotels




Choice Hotels




Source: Yahoo! Finance.

At a time when much of the market is feeling worse than it did during the Great depression, all but one of these major hospitality stocks has doubled from their yearly lows. And while not all of them have posted actual losses, none of them has accomplished what you'd expect to see when a stock jumps as much as these have: solid revenue and earnings growth.

Living in a dream world
Meanwhile, I've seen little evidence to suggest that there have been fundamental improvements to the overall economy. I view this run-up as an overreaction to the lows these companies experienced when general sentiment was that the worst was yet to come. Moreover, I'm of the opinion that the economy still has a long way to go before it truly recovers. Bail out from this bandwagon before it drives straight off a cliff.

Are you afraid to buy stocks right now? Not every stock deserves your money, but find out why missing out on this stock could cost you millions.

Fool contributor Chris Jones owns no shares of any company mentioned in this article. Walt Disney is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection and a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy can check out anytime it likes, but it can never leave.