The hotel division of Hyatt Corp., which operates about 50 hotels throughout the United States, including the Hyatt Regency near the Capitol, is not complying with the Carter administration's voluntary price standards the Council on Wage and Price Stability said yesterday.
Hyatt refused "numerous" requests for price and profits information on the grounds that it had "serious questions about the validity and usefulness of the requested information," COWPS said.
Alfred E. Kahn, the president's chief inflation adviser, said he was "extremely disappointed" Hyatt hadn't cooperated with COWPS, adding, "During this period of high inflation, Hyatt's total disregard of the president's voluntary price standards is a disregard of the public interest."
A Hyatt spokesperson said the company's hotels "continue to remain competitive with others in the industry and subject to the pressures of the free-market mechanism." The company regards the comparisons of chain-wide data made by COWPS covering the last five years as "irrelevant and misleading."
"Despite numerous extensions of time, during which we have shown them great patience, Hyatt has simply refused to file with the Council . . . the basic information we need to monitor compliance," Kahn explained.
COWPS first asked for the information on April 13, 1979. After first asking for a delay, Hyatt then claimed that the information it has would be misleading because the chain was in the process of shifting from operation of traditional moderate-priced hotels to newer luxury units.
The Council instead used price data from the "Red Book," a publication of the American Hotel and Motel Association in reaching the conclusion Hyatt's average price increase exceeded the permissible limits during the 12 months ended last September.
According to the information developed by COWPS in this fashion, the weighted average of the chain's prices went up more than 20 percent during that 12 months, while compliance with the voluntary price standard would have meant holding it to no more than 9.5 percent.