Hotel foreclosures in California climbed 27% in the first quarter from a year earlier as unemployment cut business travel.

Foreclosures, including the 469-room Los Angeles Marriott Downtown, rose to 79 properties from 62 in the first three months of 2009. Defaults increased 6.5 percent to 327, Irvine, California-based Atlas Hospitality Group said in a statement. The company specializes in selling hotels.

The US lodging business is struggling with declining room rates and falling occupancy in the wake of the deepest recession since the 1930s. In California, 12.5% unemployment reduced business travel budgets and cash flow to hoteliers.