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This Week's Overview

Last week, the American Hotel & Lodging Association announced that its members would begin requiring both employees and guests to wear face masks as part of their new guidelines. Since face mask regulations are largely determined by the state or city the hotel is located in, enforcement of these requirements is probably not going to be uniform among the properties. AHLA CEO Chip Rogers urges hotel owners to call on Congress to ensure they are included in the next COVID-19 relief package, as he states that the most pressing issues facing the hospitality industry are access to increased liquidity, tax relief, and limited liability protection.

Top 3 News Highlights This Week

  1. A survey conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association shows that, months after COVID-19’s emergence in the U.S., 36% of hotels remain unable to bring back any of their furloughed or laid-off workers to full time-employment. While about 24% of hotels have attained at least 60% of their pre-COVID staffing levels, 29% are still at or below 20% staffing, according to the report. More than half of the over 600 hotel owners that responded admitted they are in danger of losing their property to foreclosure by commercial real estate lenders as a result of the pandemic.
  2. As the United States slowly reopens, hotels are trying to persuade Americans to make this the summer of the road trip. Their campaigns have moved from focusing on cleanliness to appeals to people who want “to get out of the house.” Hotel marketing campaigns are leaning into nostalgia, invoking the familiar tropes of the family car ride to a beach, the mountains or a national park. Given that many pools, spas, gyms and restaurants remain closed or are operating in only a limited capacity, hotels are promoting nearby parks, scenery and vistas along with simple activities that are easy to do while maintaining social distance. 
  3. As San Diego businesses and hotels continue to try and stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, people are once again flocking to those that have reopened. Local tourism officials report an increase in rooms being booked and the city remains among the top five destinations, as far as capacity, in the nation. This comes as the state of California recently surpassed Florida, Texas, and New York for most COVID-19 cases.