Hotel News Now editors recap and relay news from across the global hotel industry, with a focus on positive, hopeful and helpful stories our readers might have missed.
GLOBAL REPORT—Hoteliers are striking the balance between necessity and creativity as they work through this pandemic.
This week’s top highlights include hoteliers supporting their communities and employees through mask donations and benefits support, plus companies showing their artistic sides with inspirational murals and delicious menus.
Even though everyone is aware of how much human loss and sacrifice there has been during the COVID-19 crisis, occasionally one might think the really important question is how we are going to finish our domestic soccer seasons. They usually finish between late April and early June after starting in mid-August or early September.
Soccer games see upward of 50,000 or 70,000 attendees, and that really is a non-starter when we are all due to be two meters apart from one another. In more proof that England can and never will beat Germany—unless you count a World Cup qualification match on 1 September 2001, when we beat them 1-5 in Munich—Germany announced on 6 May that its top level Bundesliga soccer series will commence by the end of May, according to the BBC.
Whether one regards soccer and other sports as important or facile, a resumption of soccer is a huge fillip, and it helps fill hotel rooms, so that’s something to cheer about, I think. One question is whether matches will be played to spectator-less stadiums, at least in the short term, and that of course will not fill hotel rooms, but at least the ball has been kicked off the center-spot.
According to Forbes Magazine, the English Premier League generates $484 million of TV rights within the United Kingdom and $1.33 billion internationally, and that does not include all the direct and third-party revenue generated by match tickets, F&B, transport, merchandise and, yes, hotel stays.
A hotel in downtown Dallas is wearing its optimism, quite literally, on its structural sleeve.
The Sheraton Dallas Hotel parking garage exterior now features a bright spot courtesy of Dallas-based artist Mari Pohlman, who painted a mural themed “Optimism Starts With You” with a mission to send a positive ripple of good vibes through her community during the COVID-19 crisis. The mural was developed in partnership with Frost Bank and CultureMap Dallas.
The style of the painting is abstract, but the message it sends seems very real and natural.
The hotel recently completed renovations to its 1,840 guestrooms, public areas, F&B outlets and 230,000 square feet of meeting and convention spaces.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday in the U.S., and to help families safely celebrate in a special way, The Malibu Beach Inn in Malibu, California, is using its Carbon Beach Club restaurant to offer a Mother’s Day to-go menu that includes fingerling potatoes, heirloom carrots, roasted ora king salmon filet, maple thyme glazed heritage ham and more, reports Travel and Leisure. But if people are looking for more than an at-home experience, the hotel is also offering a social-distance-friendly option.
The hotel will offer guests a private ocean-view dining suite for two people, featuring a sommelier who will pair wines with each course throughout the meal.
“All service comes at the required social-distancing space,” the magazine writes.
If neither option is doable, Malibu Beach Inn allows people to enjoy the hotel’s view by streaming its ocean webcam.
While Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Dahlmann Properties has had to shut down two of its hotel properties—The Bell Tower Hotel in Ann Arbor and The Inns of Sanibel in Sanibel, Florida)—for the time being, the company has pledged to keep paying full-time salary and benefits to employees through 1 June. Even employees at the Ann Arbor Regent Hotel & Suites who are working reduced hours are still being paid at a full-time rate.
In a news release announcing the plan to keep paying idle employees, Dahlmann Hotel and Resort Properties President Andy Dahlmann noted "continuing to pay our employees their full wages during these closures is a significant financial impact on our business but well worth the cost."
Have you seen the #HospitalityStrong hashtag yet? A group of 12 hoteliers launched a U.S. campaign to gather and donate protective masks to communities in need. I got an email about it from Neal Patel, one of the organizers and managing partner of Blue Chip Hotels, and the premise is great: The group will help facilitate large orders of masks ($1,000+ orders) and assist with special pricing, and have those delivered to donors so they can distribute them in their own communities, where they identify need.
“We can facilitate an order of protective masks to be shipped directly to you so you and your team can personally make the donation to whomever may be in need in your community, such as hospitals, law enforcement, senior-living facilities, etc.,” he wrote.
Those who don’t need large orders can simply purchase and donate the masks in their communities themselves, and let Patel and his group know in order to be featured on the group’s Facebook page and numbers counted toward totals for the movement.