Hotels are finding novel ways to join the fight against coronavirus, such as Alaska's Hotel Captain Cook donating rollaway beds and toiletries to the nearby Covenant House Alaska shelter for homeless youths. Several other hotels around the country that had shuttered to regular guests have opened their doors to health care workers and noncritical hospital patients.
Penn National Gaming's sale of the Tropicana Las Vegas to Gaming & Leisure Properties could be a sign of things to come for the sector, which is dealing with shuttered properties amid the coronavirus pandemic. The property is trading for $307.5 million, a $52.5 million discount from what Penn National paid five years ago.
Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson has donated 2 million face masks and 20,000 protective suits to US hospitals battling the coronavirus, while Encore Boston Harbor has provided masks and toilet paper. Detroit's Greektown Casino is letting first responders stay in the hotel for free.
Hotel chains are responding to the coronavirus crisis with modified cancellation policies that include free withdrawals running roughly through spring. Meanwhile, the head of the American Hotel & Lodging Association warns that half of US hotels could close down because of the pandemic.
Kids, pets and spouses aren't always conducive to work-from-home lockdowns, so hotels such as Hilton Sacramento Arden West in California and the Red Roof chain are opening their doors with affordable day rates for those who want a regular getaway space, some deadline peace and quiet or interruption-free conference calls.
Milwaukee's Hotel Madrid had a Winter Cookout in March for guests and locals alike. (Hotel Madrid/Facebook)
Whether a hotel is still open during the coronavirus pandemic or hoteliers are looking for ways to kickstart business once lockdowns are lifted, Larry Mogelonsky suggests "a laser-focus on local leisure" to capitalize on potential guests who want to avoid airports but still want a vacation. He discusses how small-scale events, specific packages and data utilization play a role.
Hotels are likely to be repurposed as temporary health care facilities as ICU beds run out throughout the US, according to tvsdesign, the Atlanta-based company helping to turn New York City's Javits Center into a temporary medical facility. The firm details three options, depending on patient needs, and, "we believe that hotels can easily be used to care for COVID-19 negative patients who may be in recovery and not requiring intensive care," tvsdesign says.