COVID-19: Trump layoffs, comment | Vegas crushed

Trump layoffs

Workers at President Trump’s hotels—160 in Washington, D.C., 51 in New York City and an unknown number in Las Vegas—were laid off. Separately, at a White House briefing on Saturday Trump said, “I just don’t know what the government assistance would be for what I have. I have hotels.” The U.S. hotel industry met with Trump last week and asked for a US$150 billion bailout from the government.

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Baha Mar shuts down

Baha Mar President Graeme Davis announced the mega hotel in Nassua, The Bahamas, will temporarily suspend operations on Wednesday, sending all nonessential staff home until further notice. Full time staff will receive the equivalent of 40% of their base pay as of March 26, for up to 90 days.

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Sbe video from founder

Founder and CEO Sam Nazarian on Instagram on Sunday sent a video to team members with news about the status of the group’s lifestyle hotels and what the company plans to do for its employees.

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Nevada crushed by virus

The shutdown of Nevada’s hospitality industry will cost the Southern Nevada economy an estimated US$38.9 billion, the Nevada Resort Association said Friday. Association President and CEO Virginia Valentine said the impact of March and April meetings and convention cancellations is already approaching US$2 billion in lost economic activity.

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IHG CEO: Demand at ‘lowest levels we’ve ever seen’

Demand for hotels is currently “at the lowest levels we’ve ever seen,” says IHG CEO Keith Barr. The chain anticipates Global RevPAR declines of around 60%. IHG is starting to open hotels in Greater China, with only 60 closed compared to 178 at the peak. Barr says IHG is “conservatively leveraged.” The first bond maturity isn’t until 2022, with US$464 million due for repayment, and it has access to a US$1.4 billion revolving credit facility, of which $1.2 billion is undrawn.

Read more at Morningstar

Indian may see US$1.5B in hotel losses

Hotelivate estimates that India’s hotel sector may lose US$1.5 billion in “the best-case scenario,” according to Consultancy India. This scenario estimates he current level of economic lockdown to persist for the next two or three months. Hotelivate says these figures refer primarily to direct losses in revenue, and leave out indirect damages to the sector.

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U.S. efforts rolling to help small businesses

The White House, the Small Business Administration, Treasury Department and the Department of Labor are working together to allow small businesses to access existing and proposed programs to provide them with working capital and to keep employees on payroll. SBA Disaster Loans provide up to US$2 million for working capital and payroll expenses, with payments deferred for a year. Proposed legislation would allow for business interruption loan for businesses up to 500 employees and up to US$10 million loan for working capital and payroll expenses, with both of these programs funded and guaranteed by the government.

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Best Western waiving some fees to hoteliers

Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ board of directors and executive team enacted some financial measures through May to support its hoteliers. The firm is waiving half of its monthly fees and property revenue management fees, an is reducing by half loyalty point fees charged to members without lowering points awarded to loyalty program participants. It also is raising by 50% hotel redemption compensation for loyalty guest stays. It is waiving all co-op marketing fees and other unspecified fees until November.

NYC, LA hotels seen as potential shelters

Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor, says the city may look to hotels and motels to house its homeless population as part of its emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak. California Governor Gavin Newsom already announced US$150 million in emergency funding to move homeless residents indoors. In New York City, advocates for the homeless are urging the city to use empty hotels to shelter unhoused residents diagnosed with the virus and wants the city to test people before they enter shelters. 

Graduate Hotels closing

AJ Capital’s Graduate Hotels are closed as of March 20, according to a statement by CEO Ben Weprin. A re-opening date has not been given at this time. The company They are waiving cancellation fees for new and existing reservations from now through April 26.

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Laid-off NYC hotel workers get relief

In a deal reached between hotel owners and New York Hotel Trades Council, a union representing 40,000 non-management hotel workers, laid-off city hotel workers will receive five months of health care. Those in the city’s suburbs, Albany area and northern New Jersey will get six months of health care.

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Broadmoor hotel temporarily shuts

The 101-year old Colorado Springs Broadmoor hotel closed Saturday for the next 70 days. The hotel has had upward of 1,500 full-time and seasonal workers in the past, and Jack Damioli, hotel president, said he is “making arrangements for supplemental pay, health care coverage and other assistance during this unprecedented situation,” according to Out There Colorado.

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Maybe he was going to TP a tree?

An Orlando, Florida, man was arrested for stealing 66 rolls of toilet paper, valued at 99 cents each, from a Marriott Hotel in Orlando, according to Fox 35 TV. A security guard watched the man push a trash can to his van and put a bag inside. When the guard looked through the window, he saw that the bag was full of unused toilet paper rolls belonging to the hotel. According to the arrest report, the man apologized.

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