COVID-19 outbreak hits hotel industry hard as nonessential travel becomes almost nonexistent

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting the hotel industry particularly hard as non-essential travel has become virtually non-existent.

News 12 Staff

May 11, 2020, 6:50 PM

Updated 1,536 days ago

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The coronavirus pandemic is hitting the hotel industry particularly hard as nonessential travel has become virtually nonexistent.
Sean Meade is the general manager for the near-empty Cambria Hotel in downtown White Plains.
"Our hotel which formerly employed up to 45 to 50 people on a regular basis is now down to a staff of five or six,” says Meade, who is also president of the Westchester Hotel Association.
Nearly all of Westchester's 45-plus hotels are at least two-thirds empty, according to Meade. Some have single-digit occupancy.
Hotel stays are going to look a little bit different once people start feeling safe to travel again.
People should expect emptier rooms with coffee machines, papers and extra sheets removed.
"There's going to be no more of anything for anyone to touch or use other than the lights and the remote controls,” says Joe Bethke, chief engineer at the Cambria Hotel.
Rooms at the hotel have been cleaned and left empty for days between guests. The lobby is also disinfected every two hours.
"Cleanliness and sanitation have always been really important to our hotel guests and it will continue to be important,” says Meade.
In what might be a positive sign for things to come, guests are starting to rebook their hotel events for the late summer.
"We're ready to welcome people back," says Meade.
As of Monday, the Westchester Hotel Association has donated 450 free stays to first responders.
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