Hotel companies doing good deeds in response to pandemic

Hilton is donating rooms to medical personnel, Wyndham is offering job placement

Hilton is donating a million hotel rooms to medical first responders. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is placing furloughed employees with Amazon, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Walgreens and Walmart.

HILTON AND WYNDHAM Hotels & Resorts, like other large hotel companies, are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with new charitable programs. Hilton is partnering with American Express to donate 1 million hotel rooms in the U.S. to medical professionals. Wyndham is finding full-time, part-time or temporary jobs for furloughed hotel employees.

Hilton will make its rooms available through the end of May to doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics and other frontline medical staff to rest or to isolate themselves from their families if necessary. The company will work with 10 associations that represent more than 1 million healthcare workers to connect medical workers to the rooms, including the American College of Emergency Physicians, American Hospital Association and the American Nurses Association.

“During this crisis, we have seen so many examples of medical professionals working in the most challenging circumstances, sacrificing their own needs for the greater good. They truly are heroes,” said Christopher Nassetta Hilton president and CEO.

American Express is financing the provision of the rooms by franchisees and independent owners in Hilton’s network. OYO Hotels and Homes announced a similar program on March 24 to provide rooms in its U.S. hotels to medical personnel fighting the outbreak.

The programs are welcomed by medical responders fighting the pandemic, said Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

“Knowing that there is a safe, clean and comfortable hotel room waiting for you at the end of a long shift can make all the difference in the world right now,” Jaquis said.

The rooms will be in various Hilton brands, including Hampton by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton. The staff at the hotels will receive additional training on health and safety measures and the participating hotels’ rooms and common areas will be sanitized using industrial-grade cleaners and updated cleaning protocols.

“Across the United States, owners of Hilton hotels of every brand are eager to support their communities and be part of the solution,” Nassetta said. “They have been instrumental in making this response possible.”

Wyndham’s new program places employees who have been laid off as a result of the pandemic into jobs in several sectors, including retail and senior living. Specific companies participating in the program are Amazon, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar, Lowe’s, Pizza Hut, Walgreens and Walmart. The company also  is alerting furloughed employees to work opportunities posted on the American Hotel & Lodging Association website.

“In such difficult and destabilizing times, it’s more important than ever for businesses to come together to help serve those who need us most,” said Mary Falvey, Wyndham’s chief administrative officer. “Our team members are the best of the best and their passion for hospitality makes them ideal candidates to help fill these essential positions on a temporary basis.”

Wyndham employees also can go online to access the company’s Workforce Resources page.