TEJAL PATEL OF League City, Texas, had a marketing strategy all laid out for her family’s soon-to-open Fairfield Inn & Suites. Then the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and threw off her plans.
Instead of spreading the word about the local hotel, Tejal and other family members focused on helping their community manage the COVID-19 crisis by providing meals and other support to neighboring health care centers.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, Cierra Bickel, sales director at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Northeast on Redbank Road, was stunned when a complete stranger walked in and bought 52 room nights with no plans to actually stay there. He wanted to give the hotel enough money to make payroll as local businesses were forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kal Patel, president of Crestpoint Companies in Mason, Ohio, owns the hotel as well as several others. His properties in Ohio and Kentucky are housing homeless folks as well as women seeking shelter from domestic abuse.
These are just a few of the stories to be highlighted at the beginning of a digital conference called “LodgingStream: A Brave New World,” on Thursday.
The event will feature 12 sessions and more than 50 hospitality industry experts discussing how the sector can prepare to business as the coronavirus crisis eases and America starts to come back to life.
Long Live Lodging, an online multimedia news enterprise, is organizing the four-hour conference that will use a digital platform that allows attendees to go in and out of the virtual rooms during concurrent workshops. The conference also will be recorded for later viewing.
Other stories of hoteliers supporting their communities and others during the pandemic can be found on AsianHospitality.com. They include a couple from San Antonio, Texas, who recovered from a coronavirus infection and then shared their blood plasma as part of an experimental cure and a group of hotel owners in Niagara Falls, New York, who are using their free time to make facemasks for their neighbors.