Hotels help furloughed employees find other work

Forced to furlough workers because of
a severe decline in business, hotel companies are helping their employees
find other work.

Retail, healthcare, consumer goods and delivery service
companies are hiring during the Covid-19 pandemic. Marriott International has
partnerships with CVS, Albertsons, Manpower, Pepsi, HCA Healthcare, First
Service Residential, Kroger, Walmart, Shipt Grocery Delivery, Home Depot,
Alight and Amazon.

Pharmacy giant CVS Health said in a press release that the
company has immediate plans to fill more than 50,000 full-time, part-time and
temporary roles across the U.S., with available positions ranging from store associates
and home delivery drivers to distribution center employees and customer service

CVS said it would be hiring furloughed employees from Hilton
as well as Marriott.

Likewise, food and drug retailer Albertsons Companies said
it needed to fill 30,000 associate roles, partnering with G6 Hospitality,
Hilton, Marriott and MGM Resorts to offer furloughed workers part-time

“So many businesses in the hospitality and retail sectors
are scaling back hours or temporarily closing as their customers remain home
and adhere to shelter-in-place orders,” said Albertsons president and CEO Vivek
Sankaran. “We are grateful to be a resource to help fill a critical need in our
own business and take care of people who want to continue working during this
time of national emergency.”

Marriott said earlier this month that it would be forced to
furlough a significant portion of its workforce,
as properties have been forced to close restaurants, close floors or entire
hotels. Hilton said operations have been suspended at many U.S. hotels.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association and Oxford
Economics estimate that around 4 million U.S. hotel jobs have either been
eliminated or are on the verge of being lost within the next few weeks.

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US hotels in unprecedented financial freefall

Hotel data analytics firm STR reports that revenue per
available room (RevPAR) at U.S. hotels dropped 32.5% for the week ended March

That decline comes on the heels of an 11.6% RevPAR decline
the week prior.

“Just putting in last week’s data compared to this week’s
data, what you see is that things went from bad to worse rapidly,” said STR
senior vice president of lodging insights Jan Freitag during a Thursday
webinar. “And I’m afraid that we’re going to be on a downward trajectory that’s
going to be with us for a while.”

The U.S. market’s most recent RevPAR slide has already
neared or surpassed the steepest RevPAR declines seen after 9/11 and the 2009
economic crash. The biggest U.S. RevPAR slumps following those black swan
events were a 38% drop the week of Sept. 22, 2001, and a 25.3% decline the week
of Sept. 12, 2009. 

Freitag emphasized, however, that both of those declines
were followed by immediate improvement, with RevPAR performance showing signs
of a turnaround just one week after hitting bottom.

“It’s worth pointing out that after those steep declines
post-9/11 and post-2009, the data got consecutively less bad,” added Freitag.
“Next week’s data is likely going to be worse than what we saw this week. I
don’t think that 32.5% is the trough.”

Meanwhile, STR data indicates that 14 of the top 25 U.S.
markets recorded occupancies below 55% for the week of March 14. Seattle, San
Francisco/San Mateo, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis,
Philadelphia, New York and Washington D.C. were among the cities with the
lowest occupancy levels for the seven-day period.

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Top Las Vegas Hotels, Casinos Announce Temporary Closures

Las Vegas is known as one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the United States, but many of the top hotels and casinos in the city are shutting down temporarily as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, officials from both MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts announced Sunday they would temporarily close their properties in Las Vegas starting Tuesday until further notice.

MGM Resorts revealed that all casinos would be closed on Monday and hotel operations will shutter Tuesday. The hotel giant owns the Bellagio, CityCenter, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, The Mirage, New York-New York, Park MGM and T-Mobile Arena.

MGM Resorts will not be taking reservations for arrivals before May 1. Chairman and CEO Jim Murren released a statement about the closures:

“Despite our commitment to dedicating additional resources for cleaning and promoting good health, while making difficult decisions to close certain aspects of our operations, it is now apparent that this is a public health crisis that requires major collective action if we are to slow its progression.”

“Accordingly, we will close all of our Las Vegas properties as of Tuesday, March 17th, for the good of our employees, guests and communities. This is a time of uncertainty across our country and the globe and we must all do our part to curtail the spread of this virus. We will plan to reopen our resorts as soon as it safe to do so and we will continue to support our employees, guests, and communities in every way that we can during this period of closure.”

Murren also said MGM Resorts would pay full-time employees being laid off or furloughed for two weeks from their last date of work and all health plans will continue through June 30.

For Wynn Resorts, the temporary closure of its properties would be effective Tuesday at 6 p.m. local time and is expected to remain closed for two weeks, at which point officials would reevaluate. The company said it would pay full-time Wynn and Encore employees during the shutdown.

On Sunday, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation announced its properties would remain open.

The hotel industry took another blow Monday, as the Walt Disney Company announced it would temporarily shut down all Disney stores and hotels on Tuesday, including the locations at Disney Springs in Orlando and Downtown Disney in Anaheim.

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