Lodging industry, hit hardest by pandemic in Md., calls for relief
Three out of every 10 hotel employees are now furloughed or laid off and more than two-thirds of hotels report that they will only be able to last six more months at current projected revenue and occupancy levels absent any further relief.
Amy Rohrer, president and CEO of the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association, said that the national numbers are in line with what those in the lodging industry are observing in Maryland. Additionally, according to Smith Travel Research, statewide occupancy was down 50% and statewide revenue was down 40% for the month of August, “which is not a point where hotels are breaking even and able to pay debt,” she says.
Rohrer said relief is especially necessary as hotels prepare for the winter — typically a slower season for the Maryland lodging industry. With no additional relief, Rohrer said, hotels will have to lay off more staff and decide if closure, whether it be permanent or temporary, is the best option. READ MORE (Maryland Daily Record)
Recall Legislation opposed by MHLA approved by Baltimore City Council
Bill 20-0544 passed third reader in a 12-3 vote by the Baltimore City Council on October 5, 2020. MHLA succeeded in getting an amendment that improves the bill for hotels; however the Association still strongly opposes the legislation as it continues to make its way through the legislative process. READ MORE via links below:
Baltimore City Council approves worker recall bill over law department, hotel industry objections (Baltimore Sun)
(Baltimore City Mayor) Young administration’s law department said the return-to-work bill was not the right way to help workers. It said legislation mandating an employer rehire a laid-off person is “an unconstitutional impairment of the employer/employee freedom of contract.”
That legal interpretation was dismissed by other attorneys who testified before the City Council, including those with the Public Justice Center.
The Maryland Hotel Lodging Association also opposed the legislation. Representatives said the bills would strip its members of flexibility needed to recover from the economic crisis, as it would require them to hire employees back based on seniority. That may not align with their immediate needs, they said.
Workers Who Were Laid Off Say They're Being Passed Over—For Their Own Jobs (Time.com)
The hospitality industry says it wants to bring back trained employees but that the need for them is not yet there.
Some employees who had seniority might not be trained in the work that hotels need them to do when they’re recalled, says Amy Rohrer, president of the Maryland Hotel Lodging Association, which opposes the Baltimore ordinance. “We need flexibility to bring back the employees who will ensure smooth operations for the hotel and make our guests feel comfortable when they’re traveling,” she says.
“Who is to say that an employee with four years of experience, who is very eager to return back to work, is not the right employee over a five-year employee who may not be as eager to return to work?
Governor Hogan Announces $250 Million ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative
On October 22, 2020 Governor Hogan announced the $250 million ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,’ which will provide funding from the Rainy Day Fund to directly assist restaurants, small businesses, local entertainment venues, arts organizations, and Main Streets across the state. The initiative doubles the state’s total commitment to COVID-19 emergency economic relief for Marylanders to $500 million.
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Maryland business groups express access concerns for 2021 assembly session
A coalition of business groups (including MHLA) is concerned about the potential for rule changes that could limit public participation in the 2021 General Assembly Session. Legislative leaders have yet to say what a second pandemic session would look like, but a 10-page letter from an attorney for the General Assembly laid out the potential for one in ...
READ MORE (Maryland Daily Record, subscription required)
Pictured left to right: Michael Henningsen (Plamondon Hospitality Partners), Blake Nichols (Ecolab), Amy Rohrer (MHLA), Secretary Kelly Schulz (Maryland Department of Commerce) Chip Rogers (American Hotel & Lodging Association)
MHLA President & CEO receives Proclamation from Gov. Larry Hogan
MHLA’s President and CEO, Amy Rohrer, was the recipient of a surprise proclamation from Governor Larry Hogan for her outstanding leadership and dedication to the Maryland hotel and lodging industry. The proclamation was presented to Rohrer on October 7, 2020 by Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary, Kelly M. Schulz, on behalf of Governor Hogan at Whiskey Creek Golf Club in Ijamsville, MD during MHLA’s Annual Golf Outing.
“It takes a lot of people to be able to overcome some of the hardships,” said Secretary Kelly M. Schulz, “but having leadership like we have with Amy and having her dedication to this cause, I think provides inspiration to all of us moving forward that we are going to be successful again.”
MHLA Golf Outing Highlights
MHLA members and friends came together with tremendous support for MHLA’s Annual Golf Outing on October 7, 2020 at Whiskey Creek. Golf sold out and sponsors contributed to the event’s success, including Ecolab as our Title Sponsor for the 6th year in a row! As a result we are proud to continue supporting hospitality scholarships with a donation to the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation. Congratulations to all the winners, listed here, and thank you to all sponsors and others who contributed to the success of the event.
September 2020 STR Report
Smith Travel Research date for Maryland shows occupancy at 47.6%, ADR down 19.5%, and RevPAR down 44.2% year over year for the month of September. Go the the Members Area at www.MDLodging.org and click on “Statistics and Research” for the full report. (Log-in required.).
Maryland GM continues family legacy in hotels
Source: Hotel Management
Ted Fleurimond, general manager of the recently opened Hyatt Place National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Md., hasn’t just spent a lifetime in hospitality. His roots in the industry go back one generation, and his family is continuing the legacy for a third generation.
Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point opens
Source: Maryland Daily Record
Hilton’s lifestyle hotel brand Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point opened its first Baltimore location this week with a 156-guest room hotel at 1215 Wills St. that includes a brand new restaurant by renowned local restaurateurs Tony Foreman and Cindy Wolf of Foreman Wolf. Highlights of the new waterfront property managed by Donohoe Hospitality Services LLC ...
READ MORE (subscription required)
At nearly 100 years old, Lord Baltimore hotel finds new life as city’s free coronavirus quarantine center
Source: Baltimore Sun
In addition to helping residents self-isolate during the pandemic, projects like the Lord Baltimore are providing a much-needed revenue boost for hotel owners as well as jobs for their staff. The American Hotel & Lodging Association estimates that nearly 60,000 hotels across the country will close due to the drop in demand during the pandemic…. That could result in almost 50,000 lost jobs statewide.
Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC) to host virtual Annual Meeting Nov. 17, 2020
MTC invites members of Maryland’s tourism industry to participate in their Annual Meeting on November 17, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. The “State of the State” will be presented by the Maryland Office of Tourism and attendees will also receive updates from the MTC Executive Committee. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER for this FREE event.
“Open for the Holidays”: FREE marketing campaign for Maryland Hotels
The Maryland Office of Tourism is seeking hotel partners for a new campaign: “Open for the Holidays.” The cost to participate is FREE! Submissions are requested by November 3, 2020.
The Open for the Holidays campaign encourages visitors to enjoy the holidays, then get cozy at a local hotel, where they can sleep in peace and enjoy the morning at their leisure. And, generate revenue for your property.