Updates from the MHLA President & CEO
Six months into the COVID-19 crisis, Maryland’s lodging industry continues to struggle. Statewide occupancy was at 50% for the month of August, which is below the threshold at which most hotels can break-even and pay debt. MHLA continues to partner with the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) on federal advocacy efforts to secure additional relief for our industry. (See below for more information.)
We are gearing up for a virtual 2021 Maryland General Assembly Session, with liability protections and replenishment of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund topping our list of priorities going into it.
Recently we have opposed multiple COVID-19 bills proposed by the Baltimore City Council, targeting hotels with policies counterproductive to any hospitality industry recovery and being pushed by labor unions across the country. Bill 20-0544 is scheduled for a Committee vote and potentially second reader on Monday, September 21. Baltimore City members have been alerted and MHLA is actively engaged on this issue. READ MORE in the Baltimore Brew.
MHLA’s advocacy efforts are ongoing, and we appreciate the ongoing support of members and partners who make our work possible. Please contact me with questions or feedback on ways we may best be of assistance during this difficult time.
-Amy Rohrer, MHLA President & CEO
AHLA is asking for hotels to participate in the #SAVEHOTELJOBS grassroots effort
AHLA has launched a final #SAVEHOTELJOBS grassroots effort before Congress goes on recess to campaign. Through HotelsACT, we have been able to make our voice heard like never before. We have grown to nearly 50,000 advocates who have generated nearly 200,000 letters, calls, and tweets to legislators across the country. Simply put, without HotelsACT, we would not have achieved legislative victories to date. Now, we need your help again!
Please share the attached resources with everyone you know in our industry – team members, employees, colleagues, and friends. Our message is simple, we must act now to save hotel jobs.
We especially encourage General Managers to engage. The more General Managers that join, the more likely their teams will follow. We have created a FAQ, along with a short note explaining the importance of HotelsACT and why we need everyone to join us.
Heads Up: New Maryland employment laws take effect October 1
Click here for a rundown of several Maryland labor and employment laws set to go into effect October 1, written by Andrea Murphy, Kollman & Saucier, P.A..
Local government COVID-19 updates
Harris, Jones & Malone has compiled a helpful list showing were each local jurisdiction falls in Maryland’s reopening stages.
MHLA Annual Golf Outing is October 7, 2020!
Golfers and sponsors keep coming in and we appreciate everyone’s support. Ecolab has again committed as our Title Sponsor and all sponsors may be viewed here. A portion of proceeds will support the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER if you wish to golf and/or sponsor. The deadline is September 23, 2020.
MHLA’s new website scheduled for completion this quarter
Earlier this year, MHLA transitioned to a new database and we are now nearing completion of a new website that will be integrated with it. If your property/company recently experienced staff changes, email the MHLA office to ensure your contact information is up to date. We’ll be reaching out to all members with more information on email preferences, directory listings, member log-ins, and more. Stay tuned for completion of our new look!
August 2020 STR Report
Smith Travel Research date for Maryland shows occupancy at 50.4%, ADR down 15.1%, and RevPAR down 40.6% year over year for the month of August. Go the the Members Area at www.MDLodging.org and click on “Statistics and Research” for the full report. (Log-in required.)
From the Maryland Office of Tourism Development
To help drive traffic, our Fall Campaign will be focusing on road trips – “Open for the Open Road” with a nearly $300,000 media campaign including TV, digital, public relations and social media. The premise behind the campaign is to provide various Road Trip options, with suggestions that include driving our Maryland Scenic Byways, outdoor activities and unique stops. The idea is to provide them with so many things to do, they will need to spend the night(or multiple nights).
We need HOTELS to provide special rates or discounts to post to the Open Road deals on www.VisitMaryland.org. The site receives more than 2.5 million unique visitors per year; during the 4th quarter, the site welcomes an average of 300,000 unique visitors. The promotion would be a prominent feature on the home page from mid-September through November. The cost to participate is FREE!
To submit a special rate or offer, please fill out your deal using the Google form. https://forms.gle/2r1P5fvSUKK1UjFP6. You may specify a specific date range or list any blackout dates. We encourage you to offer the special rate from mid-September through November. Discounted rates work, but also think about add-ons such as coupons or incentives. Deals may use a dedicated link, special code or dedicated number. Submissions are encouraged by September 29th, but will be excepted through mid-October. Please email Rich Gilbert with any questions.
THINK ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS! This promotion will be followed by our Home for the Holidays promotion, where we will encourage visitors to enjoy the holidays, but get cozy at a local hotel. A request for a Home for the Holidays rate will come in early November.