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Hotels getting creative to bring back business amid slow travel

Hotels getting creative to bring back business amid slow travel

Hotels are still struggling to fill rooms like they were before an avalanche of cancellations starting in March.

Now, travelers are slowly returning to train stations, airports, and hotels.

“This is something that none of us were expecting or were prepared for,” said Daniel del Olmo, the President and COO of Sage Hospitality Management, a Sage Hospitality Group company.

Sage Hospitality Group owns 52 hotels across the U.S.

“We went from basically a level of revenue of $3 million on a daily basis to effectively $40,000 per day in early May,” del Olmo said.

“The economic impact has been something that no one could have ever prepared for, you could not have prepared for it financially, you could not have even prepared for it psychologically or emotionally,” said Chip Rogers, President of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. “2020 will go down on record of having the lowest occupancy in the history of the hotel industry and that includes during the Great Depression.”

The association represented the entire industry from large brands to small hotels.

For smaller companies, the impact of COVID-19 is especially difficult on their bottom line.

“Well over 60% of all hotels are actually classified as small businesses by the Small Business Association,” Rogers said.

“In the third week of March, we found ourselves having to furlough over 90% of our staff,” del Olmo said.

“With no further assistance, about two thirds of hotels say they cannot make it another six months,” Rogers said.

Del Olmo said they haven’t reached that point.

“We have not had to permanently close, thankfully, any of our properties,” he said.

But others have. Fewer visitors means less money and less work.

“We’re right at almost 2 million jobs lost in the hotel industry,” Rogers said.

Del Olmo said Sage Hospitality had

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Fed: economic recovery will slow without more aid from Congress

Fed: economic recovery will slow without more aid from Congress

The meeting minutes underscore how essential Fed leaders view another stimulus package to a strong and stable recovery, and one that reaches households, businesses and local governments still on the brink. At that meeting, Fed leaders improved their estimates on unemployment in the coming years, reflecting a sense of optimism that people were returning to work faster than expected.

But in many cases, those projections factored in some measure of more fiscal aid, the prospects of which were thrown into chaos Tuesday night after President Trump abruptly called off negotiations but then continued to push for more talks on narrower targeted aid.

“If future fiscal support was significantly smaller or arrived significantly later than they expected, the pace of the recovery could be slower than anticipated,” according to the minutes.

Fed policymakers also warned that, while the Cares Act was crucial for providing benefits to millions of families, Congress’s “support so far for households, businesses, and state and local governments might not provide sufficient relief to these sectors,” the minutes read. Fed leaders pointed to “the extent and timing of additional fiscal support” as another source of uncertainty, along with the economic toll of school and small business closures as well as bankruptcies.

On Tuesday, Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell called on Congress yet again to keep up the support, especially to pockets of the economy that were not experiencing a rebound. Speaking at the annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics, Powell said that too-little support could ultimately lay a foundation for household insolvencies, business bankruptcies and meager wage growth.

“By contrast, the risks of overdoing it seem, for now, to be smaller,” Powell said Tuesday. “Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste.”

But that afternoon, Trump

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