Coronavirus is hitting the hotel industry where it hurts, and the feeling is mutual in Greater Cincinnati just like everywhere else.
According to the Hotel and Lodging Association, the impact is greater than 9/11 and the Great Recession combined.
The associations say with so many people canceling vacations and events, some of the 33,000 small hotel operators it represents could close their doors for good.
Job losses could reach 3.9 million, the association estimates.
Jason Bradner is the director of sales at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Wilder, Kentucky.
“So it’s been stressful trying to navigate this whole virus thing,” Bradner said.
He adds last year around this time; they were at around 70 percent capacity. Now they’re at 15 percent.
“The impact has been pretty massive,” he said. “Unfortunately, we had to lay off some staff, and it was one of the worst days that I can remember.”
The story for other hotels in the region is much the same.
The Greater Cincinnati Conventions and Visitors Bureau says they had seven events booked at area hotels between now and April 17. That represents 12,000 room nights, over 13,000 attendees and 5.6 million dollars — gone.
“Everyone is in the same situation right now, just trying to work through the winter months to get to the summer,” Bradner said. “And now we are looking at the summer and it might not be there for us.”
Comfort Inn and Suites Northern Kentucky are locally owned, Bradner adds. He’s hoping folks will support local hotels as they support local restaurants, and he’s offering special rates if you decide to have a staycation.