(WYTV) – When you think of essential businesses, you don’t really think about the hotel business. But, Valley hotels have been highly affected by the stay-at-home order because fewer travelers mean fewer customers.
“Business has been really slow. This has impacted our hotel immensely but we are weathering the storm and staying open and staying strong for our community,” said Kimberly Patrone, director of sales at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Youngstown.
With the slow business, Patrone said they had to lay off over half of their staff. Plus, the occupancy of the rooms has changed tremendously.
“Usually, we go anywhere… we have 125 rooms and we typically have anywhere from 80 to 125 sold out and we’re averaging anywhere from five to 20 a day, depending on the day,” she said.
Patrone said their customers have lately been first responders, due to a new program Hilton is offering.
“Hilton and Amex have teamed up and is offering a program donating over a million rooms to first responders to certain associations,” Patrone said.
Over at Home2 Suites by Hilton in Austintown, co-owner David Kovass talked about their updated cleaning procedures since the outbreak of COVID-19.
“Cleaning is basic to the hotel industry. It’s strongly stressed. Now, we’re stepping up the frequency of our cleaning protocols, paying particular attention to frequently touched surfaces,” he said.
Kovass said due to the social distancing guidelines, Home2 Suites employees will have limited guest interaction to keep everyone safe.
“Don’t be upset with us that we aren’t engaging you as often as we could, but know that we are providing a safe place for you to stay if you need to. We are essential,” he said.