From Hotels to Camp Grounds, COVID-19 Will Have Lasting Impact
UNDATED -- The hospitality industry has certainly been hit hard by the business closures related to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Liz Rammer is the President and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota. She says one in 10 Minnesotans work in the industry translating to 300,000 jobs.
This is a very very vulnerable industry. With those 300,000 workers and jobs that create 18% of our state's sales tax, so without that money coming in the door to the state that also has big implications.
Rammer says bars and restaurants have been getting a lot of the attention since they were forced to close for dine-in eating, but she says the hotel business is also struggling.
With all large events canceled and travel being limited there aren't maybe people checking into hotels these days. She says it's going to be a struggle for them for a long time.
From what had been very high occupancy rates to in some cases virtually none, some of our hotels have had to close because there is no patronage right now. And certainly, the areas where we have big convention centers such as the Twin Cities, Duluth, Rochester and St. Cloud all of those places.
Rammer says some hotels are offering rooms to people who have had to go into quarantine, others are being considered as alternative sites if hospitals become filled to capacity.
Resort and campground owners are hopeful their businesses won't be impacted too much by the COVID-19 pandemic. She says if they're allowed to open up in early May they'll be okay, but vacationers are starting to think about their summer plans.
When they'll be able to start-up operations, when should they be hiring people and how they do that. Given the current climate what if people start canceling what do there do?
Rammer says she'd like to see places like seasonal campgrounds be able to open at their normal time because people can still practice social distancing guidelines at their campers.