Hospitality is one of the worst-impacted industries during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) crisis, but despite being hit hard by the pandemic, resilient hotels are reaching out to local communities and are also expressing gratitude to the frontline healthcare workers in their own ways. Here are a few feel-good stories from the world of hotels.
Buy One, Give One Campaign Unveiled
In a bid to give impetus to leisure travel, MMGY Global and Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) have come together to launch Buy One, Give One, a “vacay layaway” program. The initiative aims to generate immediate revenue for hotels, while simultaneously showing appreciation for the tireless efforts of the healthcare workers, who are fighting the pandemic from the front lines.
More than 30 hospitality brands and hotels are participating in the program, which is available at buyonegiveonestay.com through June 30 and comes with an array of offers, such as discounted stays, gift cards and loyalty points for consumers purchasing future travel now. In return, the hospitality brands/hotels will donate room nights, gift cards or loyalty points to such organizations as the American Nurses Association and NewYork-Presbyterian, to distribute to medical professionals who can use them toward future leisure stays.
The pandemic has left the hospitality industry in dire straits with 70 percent of hotel employees laid off or furloughed and eight in 10 hotel rooms empty, according to data released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). All of the participating entities can be found on the website.
The Nantucket Hotel Donating Meals
Being the only year-round hotel in Nantucket, The Nantucket Hotel & Resort is deemed an essential service and has remained open throughout the pandemic.
Opened in 2013, the hotel has dedicated itself to the cause of serving the community in this difficult time through its restaurant, Breeze, which gifted Easter basket family-style meals to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital staff and donated meals to widows from The First Congregational Church per their request. Also, partnering with the non-profit ReMain Nantucket, Breeze served 200 meals a week to the Boys and Girls Club.
On request by Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the hotel has also made rooms available for people who have been discharged and are no longer acutely ill, but aren’t ready to go back to the community just yet.
Lotte New York Palace Participating in Fanatics’ All In Challenge
Another hotel that’s showing its support to the community is Lotte New York Palace, which is participating in Fanatics’ All In Challenge, a digital fundraiser that aims to raise tens of millions of dollars to feed those in need—kids, elderly and frontline heroes—during the COVID-19 crisis.
The New York City hotel has donated a package for a four-night stay in the hotel’s three-floor Champagne Suite, including a dinner for four and champagne tasting prepared in-suite by the hotel’s executive chef Cedric Tovar, in-suite magic show from the hotel’s in-house magician, the Millionaires’ Magician Steve Cohen from Chamber Magic, daily breakfast, spa treatments and VIP airport transfers. One-hundred percent of the money raised through this game/auction will go directly to Feeding America, Meals On Wheels, World Central Kitchen and No Kid Hungry.
Lotte New York Palace has also joined hundreds of other buildings in NYC to #LightitBlue, which they do each evening, as a mark of appreciation for the healthcare heroes, first responders and essential workers.
The Ranch Malibu Taking Care of Staff
Since mid-March, the garden staff at The Ranch Malibu has been toiling in their certified organic garden, harvesting and providing produce baskets for the staff and surrounding community. They are also developing new plants and testing out new recipes.
In addition, they have scheduled individual staff members and their families to use the pool area, visit the goats and chickens and tour the garden, as well as hike on the Ranch property, in order to unplug and recharge.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Standing by the needy in tough times, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has recently donated items that total more than a quarter of a million dollars to three local organizations: Three Square, The Just One Project and Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada.
The independent casino operator has collected food products and fresh produce from its restaurant venues and warehouse with deliveries beginning last month, most recently gathering in-room essentials from its 3,000-plus guestrooms this past week. Overall, this has resulted in 92 pallets and 104,000 pounds of food and beverage donated since the COVID-19 outbreak gripped Las Vegas in mid-March.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas plans to continue donating to nonprofit organizations in need through the temporary closure.