Los Angeles tourism and hotels take serious hits from pandemic


The hotels are doing. Industry called Leisure and Hospitality is a huge economic driver in greater L. A. It employs a lot of folks you probably know And of course, a lot of those jobs have gone away. Some of those jobs may never come back after this pandemic. The Times reports that one in four hotels Struggling to pay their mortgage and is at risk of foreclosure. Adam Burke is president and CEO of the tourism and Convention. Bored and Heather Roseman is executive director of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles. Welcome to you above Thanks so much, Steve. It's great to be on. Good morning, Heather. I want to start with you. First of all, how many hotels Does the greater Los Angeles area have The greater Los Angeles area has a combination of hotels, motels and bed and breakfasts somewhere in the neighborhood of about 1200. Do they all have to close those hotels? When everything Shut down. I'm thinking back in Middlemarch. When Ella did the stay at home orders or did some hotels managed to stay open because business was still happening, right? The hotel industry was deemed an essential business. At the beginning of the pandemic. We were working to service a couple of government projects, starting with the state of California, looking for rooms to have passengers that were disembarking from cruise ships quarantine for 14 days. From there. We started working with the L. A county to find rooms for covert isolation as well as what then evolved into Project Room Key. So that's something that we're going to talk about in a few moments here on this program, are you starting to see some of those hotels reopen again? Our people venturing out arm or tourists coming back to L. A. I mean, what kind of numbers are you seeing there? During the outside of the pandemic. Hotels did suspend operations in many cases, not knowing exactly whether or not they were allowed to be open. As of last week. We still have 38 hotels that are are closed and we're not sure if those are going to be a temporary or permanent closure, but during the pandemic 157 hotels Did shut down. Initially We are starting to see some of that leisure travel returned to the market. But as we see the occupancy rates rise, we have to consider that the hotels are still operating at a very limited crew. As thie bookings are still only about 50% maximum. Adam occupancy rate, obviously is an important number. You just heard Heather's say, 50%. What's what's the occupancy rate typically in Allah? Well, First of all, I like to reiterate what Heather said. Which is, you know, this has really been devastating for our industry with a lot of your listeners may not realize Steve is prior to the pandemic. Our leisure and hospitality sector was actually the third largest employer in Los Angeles County, representing about one out of every 8.5 jobs across the county. So While we've seen job loss of about one out of every three jobs in leisure and hospitality that's been even more dramatic for the hotel's prior to the pandemic, though, to your question we were seeing average occupancy is in the city about 83% and, you know, Fortunately, we started to see some gradual recovery. But that had declined to his low is about 20% with a lot of hotels, actually sitting in the single digits Right now we're seeing occupancies that are in the 40% range, and it really to your point is being fueled by locals. It's really Angelino starting to safely and responsibly. Get out and take staycations right here in their own backyard. I want to. I want to talk about that, because one of the things that you guys have been doing I know is pushing more Angelenos. To go out and stay in local hotels. If you're able to how do you suppose did I mean it? Is there a conflict with you guys? When you say Well, we want you to go stay at a hotel. But there is this pandemic still happening. Yeah, it's a great question. So the first of all, I will say we've actually been working with the Los Angeles Department of County Health to develop safety protocols for all the various sectors of our industry. So that we can make sure that we are protecting our guests were protecting our employees. Equally important, So the idea of pushing people to get out in about probably, I would say it a little bit differently, Which is what we've done is We've put together a program called Love, which is really by Angelinos for Angelenos. So we've put together over 100 special offers, including not just hotels, but our local attractions in restaurants so that for people who are comfortable getting out and about it's more affordable and easier to dio. And you know when people ask, what can I do? We know, for example, that if those who have the means had just three visits to a local attraction or museum, supported three of our local restaurants and had just won three night stay. In an area hotel that would actually help us recover over 21,000 jobs in L, a county and what it would inject about $1.4 billion back into our local business community. Heather, How

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