Parts of the U.S. hotel industry are in the very early stages of reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-five states are reopening in phases as others remain closed or are partially reopening, reports the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In this story, Long Live Lodging reports on how owners plan to move forward and get back to business as most people are still not travel-minded despite getting green lights to move about while exercising safety precautions. Mitch Patel, CEO of Vision Hospitality Group, has hotels in Georgia and Tennessee, the first two states to announce reopening plans. He says the industry as a whole needs to come together and figure out how to do business in the COVID-19 reality. This article is part of an ongoing special report on the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the U.S. hotel industry.
Bijal Patel, 31, is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality and the youngest chair of the California Hotel & Lodging Association. He’s made even more history at CHLA by agreeing to serve an unprecedented second term as the lodging industry emerges from the coronavirus pandemic. Patel is a third-generation hotelier. Being so steeped in hospitality at such a young age is not new for members of the Indian American hotelier community, but Patel fears the pandemic has drained the industry of emerging talent. Lodging Leaders spotlights Patel, who represents a leadership demographic that is fighting for the life of the hospitality industry as they watch their peers veer toward other career paths.
Many hotels these days have made room for guests with disabilities. Hotel managers and staff should also know what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about accommodating guests with pets. During the pandemic lockdowns, a lot of people added a pet to their household and now they’re bringing Fido along on vacation. Hotel employees need to know how to cater to both consumers who are pet owners as well as guests who travel with a trained service animal. Episode 329 of Lodging Leaders podcast reports on how the ADA defines a service animal and how a hotel is legally obligated to serve a guest who comes with a dog or any other animal.