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.
Dhruv Patel, president of Ridgemont Hospitality, in October shared a bittersweet moment with his parents, Pravin and Sima Patel, when the family business sold the first motel that Pravin had built from the ground up more than 30 years ago. But they rest assured knowing it was the right decision because the 22-room property is being converted into affordable housing for military veterans at risk of homelessness. The transaction is among hundreds taking place across the U.S. as state and local governments work with non-profit agencies to create affordable housing solutions for vulnerable populations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In Episode 310 Long Live Lodging reports on the financial and legal aspects of what it takes to convert a hotel into long-term housing. This report is part of Long Live Lodging’s special coverage of the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the hospitality industry.
Kathleen Bertrand believes Atlanta is a city where dreams can come true. A jazz recording artist, she served at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau for more than 30 years, finding new ways to promote to the world the best things about the city she calls a “melting pot” of races and cultures. In Episode 309 of Lodging Leaders podcast Bertrand gets vocal and tells her story of rising through the ranks as one of the few Black women in leadership in the tourism industry. This session is part of Long Live Lodging’s special report commemorating Black History Month and the hospitality industry’s impact on the Civil Rights Movement.