Local hotels taking huge hit from COVID-19 pandemic

Local hotels taking huge hit from COVID-19 pandemic

PITTSBURGH — To say the hotel industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 is an understatement.

Its devastating effects are outlined in a recent report from the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Four out of 10 hotel employees are still not working, and two-thirds of hotels remain at or below 50% occupancy.

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“Right now across Allegheny County, occupancy levels are about 42%,” said Tom Loftus of Visit Pittsburgh.

Canceled business trips, weddings and sporting events have hurt the industry significantly.

“In the past, summer was always a bustling time for us with conventions, sporting events and the big festivals, and those were the things that disappeared overnight when this pandemic hit,” Loftus said.

Hotel chains like Hyatt and Hilton have made pay cuts and massive layoffs. Marriott’s CEO said the financial fallout from the virus is bigger than that of 9/11 and the 2008 crisis combined.

Popular resorts have also been hit hard. Hidden Valley remains closed and Seven Springs lost $72 million in revenue during this pandemic.

“And it’s going to take years to recover from that,” said Sen. Pat Stefano.

But the colder months ahead could help some recover.

“Because ski season is coming and when you are skiing, you are already masked up, you’re already well-isolated,” Stefano said.

Stefano said across the state, two to four hundred thousand employees have lost their jobs in the hotel industry.

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