SAN FRANCISCO—Seventy of the city’s 215 hotels have closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to city-data.com, tourism is the largest industry in San Francisco, generating almost $7 billion in tourist spending annually. There are reportedly 113,500 workers employed in the leisure and hospitality sector.
According to a statement by the Handlery Union Square Hotel, one of the temporarily-closed hotels, choosing to suspend hotel operations was a “difficult decision.” They are “scheduled to open again in mid-May 2020.”
The Omni San Francisco Hotel closed temporarily due to “the unprecedented implications COVID-19 has had on the hospitality industry.” Omni Hotels & Resorts noted it was a “very difficult decision.”
The Omni Circle, which provides financial assistance to associates of Omni Hotels & Resorts whose lives have been impacted by “disasters, accidents and other emergencies” raised $1.3 million in grant relief as of May 1. Donations can be made to the Omni Circle, and additional information can be found here. The Omni Circle will match every donation by $5.
Omni Associates can apply for assistance via https://forms.gle/BrSRSvFhCyvKkzTM9. Joy Rothschild, Chief Human Resources Officer of Omni Hotels & Resorts, stated that “we look at several factors including your loss and the dependents who rely on you. The greater the loss, and the more dependents you have, the greater the grant.” A multiplier will be added for tenure.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) claims that as of April 29, almost 8 out of 10 hotel rooms nationwide were empty. Since mid-February, hotels have lost over $18 billion in room revenue and are on track to lose over $3.5 billion more each week. With 70 percent of them laid off or furloughed, hotel workers lose upwards of $2.4 billion in earnings weekly. Over 450,000 jobs supporting the hotel industry have been lost in California alone due to the pandemic.
As of 9 a.m. on Monday, May 4, there are a total of 1,624 COVID-19 cases in San Francisco County.