Hotel industry losing hundreds of employees as it waits for financial relief

With several stay-at-home orders around the country and people too nervous to travel, some hotels are on the brink of shutting down permanently if they don’t receive financial help from Congress soon as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on.

According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), every hour Congress doesn't pass any sort of relief package, it says 400 people are losing their jobs in the hotel industry.

AHLA says this is its worst year on record, and December is the 10th month of decline.

It did a survey and results show 71% of hotels won't be able to stay open for another six months if it continues the way it is now.

The Arizona Grand Resort and Spa in Phoenix can speak to this. They've had to lay off hundreds of employees just because of the lack of demand.

The resort owners created a GoFundMe for those employees, raising more than $150,000, and matched every penny.

With help from generous donors, it still isn't enough since the pandemic has taken a toll on these employees for nearly a year.

"It has been devastating and we are family-owned, fully independent. It has just ravaged the entire industry. People stopped traveling immediately, they stopped coming to hotels and tons of cancelations and business. We can’t have people working," said Paul Grey, general manager of the resort.

Chip Rogers, CEO of AHLA, says he's frustrated that he's only seen inaction from the federal government when it comes to financial help for the hospitality industry.

"We have been frustrated on why there is no action," he said, adding, “It is people’s life work being destroyed first and foremost and they run these hotels like family for so long.”

The hotel industry is holding onto hope that Congress will pass something any day now and are feeling hopeful with the vaccine being distributed, allowing people to feel more comfortable traveling.