Arizona hotel operators faced with empty rooms due to COVID-19 are quickly lining up to join a national effort to offer their space to health care workers who are on the frontlines of the virus.
About 350 properties have already signed up for the initiative, called Hospitality for Hope.
Across the United States, more than 15,000 — representing millions of rooms — have signed up.
“In the short time since the initiative was announced, participation has grown from nearly 6,000 hotels to more than 15,000 properties,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) told Forbes this week. “Already, this initiative has identified a total combined 2.3 million rooms located in close proximity to established healthcare facilities.”
In an effort to support communities across the country during this public crisis, the AHLA in partnership with the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) launched the initiative in late March to connect hotel properties with the health community and support as the COVID-19 public health crisis grows.
“AHLA’s Hospitality for Hope Initiative is just one of the many ways that our hotels are helping those in need in our communities during this time of crisis,” said Kim Sabow, president and CEO of AzLTA. “We look forward to working with all interested parties, including local and state officials, and the federal government to find innovative solutions to make it through this critical time together.”
Hospitality for Hope was created to boost collaboration between the hotel industry and local, state and federal governments to help employees, communities across the country, and the industry during the coronavirus outbreak. There is also discussion to use hotels as sites to contract with the government for makeshift hospitals, long-term care facilities and community health centers.
To help match and streamline the process, AHLA is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a national database. Local, state and federal government officials will be able to search properties based on location.
“As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis,” Rogers said in a statement announcing the initiative. “Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different.”
Five Valley hotels giving free stays to frontline medical personnel
Caliber, a real estate development and investment firm, is among the first to announce it is offering complimentary hotel nights at five of its Phoenix metro properties for healthy medical personnel fighting the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport, 4300 E. Washington St.
- Hampton Inn and Suites Scottsdale Riverwalk, 9550 E. Talking Stick Way
- Hilton Phoenix Airport, 2435 S. 47th St.
- Holiday Inn Chandler, 1200 W. Ocotillo Road
- Holiday Inn Phoenix Airport North, 1515 N. 44th St.
“After a thorough review of our hotels and their related performance in 2020, Caliber has decided to not close our properties as we are currently supporting airline crews, essential service workers and others,” Caliber CEO Chris Loeffler said in a prepared statement.
“Considering that, we have excess capacity to house individuals affected by the current health situation, and providing complimentary nights is a way that our company can give back to those working hard for the rest of us.”
Caliber is offering a minimum of five free rooms per property per night from April 1 through May 31 to front-line employees of local hospital networks and healthcare providers, including Banner Health, Mayo Clinic, Dignity Health, HonorHealth and Valleywise Health.
The maximum stay is 14 days, and rooms are based upon availability. A valid form of payment is required at check-in to cover any incidental expenses. Based upon food safety recommendations, food and beverage offerings may be limited through May 31.
If the COVID-19 crisis continues, Caliber plans to reevaluate its Operation Sleep Safe program, Caliber COO Jennifer Schrader said in a written statement.
“We’re pleased to be able to provide this gift of 1,500 room nights during the next two months to the medical teams working to treat patients and defeat COVID-19.”
The total value of the donated rooms is $225,000, according to a company press release.
“Caliber is happy to expand the program if the need persists and we have available guest capacity,” Ms. Schrader said. “All of us need to come together and help as best we can.”
Arizona hotels interested in joining Hospitality for Hope Initiative can go to: volunteer.
The Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) is the leading public policy advocate for Arizona’s Lodging and Tourism Industry. Representing statewide hotels and resorts, tourism attractions, destination marketing organizations, sports teams, the arts, airlines, airports and related business partners, the AzLTA is focused on advocacy, collaboration and education in support of strengthening the industry in Arizona. Learn more at www.azlta.com
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry and contributes nearly $660 billion to U.S. GDP. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. America’s hotels support 8.3 million jobs – accounting for more than one in every 25 American jobs. Learn more at www.ahla.com.