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As hospitality recovers from the crushing blow it took in Q2 2020, we’re already seeing many areas across ownership and operations evolve at a rapid pace. While COVID-19 decimated global demand and revenue at record levels, it also gave each of us across the industry the opportunity to pause and rethink our strategies moving forward. Some say it accelerated innovation so quickly that hoteliers will be decades ahead of where they would’ve been otherwise.

Jason Q. Freed headshotOperations have been flipped upside-down, with new check-in processes, standard sanitization procedures and much less focus on food and beverage. As many hotels open their doors and welcome their first guests back, the opportunity has presented itself to rethink old ways of doing business.

 In a Special Report published today, CLE Content (publishers of Hotel Recovery 2020) looked specifically at the critical role of distribution. We talked to revenue and distribution leaders from various segments of the industry to determine how hoteliers should be prioritizing distribution and channel mix as we recover from coronavirus. The fear is, with coronavirus effectively forcing hoteliers to hit the “reset” button, many will go back to their old habits of handing inventory over to OTAs at deep discounts to get “heads in beds.” You can download the full report for free.

 Many readers have reached out to show support for the site, and we’re seeing strong engagement numbers on our daily newsletter. New folks are pitching in, and if you check out our About HR2020 page, you’ll see we added a new editor, longtime hospitality writer Brendan Manley, and two new contributors: The Hotel Mogel himself, Larry Mogelonsky, and hotel digital pioneer Ben Hanley from across the pond.

HR2020 was launched with a mission to help hoteliers get back on the road to recovery, and we’re specifically interested in helping line-level hoteliers – those who provide the “heartbeat” of the hotel but often get the smallest paychecks. It’s these folks who will be first to welcome guests back with a smile, even if it’s from behind a mask. So today, Hotel Recovery 2020 is opening for monthly “Partnerships,” with 50% of revenue raised going to a frontline hospitality charity and 50% going to maintaining the site. We’re currently soliciting and evaluating the most effective hospitality charities – drop me a line with any recommendations.

When HR2020 first launched, I heard from Tejal, a woman who comes from a family of longtime hoteliers and has helped manage their small portfolio. Pre-corona, Tejal was gearing up to open a Fairfield Inn & Suites in the Houston area. The part of her story that really grabbed me:

“Since the pandemic hit, it has been tough navigating this time as I try to establish the hotel’s local presence. Although it has been challenging financially and emotionally, it has been rewarding to try to uplift our community in the process.”

Later, I spoke with a Maintenance Supervisor named Greg, who had to furlough more than 30 employees and was still operating two floors of his hotel, doing everything from checking in guests to cleaning rooms, putting himself at risk each day. 

It’s frontline hospitality workers like these who will bring hospitality back. Through HR2020, my “pandemic project,” I’m excited for the opportunity to raise some money for folks like Tejal and Greg, and others who have been furloughed, laid off or terminated. If you are too, email me for more details.