Employees at dozens of hotels worry about impact from COVID-19

Hotel Industry Impact

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Local hotel managers say it’s been a bloodbath. They say their businesses are tanking due to the coronavirus and they are fighting to keep employees working for as long as possible.

Some hospitality groups have completely shut down while others are operating at only 10 to 15 percent of their normal occupancy levels and that’s creating a lot of hardship for people who work here.

“I heard they’re going to give us a letter and then will file for unemployment,” says one worker.

Whether downtown or uptown, many of the nearly 15,400 people who work in dozens of New Orleans hotels worry.

“This is a bloodbath. The sooner we get this under control, we get back to business and get commerce flowing,” says Parkview Hotel owner Liz Creel.

A random survey of New Orleans hotels shows occupancy rates below 15 percent in most cases and those who are still working, often paycheck to paycheck, wonder how long that can continue.

“I hope they do something for me. I’ve been there for 35 years.”

The manager of one large downtown hotel says his company has a robust personal time off and benefits package which should be able to provide some assistance to laid off workers. But how long the money will hold out at his point is anyone’s guess.

One hotel owner says that she is trying to get her bank to forgo this months mortgage payment. She says that will allow here to keep some employees working and keep her doors open as she struggles to make ends meet through this coronavirus near shut down.

Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.