Local hospitality industry pivots amid COVID-19

Even with the struggle to rebound, hospitality industry experts are looking at the changes and adjustments to a new normal as a opportunity.

Posted: May 21, 2020 6:21 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. – As businesses begin to reopen and industries start to recover amidst the coronavirus, the hospitality industry is slow to see signs of recovery.

Travel is still limited across much of the nation and under Phase 1 in Oregon, leisure travel is prohibited.

Even with the struggle to rebound, hospitality industry experts are looking at the changes and adjustments to a new normal as a opportunity.

“There’s a real opportunity here to showcase what other things southern Oregon has to offer that visitors don’t even realize,” said Brad Niva, the executive director for Travel Southern Oregon.

“I think Oregon, southern Oregon specifically, is well positioned for regional travel and allows for social distancing; whether that be rafting, fishing, hiking, enjoying the great outdoors,” said Terry Hopkins, the membership representative for Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association.

With an optimistic outlook, there’s still large drops in the market that will only take time to recover.

“I think the industry as a whole will likely follow what you’re seeing as one to two years for our numbers, our revenues, our occupancies to come back to where we were in 2019,” said Liz Dahlager, Vice President of Market Intelligence for Mereté Hotels.

Occupancy numbers dropped as much as 70% but they are beginning to slowly creep back up.

“The trend is a nice upward curve from the low being 20-25% occupancy, all the way up to, I mean we’re seeing some spikes up to 70%,” said Niva, “for example, in Ashland last week Lithia Springs Resort, which has 38 rooms, was sold out.”

“We’re seeing increases in occupancy each week and we are optimistic that that will continue to come back but the initial declines were very significant across the hotel industry,” said Dahlager.

As the occupancy numbers increase, industry experts will be looking to change their marketing strategies to meet the new travel realities of customers.

“As we come out of COVID-19 and travel starts becoming a little more relevant people are going to be very conservative,” said Niva, “we don’t expect anyone to travel more than 600 miles that seems to be the standard, 3 to 5 miles hours from home and they are going to drive.”

“Regional travel here will be our saving grace as we get back into it,” said Hopkins.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 4335

Reported Deaths: 157
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah118161
Marion98126
Washington74718
Clackamas31711
Deschutes1270
Umatilla1213
Linn1189
Polk10012
Lane773
Yamhill707
Jackson670
Benton565
Clatsop450
Jefferson440
Klamath440
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco261
Josephine241
Hood River220
Lincoln170
Columbia160
Morrow120
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 117215

Reported Deaths: 4305
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles572192448
Riverside8155342
San Diego7554269
Orange6574150
San Bernardino5501208
Alameda351597
Santa Clara2819143
San Francisco258743
Kern237639
San Mateo218884
Tulare200489
Fresno188236
Imperial179829
Santa Barbara166912
Contra Costa150637
Sacramento143958
Ventura116434
Kings11375
San Joaquin98235
Stanislaus75029
Monterey57110
Sonoma5664
Solano54622
Marin50115
Merced3017
San Luis Obispo2781
Placer2289
Santa Cruz2172
Yolo21324
Madera1143
Napa1133
Humboldt1023
El Dorado960
San Benito882
Butte511
Sutter462
Del Norte460
Nevada421
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake260
Inyo201
Glenn170
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Amador100
Siskiyou80
Colusa70
Lassen50
Tehama51
Plumas40
Tuolumne40
Alpine20
Sierra10
Trinity10
Unassigned00
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