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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: 31865

Reported Deaths: 539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7022136
Marion456992
Washington441759
Umatilla293941
Clackamas234661
Malheur158926
Jackson11094
Lane109616
Deschutes79312
Yamhill75013
Jefferson5218
Polk51515
Linn49513
Morrow4946
Lincoln47613
Union4392
Benton2946
Klamath2792
Wasco2793
Hood River2490
Douglas2244
Josephine1952
Columbia1551
Coos1490
Clatsop1310
Baker922
Crook621
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake290
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant90
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 799516

Reported Deaths: 15393
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2644146455
Riverside578831179
San Bernardino53359918
Orange526221182
San Diego45596773
Kern31712360
Fresno28019362
Sacramento21872399
Alameda20951397
Santa Clara20756304
San Joaquin20126437
Stanislaus16436345
Contra Costa16238204
Tulare15829259
Ventura12591146
Imperial11741317
San Francisco1094699
San Mateo9714144
Monterey970170
Santa Barbara8973113
Merced8828140
Kings756977
Sonoma7262120
Marin6641114
Solano627863
Madera445865
Placer353544
San Luis Obispo347929
Butte279043
Yolo278255
Santa Cruz22949
Sutter168911
Napa165313
San Benito132111
Yuba11367
El Dorado10884
Mendocino89418
Shasta75916
Lassen7360
Glenn5713
Tehama5334
Lake53011
Nevada5286
Colusa5246
Humboldt4967
Calaveras31414
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18715
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
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