Covid-19 Crisis Notes

Covid-19 Crisis Notes

We continue to gather and share as much relevant information as we can with members to help navigate through these troubled days, and position best for whatever may lie ahead.

Potential Revenue Opportunities
Via member feedback, we are seeing many opportunities arise from public health and safety offices in various areas around the country. Some of these entities are renting large blocks of hotel rooms or leasing an entire property outright for up to a year. If you feel your property and business would benefit from such an arrangement, please connect with your local officials to see if there is a need.

AHLA is also assisting in this effort. Please find a link to a form that they are sharing with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), alerting them to properties that may be available in times of need.

We are seeing other opportunities with colleges and universities that may face challenges with existing dorm configurations and are thus seeking alternative living arrangements for students. If your property is in close proximity to such an institution, try connecting with their Housing office to see if they may be active in the market.

Choice’s Global Sales team has been very active on behalf of Choice’s economy brands, with close to $10 Million in business generated year-to-date for 2020 for Econo Lodge properties.

Please take time to visit the Global Sales Home page on Choice Central, where you will find links to many of their services, tutorials, and forms that can be critical elements to taking advantage of all potential opportunities that the market has to offer.

Choice RFP Program / 2021 Courtesy Rate Extension / Black-Out Dates –
Choice Hotels has extended its 2020 corporate negotiated rates into 2021 due to the unfolding pandemic crisis. Please reach out to Choice Global sales team or your new Econo Lodge Area Manager if you would like to opt out of this or other programs.

Please also review your property’s potential 2021 black-out dates. If this has not been updated, please take the opportunity to do so.

Group Business / Conference Direct / July 24th Deadline –
Properties have been automatically loaded for Choice’s Conference Direct program. Franchisees have until Friday July 24th to opt out. You can find this link also at the Choice Global Sales homepage.

3 Steps to Help Your Property with Group Visibility –
While group and conference travel has been heavily curtailed in 2020, there remain opportunities still, and we do not know what 2021 may have to offer here. Please take the following steps to help ensure your property is sharing the best information possible with potential decision-makers.

  1. Update your property’s CVent Profile
  2. Respond to ALL queries and requests from Choice Sales – often the first to respond gets the business – don’t delay.
  3. Ensure your property has active SGRP1 and SGRP2 rate plans.

Front Desk / Night Window – If your property has a night window, we suggest that this be utilized for all guest interactions and transactions and that lobbies remain closed. You should be protected from chargebacks with the use of EMV machines even without a signature by utilizing the Signature On File (SOF) feature (guest signature should be on folio).

Breakfast / Coffee – This requirement has been suspended through September 30, 2020 by Choice Hotels as it impacts the safety of both employees and guests.

Attached is a notice for guests to acknowledge that has been circulating from hotels that can be put to use at your property to better assist in communicating local government mandates and cutbacks in services and amenities. It is in Word form so you can edit your property info as needed.

Room Cleaning / Amenities by Request – With stayover guests, please offer housekeeping services only by request. Amenities for stayovers can be provided via night window or drop offs to room exteriors.

Ecolab has provided an excellent video for back of house preparation and cleaning regimens, including an extensive Q&A at the end. It is a longer video coming in just under one hour, but it does offer excellent tips and insight.

Choice Hotels Financial Assistance – While other brands have offered across the board fee relief and deferrals, Choice Hotels has focused immediate relief systemwide in areas where services are being curtailed – Medallia and revenue management for examples – and choosing instead to focus more of its relief effort on properties that are experiencing worse hardships than others.

We encourage any properties facing extensive and potentially catastrophic hardships to connect with Matt Martin in Choice’s Owner & Portfolio Strategy Operations department at Matthew.Martin@choicehotels.com. Please let ELFA or your ELFA regional director know if you are engaging with Matthew’s department so we can best track progress and results.

Louis Smith

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