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Hotel industry hits record breaking low at local and national level

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SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — This is not a great time to own, or staff, or be employed by a hotel.

In April, we saw the lowest occupancy rate in the United States that we’ve ever seen recorded.

Chip Rogers, CEO and President of American Hotel and Lodging Association

At the national level, hotels have laid off or furloughed 70% of their employees on average. Currently, eight out of 10 hotel rooms are empty.

This is the most trying time for the hotel industry … in its history.

Tim Kuhlman, Regional Director for three hotels in the Charleston area

At the local level, guests are also far too few.

“We’re starting to move in the right direction right now. It’s slow, but we’re moving,” Kuhlman said.

But despite these tough times, employees at the Holiday Inn in South Charleston are finding a way to stay positive.

They created a positivity sign made up of words of encouragement; each of which begins with the first letter of an employees’ name.

“These are hard times and I think they’re doing a great job of making everyone happy,” Kuhlman said.

With summer right around, the hotel industry is preparing for the increase in guests they desperately need.

“I want to remind people, if you’re thinking of going on a trip don’t let the cleanliness stop you from booking that trip because it will be clean. It will be safe. And Lord knows, we all need to travel right now,” Rogers said.

But there is still some worry, because business travel holds a big influence on the industry’s economy.

“If the business travelers don’t begin traveling again in the fall and winter this will become much more serious of a problem,” Rogers said.

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