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travel magazine

West House Hotel in New York, closed during Covid

Addi Palmer, Online Editor

Traveling is one of the most exciting things. That feeling of buying a new outfit for your special vacation to the beach, or maybe Europe. And staying in a hotel! Being an employee in the hotel industry is one of the highest paying jobs. But what happened to all those people during Covid? The ones who took care of you and your family during your vacation? What happened when travel had to stop?
Most hotels unfortunately had to let go of most of their employees. They weren’t making as much money, so they couldn’t pay all of their members. WestHouse, a hotel in New York, is a great example of hotels that have been affected by Covid. A hotel that faces Time Square and is just a block away from Carnegie Hall— they had it all! With people checking in and out daily from this hotel, they were booming. But when Covid hit, it was a big blow for the staff.
Ashley, a WestHouse employee said, “Prior to even knowing what COVID-19 was, the hotel industry started experiencing reservation cancellations and we had no idea why.” She explained the various changes occurring within the hotel industry after 27 months out of work, including the daily temperature checks, masks, and the plexiglass in front of the work stations. She even noted that they have to request vaccine cards from people so that they can eat and drink in the lounge or make use of the gym. She expressed, “We are doing our best but sometimes the demand from our guests can be a lot to handle.”
But before hotels could bring back guests in a somewhat traditional way, they had to learn to adjust to the changing times. Another hotel employee, Erik Palmer, added, “When COVID originally hit, it hit the hospitality markets so hard that people stopped traveling and resulted in many hotels having to close down or lay off employees.” He explained that for his hotels, they had to find other ways to keep them open to the public. And so this gave him the opportunity to turn four of them into homeless shelters.
A large percentage of people feel uncomfortable returning back to hotels, but the employees and staff are ready to help you return. So welcome back!