INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — About two-thirds of Indiana’s hotels could be forced to close permanently in the coming months if Congress doesn’t provide more financial relief to the beleaguered hospitality industry that’s been hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a national lobbying group says.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association, estimates that nearly 700 of Indiana’s 1,042 hotels will permanently close within the next six months if they don't obtain additional funding, based on numbers from a national survey of its members earlier this month.
Nearly half of the state's hotels could also face the risk of foreclosure, the survey found.
The conclusions highlight what the lobbying group says is a crucial need for more financial support from Congress to aid the nation’s hospitality industry, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported. “It’s time for Congress to put politics aside and prioritize American workers in the hardest-hit industries,” Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said in a written statement.
Hotels and other related businesses have laid off or furloughed thousands of workers since the pandemic began in March. Indiana had about 25,000 hotel workers before the pandemic but has lost nearly 9,500 through September, the survey estimates.
“The sudden impact of COVID-19, with hotels now operating in crisis mode for more than 200 days straight, has significantly eroded revenue and caused some hotels enough financial pain to close doors,” said Chris Gahl, vice president of the tourism agency Visit Indy. “Relief for these hotels is paramount toward mounting a comeback.”