Weekly Now: Hotels Find a COVID-19 Niche

Hotels around the country are attracting consumers by playing up their productivity value. Also: An association exec reflects on his time with Alex Trebek on Jeopardy!

With hotels not hosting many events or housing attendees currently,  they are finding new ways to leverage that space.

According to USA Today, many major hotel chains are promoting their buildings as places where people can get a change of pace from a topsy-turvy home experience—or, for those who miss working in coffee shops, a way to get back the “third place” vibe.

Industry leaders such as Hilton and Marriott are among those offering package deals that allow visitors to book a room only for the day while they work or to use the hotel room to take a staycation from their home. The chains are highlighting their amenity packages, along with their quiet nature, strong WiFi, and business equipment access. (It helps that many hotels have amplified their cleaning regimens in recent months.)

“The protocols we have for cleanliness were already over the top,” Marriott Vacations Worldwide’s Ed Kinney, who serves as the company’s global vice president of corporate affairs, told the newspaper. “We were doing a great amount over what was ever required.”

The move comes at a time when, according to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, hotel occupancy is projected to be at 38 percent this year, an all-time low.

Other news highlights:

Bodegas get veg-friendly. Plantega, a coalition of plant-based food makers and food advocates, is working to bring more vegetarian-friendly options to bodegas in New York City, VegWorld Magazine reports. More than 30 plant-based options will be sold at the stores and added to deli menus. The goal of the campaign is to improve accessibility, a longtime challenge for the industry.

Fighting the “silent killer.” Carbon monoxide has infamously been called the “silent killer,” and to make sure more people are aware of it, the National Volunteer Fire Council is offering new training opportunities to volunteer fire departments around the country via a virtual classroom. The education programs are in collaboration with the alarm-maker First Alert and will include carbon monoxide alarm donations to communities ahead of the winter season, when carbon monoxide risks are at their highest.

Remembering a Game-Show Icon

These days David Hudson serves as an association executive—the senior director of digital for the Motion Picture Association—after a period working for the Obama administration.

But two decades ago, as a grade-school Jeopardy! fanatic, he got a chance to take part in a back-to-school competition on the popular game show, in which he got to meet his idol, host Alex Trebek (who still had his famous mustache at the time). Hudson also appeared on the show a second time in 2008.

“I know I’m biased, but Alex Trebek was legit one of the coolest people we had, with (very fly) shoes that can’t be filled,” Hudson wrote.

In honor of Trebek, who died Sunday at age 80 after a battle with cancer, Hudson reflected on his visits to the show in a viral Twitter thread, which you can read over this way.


How can you ensure your digital onboarding process is a success? Associations Now’s Lisa Boylan gathers a few ideas from the American Bus Association.

The Emergency Nurses Association was trying to make a movie highlighting its field—and then COVID-19 hit and changed the scope of the film and its distribution. Here’s what you can learn from its work.

Some in-person events are still happening right now. In her most recent blog post, Samantha Whitehorne highlights how the Fertilizer Institute recently pulled one off.

(pixelfit/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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