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Pandemic helps hotel group refocus on members’ needs

CEO grapples with across-the-board cuts even as American Hotel & Lodging Association works to keep nation’s hotels in business

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By Kathryn Walson
June 5, 2020

The hotel industry was growing so fast in January that it had nearly 1 million job openings to fill. But Chip Rogers, CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, saw a storm brewing by mid-February when hotels nationwide were flooded with cancellations. As hotels began to close due to a lack of business, the industry quickly went from soaring to sinking. Four million hotel employees were out of work by May, he said in an interview with CEO Update.

“That is a dramatic change, and therefore the needs of our members change,” he said. “From mid-February ’til now, we’ve focused on … not what can we do to help build their business, but what can we do to help them stay in business. It’s the most basic part of running a business: How do I keep my doors open?”