Home Publisher's Point of View Occupancy Shows Signs of Life & Other Good News to Chew On

Occupancy Shows Signs of Life & Other Good News to Chew On

Glenn Hasek

There has been so much bad news this year that I thought I would highlight some important bits of good news from this past week. Here goes:

The pickup in travel is slow but it is happening. According to STR, U.S. hotel occupancy was 30.1 percent the week of May 3 to 9. That is up from the dismal 21 percent the week of April 5 to 11. Many markets are seeing much higher numbers on the weekends.

Yes, if we continue to flatten the curve, business will continue to improve and the worst will remain behind us.

One hotel company after another is introducing well thought out plans to safely open and operate their lodging establishments. Yes, it is the only option at this point, but it is great to see so much “science meets innovation meets determination” in our industry. And, it is great to see hotel companies working together on these efforts.

If there is one word that should take the “word of the year” award this year, it is “pivot.” I have watched so many hotel companies and suppliers pivot to meet the changing needs of hoteliers and travelers—and saving lives in the process. Witness the number of suppliers now selling, or even creating, sanitizer, face masks, shields, software to enable a touchless experience, etc. I learned about more of these companies this past week.

In the midst of this crisis work is still being done to improve the buildings that we build and operate. Two examples: In the next two weeks, the U.S. Green Building Council will launch new LEED +pilot credits to support social distancing, nontoxic surface cleaning, air quality and infection monitoring. Also, as reported on Green Lodging News, the City of St. Louis just became the first jurisdiction in the Midwest and the fourth in the country to pass a Building Energy Performance Standard.

Transition Away from Dirty Coal

For those frequent breathers out there, this was certainly good news this past week: In a first for any month in U.S. history, renewables from solar, wind, and hydropower generated more electricity than coal on every day in April 2020, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This impressive stretch actually began on March 25, when utility-scale solar, wind and hydro collectively produced more than coal-fired generation.

The transition away from coal for electricity generation has accelerated in 2020 due to a number of factors, particularly low gas prices, warmer weather, a significant amount of new renewable capacity connecting to the grid late last year, and more recently, lower power demand from the economic slowdown because of the coronavirus.

Good deeds done by our industry for those in need continued to hit my desk this past week. I receive so much news about acts of generosity that I cannot process it all. One example: American Airlines and Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced that they will award thousands of healthcare professionals from NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst three-night complimentary vacations to help them recharge and reconnect with their loved ones, once they are able to take time for themselves.

In sifting through the news of the day it is easy to get overwhelmed by bad news. We all still have so many challenges to overcome. It is good to stop every now and then to see the good news among the bad. Never stop sharing your good news with me.

Green Lodging News Adds ‘Face Mask’ Category to Directory

Green Lodging News has added a “Face Masks” category to its Green Product & Service Directory. The first company in the category is Sterling Sleep Systems. Sterling Sleep Systems, a maker of sustainable mattresses with interchangeable, replaceable parts, has switched manufacturing gears to meet the needs of hotels in need of face masks. Its 100 percent cotton face masks are 2-ply and include 1/4″ elastic strips. They are machine washable and made in the USA. The face masks feature SaniCare by Cramer: a special cleaning method for cotton that, when appropriately used, inhibits the production of mildew and fungus and destroys the conditions supporting the proliferation of house dust-mites. Call (714) 891-3191 or e-mail sales@sterlingsleep.com for more information.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, now publishes Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 20,232 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for 2020?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2020. Many excellent spots are available on our new website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2020 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. A media kit can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 20,232. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail greenlodgingnews@gmail.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,808 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 984 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.