Empty rooms and skeleton crews, hotels feel ripple effects of coronavirus

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Since March, events have been canceling left and right causing a ripple effect for hotels.

“I mean we are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in reservations canceled in a matter of two or three days,” Nic Yoxall, general manager of Wichita’s Fairfield Inn Suites.

Wichita’s Fairfield Inn Suites was hoping their drought would be ending soon. Phase 1.5 is putting that to a halt.

“That kind of knocked off what we had on the books, most of what we had on the books for that Memorial Day weekend. We were going to host a couple of teams,” said Yoxall.

The Marigold Grand Hotel says business hasn’t been all bad.

“The last two months have been kind of up and down. We had an uptick on medical providers,” said Eric Tanner.

The reality is though without a full hotel and COVID-19 safety precautions in place, hotels are left with a skeleton crew.

“I minimized my staff. I minimized my front desk. I minimized everything,” said Tanner.

Some hotels are wondering though when travel does pick up, if they will still see a drop in guests?

“Could this change business travel forever? You know, you got Skype, Zoom, all kinds of video conferences people can use. I think we will see a lot more people utilize that for sure,” said Yoxall.

As the state does re-open and the new normal begins, Yoxall says they will be ready.

“We’re trying to figure out where we go from here? It will change but again we will bounce back.”