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Lodging Update February 28th 2020

By Wm, May
Published: 02/28/20 Topics: Comments: 0

You are probably receiving many emails urging everyone to follow safe procedures to slow down the COVID-19 virus. We agree of course, but someone also needs to talk about the bright future that will follow a virus named after a beer brand.

Of course I know it's not the beer, but it helps to fight the panic by calling it a beer bug.

This is not to make sport of the folks who are suffering and dying from this creepy thing. But for most people who get infected, the symptoms are going to feel like having had far too many Budweiser's.

It is said that many people will not get the virus and yet their lives have been turned upside down. Restaurant and retail workers are out of work. Public events have been postponed for months or cancelled altogether.

Some reactions to this problem are unnecessary. Hoarders don't need a years worth of toilet paper. Creepy speculators don't need to buy cases of hand sanitizer and try to foist it on others at huge markups.

There are even people in the travel world, such as Online Travel Agents (think AirBnB) who have unilaterally changed their own terms and are now allowing any guest to cancel for any reason. This helps guests but devastates hosts who have been counting on the income by holding dates for up to a year. It also cuts hours for housekeepers, maintenance staff, reservationists, and more.

We don't want to be selfish but we do want to make informed decisions. Every negative has a positive. It's difficult to believe that now, but time will tell that it holds true.

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In Seattle we were thrust into the national news. Please tell your friends the sky is not falling and we have experience. Undesirable of course, but we learned one big lesson, this too shall pass.

We oldsters remember the day, the minute, and exactly where we stood when it was announced that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas. Time stood still. We all thought we could never go on. It was our first taste of the sky falling, but we did grow older and in time the fear did pass.

On March 27, 1980 Mount Saint Helens blew its top just 98 miles south of downtown Seattle. Even from here a giant plum of smoke roared 70,000 feet into the air over our heads as if from a Faustian furnace. Ash covered Seattle and the Northwest. Cars were stranded due to ash, airplanes dare not fly. Schools were closed and people panicked. It seemed as if the sky was literally falling. But, that too did pass.

The terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001 stopped everyone in their tracks, We fretted that more hijackings would crash perhaps into our fair city. Consumers hoarded food and supplies. Our hearts bled for the victims, families, and first responders. People fled the city to hide out in the country. People panicked and for good reason thinking the sky was falling. Slowly but surely this too did pass.

Our parents generation were stunned by 9/11, but they were a bit less stunned that my generation or younger. They had lived through World War II and had seen worse, far worse.

My father in-law was a night-fighter pilot off an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific tasked with shooting down Kamikaze planes where he could often see the faces of the Japanese pilots as they died. He did not allow himself to believe he would came back alive. That generation never knew if they or their lifestyle would survive. And yet, over time memories faded, fear diluted, and this indeed did pass.

The 2008 recession dominated the world financially, stole life savings, threw people out of work, evicted home owners, caused bankruptcies, and scared everyone for years. Life savings were lost through no fault of savers. The lodging industry was brought to its knees and participants felt the sky was falling. It did not. Slowly, very slowly this too did pass.

And now today we are deep into yet another crisis that seems as daunting as past panics because its outcome and its tenure are unknown. The enemy is unseen and impersonal. Everyone wants answers which have not arrived.

For now, the path is to follow the basic hand-washing, social distancing, and other rules that will slow the virus giving the medical establishment time to react and adapt.

The vacation rental industry has a little something to offer. We offer people private vacation rental homes to get away, to really relax, to spend time in the country away from the city. Where they can walk the beach, hike the mountains and watch nature, which is paying no attention to a virus whatsoever. Traveling by car guests avoid crowds. And for all of this we have our incredible staff who still clean and sanitize homes to the Nth degree.

If these comments seem a bit too selfish, or too early, keep in mind that truly the sky is not falling. The sooner we fit the new situation into our world, the better. After all, this too shall pass.

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Author: Wm, May, Vortex Managers
Blog #: 0748 – 02/28/20
Sponsor: Vortex Organization – We train quality people to help run unique Inns, Resorts and Vacation Rental Management companies, in an industry that has been a webby net of technology combined with good old fashioned property, guest and owner services. – VortexManagers.com

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