During this unprecedented time, the Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association continues to respond to the challenges COVID-19 presents across Oklahoma's hospitality industry. We remain in close and constant communications with our state and national leaders and support organizations, including the Governors office, Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce, our legislative leaders both statewide and federal, NRA, AH&LA, and others. We will vigorously fight for our industry and are always available for your questions, comments, and concerns at email@example.com.
* 7/13/20 New $5 Per Employee SafeStay Training Course Available - To further expand the hotel industrys Safe Stay initiative, AHLA announced COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels, an online course developed in partnership with AHLEI and created to help hotels train their staff on the Safe Stay Enhanced Safety and Cleanliness Guidelines. This new employee training course represents a united industry approach around the Safe Stay guidelines endorsed by all major U.S. hotel brands to ensuring the health and safety of guests and employees while continuing to provide outstanding service.
OH&LA encourages all hotels to enroll as a Safe Stay property, which means at a minimum your hotel pledges to train and implement the health and safety practices in the enhanced guidelines.
Additionally, members now have the opportunity to support their employees and guests by providing special health and safety training for $5 per employee. Any hotel employee is eligible for the training. Click here to view:
Steps to Become a Safe Stay Hotel
Safe Stay is endorsed by all major U.S. hotel brands, associations in all 50 states, and Canada and is quickly becoming the industry's go-to guidelines. What steps can your hotel take to become an AH&LA Safe Stay Hotel?
* 7/10/20 STR Hotel Occupancy Updates - For the first time in 12 weeks, hotel occupancy dipped over the July 4 weekend. Occupancy was 45.6% for the week ended July 4, down from 46.2% the prior week, according to STR. Occupancy had risen in week-to-week comparisons for 11 straight weeks since April.
* 7/9/20 Phase 2: Oklahoma Business Relief Program Grants - Phase 2 begins at 8 a.m. on July 14. Many participating financial institutions are continuing to work with businesses interested in applying to gather the required information in advance. OBRP offers funding for businesses that have suffered revenue loss due to the pandemic. Businesses submit their applications through participating financial institutions, which are listed on the Commerce website. Phase 2 will open up another $50 million, and it is anticipated that the funds will go even faster, as business owners and financial institutions have additional time to prepare. Learn more.
* 7/9/20 McConnell Calls for 5-year Lawsuit Shield for Businesses - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlined new details this week of what he wants to see in the next and potentially final coronavirus relief package, including a five-year liability shield for businesses and a possible new round of stimulus checks aimed at workers making $40,000 a year and less.
* 7/8/20 One Question - OH&LA Update Poll - Since Mid-March when hotels were closed due to the pandemic, and continuing through the recovery process, OH&LA has been producing this daily update to provide you with the latest news that impacts your business. Our updates have announced informative webinars and roundtable discussions, and health and safety protocols, as well as reporting the association's progress in the fight to make vital improvements to legislation, such as PPP loans and expansion opportunities for liquor sales.
OH&LA is constantly evaluating the work we do for the hospitality industry and wed like to hear from you about how frequently you would like to receive these updates. We invite you to answer this one-question survey so we know how frequently you wish to receive our updates.
* 7/6/20 PPP Loan Data Now Available- The SBA and U.S. Treasury Departments released the latest PPP loan data today. You can find that information here. The National Restaurant Association released this statement today about the need for Congress and the policy makers to use the data to craft additional help:
"Todays release of Paycheck Protection Program loan data provides important insight into the programs success. We urge federal policymakers to dive into it to determine how best to devise support for small businesses like restaurants that are clearly on the ropes. Countless hotels and restaurants across the country used a PPP loan to keep their employees on the payroll, but they are emerging from the program with challenges that have only grown in scope. For many, this uncertainty will linger until a vaccine is available. The PPP has been a bridge for many during the shutdown, but the restaurant industry is still looking at months of starts and stops to find a new normal in business operations. We encourage Congress and the Administration to consider bipartisan options to support the industrys recovery."
* 7/6/20 Meet Our New OH&LA Secretary: David Davis- David Davis, who is the Vice President of Operations for New Century Hotels has long been an advocate for the lodging industry. Currently, he has earned his PhD and certifications including CHA, CHE and CHIA. For many years, David has advanced hospitality education as an Interim Director, and most recently as an Adjunct Professor at the OSU School of Hospitality & Tourism Management program in Stillwater. He also regularly volunteers his time as an industry evaluator for OH&LA's HospitAbilities program. Prior to joining higher education, David spent nine years as a general manager with John Q. Hammons Hotels.
* 7/6/20 New City Emergency Proclamations: COVID-19 Guidance -
Multiple cities have released updated Emergency Proclamations. The ORA has continued to remain instrumental in providing input to state officials in order to help keep our businesses open and safe. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Below are several emergency proclamations and executive orders based on city health departments and city mayors. We will include more as they are released:
*Note: This is the most up-to-date information available at the time this email was sent. Some information may have changed since then, so we encourage you to check other sources as well.
* 7/6/20 4-Step Plan For Bringing Your Hospitality Workforce Back To Work - As hotels, resorts, casinos and restaurants reopen, there are challenges around every corner. Every location must reimagine processes and develop new protocols, procedures and policies. Courtesy of our partner Fisher Philips, heres a four-step process for safely bringing your employees back to work and enacting protocols that fit your hotel's routine.
* 7/1/20 Mayor David Holt Announces Restrictions on OKC Restaurants and Bars - Mayor David Holt released new mandates for restaurants, bars and theatre-style venues in an attempt to limit peoples exposure to COVID-19. Beginning this Friday, July 3rd, for the next 14 days, all employees of restaurants and bars must wear masks. The capacity at bars will be lowered to 50% to prevent further spread. Mayor Holt also stated that all venues with theater-style seating, such as weddings, funerals and churches must have staggered seating with two seats in between each seat. Find out more about the mandates here.
* 7/1/20 Employer Responsibilities Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) - As restaurants reopen and are experiencing employees affected by Covid-19 now is a good time to revisit employer responsibilities for helping those employees. You can read this article on FAQ's about the FFCRA here.
* 6/30/20 Oklahoma COVID-19 Testing Sites - Several of our members have requested a list of COVID-19 testing sites available in the state. We put together a list of both rapid testing sites which only take 15 minutes to receive results, as well as free testing sites that typically take around 48-72 hours to learn your results. They are listed below:
* 6/29/20 Outdoor Dining Programs: Tulsa & OKC - The Tulsa City Council recently approved the parklet program and it was officially signed into law and instituted. Information about the program and sidewalk cafes can be found here. On the website youll find information, manuals, and applications for the sidewalk café and parklets programs and a flow chart to help determine which program(s) is right for your business. It is important to note that fees have been waived for both programs. Sidewalk cafes are allowed through June 30, 2021 and Parklets are allowed through March 31, 2021 to align with each program renewal date.
The City of Oklahoma City also created a streamlined process for bars and restaurants to obtain the necessary permit for a streatery (or parklet program). The City will review applications for a revocable permit issued by the Public Works Director. Creating well-defined criteria for use in an existing administrative process makes it easier for businesses to quickly adapt to increasing demand for outdoor, socially distant seating space. Find the full guidelines and requirements here, and a link to the revocable permit application here.
* 6/25/20 Corrected Reminder: Employees Who Test Positive - We would like to correct yesterday's announcement regarding your responsibility for reporting when an employee tests positive for COVID-19. We apologize for any confusion. Please remember that once an employees COVID-19 test results are confirmed, a health department liaison will follow up with the employer to advise them of the positive test result and next steps the employer needs to take next. No business may allow an employee to continue to work who has tested positive, or has COVID-19 symptoms. Failure to do so could put your restaurant at risk of closure as well as put the larger restaurant industry at risk of government mandates that are not currently in existence.
* 6/24/20 Video from OH&LA STR 18 mo. Forecast Review - Earlier today, OH&LA members and industry associates took part in a session presented by CHIA certified facilitator David Davis. The session provided an overview of OKC and Tulsa STR forecasting data for the next 18 mos. considering the impact of COVID-19. The session included an overview of the historic impact, recession cycles, the most immediate impact, and a look at the next 18 months. The synthesis of the data is based on the strict impact of the early days of the pandemic and before this recent surge. A big thank you to David Davis of New Century Hotels for presenting this session. Click here to access the video.
Additionally, as sources of funding are currently limited, and Oklahoma banking institutions may not completely understand the impact on the lodging industry, please feel free to share this presentation with your banking institution if you believe it supports your needs and helps in discussions with them.
* 6/24/20 Survey: Travel Industry Recovery- A new survey conducted by Morning Consult commissioned by AHLA found that while Americans remain hesitant about traveling, they overwhelmingly support efforts by Congress to help the travel industry recover including helping hotels keep their doors open and bring back employees, as well as incentivizing Americans to travel again. Only 18% have traveled since March; Majority dont have travel plans in 2020. By a 3-1 margin, Americans support a temporary Travel Tax Credit to encourage domestic travel. Click here to view the full survey.
* 6/24/20 Let's Do Our Part - In response to the updated public health advisory from the Oklahoma Department of Health, we have provided updated guidance for industry members. As case numbers continue to rise, it is essential that we do all that we can to keep our employees and guests safe.
Additionally, we want to strongly caution everyone to abide by statewide orders and local regulations. While many are following the rules, we know that some are not. At a press conference yesterday, David Holt encouraged that masks be worn when out in public.
We are committed to keeping you informed and helping you navigate this difficult time. If you have any questions, need clarification or seek additional resources, please do not hesitate to reach out.
* 6/24/20 Reminder: Report Employees Who Test Positive- Please remember a restaurant has the responsibility to report to their Local Health Department when they have an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19. COVID-19 is a communicable disease and must be reported according to Health Department guidelines. No business is allowed to let an employee continue to work who has tested positive, or has COVID-19 symptoms. Failure to do so could put your hotel at risk of closure as well as put the larger lodging and restaurant industry at risk of government mandates that are not in existence right now.
* 6/24/20 Streatery Applications- The City of Oklahoma City has created a streamlined process for bars and restaurants to obtain the necessary permit for a streatery, as demand increases for temporary outdoor seating. A streatery (street + eatery) uses on-street parking spaces adjacent to a business to allow for outdoor seating where sidewalk or patio space is not available or not practical. The City will review applications for a revocable permit issued by the Public Works Director. Creating well-defined criteria for use in an existing administrative process makes it easier for businesses to quickly adapt to increasing demand for outdoor, socially distant seating space. Find the full guidelines and requirements here, and a link to the revocable permit application here.
* 6/24/20 State of Oklahoma to provide Oklahoma Business Relief Program- The Oklahoma Department of Commerce is allocating $50 million from the Federal CARES Act to provide Oklahoma businesses much needed financial assistance. The application period begins on Monday, June 29 and goes through July 10. This is a first-come, first served basis and funds will be provided to the business through financial institutions who choose to participate; At least 20% of the program funds will be designated for minority owned businesses. The Oklahoma Department of Commerce has released additional details on this program. The details can be found here.
* 6/23/20 COVID-19 CMBS Relief - Recently, OH&LA joined efforts with AH&LA and other industry allies to encourage members of Congress to cosign the letter to Sec. Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Powell on CMBS relief. The final letter, cosigned by over 100 members of Congress, was sent yesterday and can be viewed here and attached. The Wall Street Journal also covered the letter (below). Congressman Van Taylor, one of the lead organizers of the letter, is developing legislation as a follow up to this letter. We will be sure to keep you posted on those efforts.
Congressmen Taylor and Barr joined recent AHLA committee calls to discuss CMBS relief efforts. Recordings of those calls are below:
* 6/23/20 President Proclamation - President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, "Suspending Entry of Aliens who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak." This executive action extends foreign worker restrictions put in place on April 22 through the end of the year. The order impacts H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visas, equating to more than 500,000 legal guest workers (according to the White House). Certain exemptions have been allowed under the order, including for H-2B workers employed in our nation's food supply.
Unfortunately, this executive order will have a profound impact on many OH&LA members who rely on seasonal, legal guest workers to augment their domestic workforce during peak season. Now is the worst possible time to prevent hotels from operating at full capacity.
AHLA, which co-chairs the H-2B Workforce Coalition, continues to work closely with our allies on Capitol Hill and in the Administration to determine what can be done to allow seasonal workers at a time they are needed most. With no change, this Executive action could significantly delay the economic recovery in the hotel and hospitality sector.
* 6/23/20 Updated Loan Forgiveness Rules - Last night, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Treasury released updated Loan Forgiveness rules. The improvements of the PPP Flexibility Act, new details on loan forgiveness timing, and required documentation for "business activity" exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction are included below.
New Improvements Confirmed for PPP Recipients
Clarity on Timing for Loan Forgiveness Process
Forgiveness Reductions Regarding FTE Rehiring
SBA Example: A PPP borrower is in the business of selling beauty products both online and at its physical store. During the covered period, the local government where the borrowers store is located orders all non-essential businesses, including the borrowers business, to shut down their stores, based in part on COVID-19 guidance issued by the CDC in March 2020. *Because the borrower's business activity during the covered period was reduced compared to its activity before February 15, 2020 due to compliance with COVID Requirements or Guidance, the borrower satisfies the Flexibility Acts exemption and will not have its forgiveness amount reduced because of a reduction in FTEs during the covered period, if the borrower maintains records regarding the reduction in business activity and the local governments shutdown orders that reference a COVID-19 Requirement or Guidance as described above.
As of June 19, SBA and Treasury plan to publicly share PPP recipient business names, addresses, NAICS codes, zip codes, business type, demographic data, non-profit information, jobs supported and PPP loan amount ranges as follows:
* 6/23/20 Your Employee Tests Positive... What Should You Do? Even if a business follows all of the state and federal COVID-19 protocols, it is very likely that someone who comes into that business will later be diagnosed with COVID-19. Restaurants and hotels are no exception, which is why the industry continues to follow strict sanitation, social distancing and health screening protocols. Oklahoma has not issued requirements or recommendations to businesses who learn that an employee came into the business before being diagnosed with COVID-19. However, employees with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 cannot work until the quarantine period has passed. However, the CDC has issued guidance on this question, and so the Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Association recommends following these CDC guidelines at least until the state issues additional guidance.
Suggestions for When an Employee Tests Positive:
* 6/23/20 Oklahoma Business Relief Program - Starting June 26, Oklahoma businesses can apply for $25,000 grants from the Oklahoma Business Relief Program. Approved applications will be submitted to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and funds will be provided to the business through the financial institution. During the first phase of applications, at least 20% of the program funds will be designated for minority-owned businesses. Learn more here.
* 6/22/20 Governor Announces Grant Program to Help Small Businesses - Over the weekend Governor Stitt announced a grant program to help small businesses in Oklahoma with losses they have suffered from Covid-19. Applications for the grants will be on first come first served basis and will open on Friday, June 26. Some of the highlights of the program include:
Maximum of $25,000 per grant
Grant amount equal to two months of average total payroll. The business may choose from:
Average of 2019 total payroll; or, average of January-February 2020 total payroll
* 6/22/20 Oklahoma Takes Part in Roundtable with President Trump -
Governor Stitt joined with the nation's other Governors and visited President Trump at the White House on Thursday to participate in a roundtable regarding the reopening of America's small businesses. The discussion was centered specifically centered around the hospitality industry. Pete Patel, owner of Promise Hotels in Tulsa, accompanied Governor Stitt at the meeting and gave remarks about the current state of the lodging industry and the relief still needed. The roundtable concluded with the President planning to get deductions back for our industry. You can read the transcript from the roundtable here.
* 6/22/20 STR Monthly Report: May 2020- COVID-19 has altered the way industries are operating around the world. STR is no exception as data is being collected through a period challenged by widespread property closures and the repurposing of hotels in the fight against the pandemic. With that in mind, we want to bring to your attention the impact on the April results. Click here to see the STR Monthly Report for May 2020.
* 6/17/20 PPP Loan Forgiveness - 45 Senators, including Senators Lankford and Inhofe, sent a letter to the Treasury and SBA requesting that they create a one page PPP forgiveness certification for loans less than $250,000. This would make the forgiveness process for smaller PPP loans simpler. You can read the letter here.
The ORA, in partnership with other state restaurant associations and the American Hotel & Lodging Association will be sending a similar letter. We will share more details on these efforts as they become available.
* 6/17/20 May 2020 Coronavirus National Survey Results - Click here to view an infographic created by the National Restaurant Association about the latest survey results.
* 6/15/20 Save the Date: ORA Expo on August 19-20 - Join us for the ORA Expo! With the reopening of Oklahoma, restaurants are back in business and operators are searching for the latest and greatest to help build their success. The ORA Expo will take place on August 19 and 20 the OK State Fair Park in Oklahoma City, and is considered the best opportunity of the year for you to connect with other professionals, as well as exhibitors who are eager to show off their best in hospitality products and services.
The ORA Expo is Oklahoma's largest industry trade show and the most important of the year for foodservice and hospitality industry professionals, as it will also offer exciting educational sessions and demonstrations! Easy access, convenient parking, a socially distanced exhibit floor, and tons of ORA hospitality make this an event you don't want to miss! Save the date, or go ahead and register today!
* 6/9/20 Thanks for Support of Oklahomas Hospitality Industry - On behalf of Oklahomas hospitality industry, we would like to recognize and thank Governor Kevin Stitt, Legislators, Regulatory agencies and others for their continuing leadership and guidance throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The engagement by those below has helped to move the hospitality industry forward:
* 6/5/20 President Signs PPP Fix Legislation - Earlier today, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act into law. Thank you again for all of your efforts over the past several weeks to advocate for these important changes.
While the legislation extends aspects like the 24-week period, June 30th is the final day for those who have not previously received a PPP loan to be issued one. If you already received the loan, you cannot be issued a second one.
We wanted to let you know about this June 30th deadline for receiving an initial PPP loan. If you want to apply you should speak with your lender right away.
* 6/5/20 ABLE Approves Alcohol to Go Rules - At the ABLE commission meeting today commissioners approved the emergency rules to implement the new law contained in SB 1928 which made alcohol to go permanent in the statutes. The emergency rules will go into effect as soon as approved and signed by Governor Stitt. You can view the newly adopted rules here.
Highlights of the rules are:
As a reminder: All sales of alcohol to go are not subject to the 13.5% gross receipts tax, only the applicable sales tax, since the alcohol is not being consumed on-premises. As always, please contact Jim Hopper or Collin Graham if you have questions or need additional information.
* 6/2/20 Urge Our Senators to Vote YES on the PPP Flexibility Act - The PPP Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010) is critical to enhancing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to meet the needs of our industry. The Senate is currently considering the House passed legislation and we need your help to ensure passage in the Senate! Contact your Senators and urge them to swiftly pass the PPP Flexibility Act and maintain the key provisions in the bill. This includes:
Click here to contact your senator today!
* 5/27/20 The Hotel Scoop: Oklahoma Regulations and Best Practices - As our state enters Phase 3 of the Oklahoma Bounce Back Plan, join OH&LA on June 3 at 10:00 am for a frequently asked questions session facilitated by OH&LA's Collin Graham, Director of Membership and Patti Colley, Chief Strategy Officer. We know the industry is on information-overload and in this session, we will share insights to help you manage all of the city, state and brand protocols. OH&LA will also share regulations and guidelines from the Department of Health and ABLE Commission, as well as best practices for banquets, pools, guest service, enhanced sanitation and more. You will also learn how your hotel can become a "Safe Stay" lodging property. Click here to register.
* 5/26/20 State Health Department Extends Deadline for Renewal of Licenses - The State Health Department passed an emergency rule extending the deadlines for state license renewals and has waived the penalties for non-renewal. The emergency rule will remain in effect during the duration of the declared emergency from the Governor, and for 14 days after the end of the state-wide emergency. You can read the summary of the State Health Department emergency rule here.
* 5/20/20 Register for the OH&LA Hotel Roundtable - Join your colleagues from around the state for an OH&LA Hotel Roundtable discussion on Thursday, May 28 at 10:00 am. This will be an opportunity to discuss issues facing lodging operators as you welcome an increased number of guests into your properties under these unprecedented circumstances. The OH&LA Hotel Roundtable will be moderated by CEO Jim Hopper and fellow hotelier and OH&LA Chair James Cunningham of Hyatt Regency Tulsa.
You'll hear the latest on PPP loan forgiveness, regulations on reopening, as well as other issues of general interest. Another key objective of this session is the time for sharing the challenges you are facing and getting feedback from peers.
If there are issues you would like addressed, please send them in advance to Patti Colley before May 28. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions through Zoom's chat feature during the call and we'll open the call for general conversation as well. Click here to register!
* 5/13/20 Virtual Town Hall Meeting with 5th District Congresswoman Kendra Horn - Please join us as we host a zoom meeting with Congressman Kendra Horn this Friday on May 15th at 9:30 a.m. (CDT). Congressman Horn will update us on efforts in Washington D.C. to provide relief and recovery to our industry. Click here to join the Town Hall Meeting on Friday.
* 5/11/20 OH&LA Endorses "Safe Stay" Industry-Wide Enhanced Cleaning Standards - The Oklahoma Hotel & Lodging Association is proud to announce its endorsement of Safe Stay - the American Hotel & Lodging Association's (AHLA) new industry-wide, enhanced standard of health and safety protocols. Safe Stay is designed to prepare Americas hotels to safely welcome back guests and employees as the economy reopens.
* 5/8/20 AH&LA Front Desk Feedback - AH&LA released its AH&LA Front Desk Feedback, a new report showcasing survey results from more than 900 hoteliers across the country, featured a variety of topics including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and debt issues. Click here to view the results.
* 4/29/20 Oklahoma Hotel Pool Reopening Guidance - The Oklahoma State Department of Health has released a guidance to assist hotels and other public bathing establishments with operations of indoor and outdoor pool, hot tubs and spas. *Reopening is based upon current guidance as of 04/23/2020 and may be subject to change in accordance with Governors executive orders. Please check with your local municipality for rules related to reopening as they may have additional requirements.
* 4/27/20 AH&LA Sends Thanks to Congress - More than 13,000 hoteliers from every state and territory in the country added their name to AH&LA's letter thanking Congress for the significant progress made with the CARES Act while urging more funding, technical corrections, and enhancements. AH&LA has now sent the letter to every Member of Congress and the national media.
* 4/27/20 Stay Safe: New Hotel Cleaning Standards - Earlier today, AH&LA launched "Stay Safe", an initiative focused on enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions and workplace protocols to meet the new health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. The Safe Stay Advisory Council, comprised of leading hotel companies, has developed enhanced cleaning and safety standards. For more information, click here.
* 4/21/20 Zoom Meeting with Congressman Kevin Hern: Friday April 24 - Please join us as we host a zoom meeting with OK First District Congressman Kevin Hern on Friday, April 24th at 9:00 a.m. (CDT). As many of you know, Congressman Hern is also a restaurateur and a long-time franchisee of McDonald's. Congressman Hern will bring a restaurant perspective and provide information on further steps Congress is taking to help us. Click here to join the meeting.
Meeting ID: 980 0927 5079
* 4/20/20 Important Sanitation Practices - The hotel industry continues to face challenges regarding COVID-19. Hotels must do all they can to contribute to the containment and eventual minimization of this virus. Click here to see specific steps that hotel managers (whose properties are still open) should consistently and immediately implement to control and minimize guest and employee exposure.
* 4/17/20 Sign the CMBS Letter to Regulators - AH&LA, AAHOA, state lodging associations and hoteliers from across the country are requesting that the Treasury and the Federal Reserve act to create a commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) market relief fund with a specific focus on the hotel industry and its dire need for relief in this sector. Hoteliers across the country are unable to meet their CMBS obligations due to the ongoing health crisis and need action. AHLA has put together a letter outlining the need for the Treasury and Federal Reserve to ensure hotel industry CMBS concerns are addressed immediately. Sign here.
* 4/15/20 Act! Urgent Input on Considerations for Future Opening of Hotels - When hotels are allowed to resume business, there will likely be many moving parts and a lot of considerations to take into account so that our employees and business owners will be protected. We want your guests to have confidence in knowing that our hotels are a very safe place to once again stay, hold conferences and dine.
Although the timing of reopening our industry has not yet been determined, we are working with AH&LA and other state lodging associations to pull together a one-pager of what Oklahoma hotels will need to reopen when the Governor gives the approval to do so. We will share this information with the Governor as soon as possible. Among other things, we will ask the Governor to ensure that any rules on reopening be applied state-wide in every lodging operation, as this would be important for the confidence of our employees and customers.
If you have thoughts or recommendations you would like us to share with the Governor, we would love to hear from you, so act quickly. Please email Patti Colley at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll keep you posted on this issue as it develops.
* 4/14/20 Lodging Media: Audio Library - Click the links below to hear informative content and strategies for the hotel industry, courtesy of the Lodging Media.
* 4/10/20 Webinar: After the COVID-19 Pandemic: Planning Now for The Return to Hotel Occupancy - On Tuesday, April 14th, at 12pm (CDT) there will a webinar regarding the issues hotel owners and operators should be considering to ensure that you are able to return to normal operations as quickly as possible and restore occupancy levels once shelter-in-place and other restrictions impacting guest travel have been lifted. This webinar will provide practical legal guidance on actions to take now, with a particular focus on issues related to unionized workforces and OSHA considerations following the pandemic. Register here.
* 4/10/20 Important Poll - Oklahoma Hotels and COVID-19 Impact - We need your help in telling the story of how Oklahoma's hotel industry has been impacted by COVID-19. This poll will enable OH&LA to share with our Governor and legislative leaders the true story of this impact. Please take a moment to complete this poll. We will not share your proprietary information.
* 4/5/20 Hotel Leasing Interest? OH&LA is now working with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The have informed us that their full strategy will be developed this week, and it will be communicated to OH&LA with regard to hotels helping to meet the housing capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will inform our members as the plan is confirmed. In the meantime, if your hotel is interested in entering into a temporary lease agreement with state government there is still time. Please complete this online form. Contact email@example.com for more information.
* 3/30/20 Has Your Property Closed? If you have closed one or more of your hotels, please help us by completing this form. This form submitted directly to OH&LA, will assist us in building a complete list. We ask that you do not email, and instead submit through this form.
* 3/27/20 ORA and OH&LA partner with Feed the Children and Crossings Community Church to provide more than 400 Hospitality Relief Packages to hospitality workers in Oklahoma City. To apply for assistance complete this application. Our giving link to support future distributions for hospitality workers. https://www.feedthechildren.org/ora
* 3/25/20 Hotels to Stay Open: After Governor Stitt's press conference yesterday and his new Executive Order, there was some confusion on whether or not his order qualified hotels as "non-essential businesses" meaning they would have to close. We have just confirmed with the Governor's office that hotels are considered "essential businesses" and are to remain open and DO NOT HAVE TO CLOSE at midnight tonight.