New York City hotels are grappling with all-time low vacancy rates as a result of the pandemic. When the crisis began in March occupancy dropped from 90% to 15%, and has remained steady in the single digits according to the Commercial Observer. Creative thinking and new uses for this hotel space are imperative; ideas are flowing.
Vijay Dandapani, head of the Hotel Association of New York is hopeful, as he recognizes the desire for travel is still there. He believes people will be back when the pandemic subsides. Ernest Lee, head of investments and development at CitizenM, a boutique hotel, is rethinking the business model in response to this drop in demand. CitizenM is in tune with the emerging niche market of remote workers who want to travel, even within their limitations due to Covid-19. For example, they are offering a $1,500 monthly membership for patrons to stay at any CitizenM property worldwide. Another use of the empty hotel space is a corporate package that includes a number of nightly stays, meeting use, and co-working. This is geared toward professionals (i.e. lawyers, accountants, etc) that have relocated to the Hudson Valley and want to meet clients in Manhattan.
This is a creative way to attract new customers and stem the hemorrhaging of money. Where there is chaos, there is opportunity. Call GE Grace when you need an idea.
George can be reached at 646 312 6800.