Houston Hotels Hope to Bring Back Hundreds of Furloughed Employees

Houston hotels are hoping they'll eventually be able to bring back hundreds of furloughed employees. This after seeing reservations take a nosedive amid the health emergency.

The hotel and lodging industry continues to suffer under the economic downturn. A new study says about 80 percent of hotel rooms across the country are empty.

The Tennessee based firm STR has been tracking grim numbers. Overall, hotel occupancy is down 70 percent from this time last year. Houston hotels like other companies have furloughed or let go staff. The University of Houston’s Agnes DeFranco says despite the challenges, our city's hospitality workers will bounce back.

“I think our industry has people who are very resilient,” DeFranco explained. “And they don’t lose faith, and they will keep on going. And when we bounce back, we will be a lot stronger.”

One bright spot: Guests are still showing interest in budget hotels. On Wednesday, the Houston City Council on approved a lease agreement to reserve 400 rooms for quarantined first responders in downtown.

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