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El Centro hotel struggles through COVID-19

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EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - As of April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor reports the hospitality and leisure industry had the hardest hit, losing 7.7 million jobs—nearly as many jobs as the next four sectors combined.

COVID-19 continues to devastate the hotel industry.

2020 is projected to be the worst year on record for hotel occupancy, and experts estimate it will be at least 2022 before hotels return to their 2019 occupancy and revenue levels. 

The Comfort Inn and Suites in El Centro say they lost half of their staff as soon as the Stay at home Orders began. The manager of the hotel, Lisa, says they didn't know whether or not to close their doors.

“Well if we continued like the first month like we did, we did go down we actually thought about are we staying open or are we going to close the doors. You know we lost employees, you know they all went home, they want to be safe my housekeeping staff was gone. Then we did get a little group who helped us if it wasn’t for this group we would be closed.” 

That group being the field workers.

“So this group came to us saying hey you know we need this room, and they had asked the Travelodge but the Travelodge was taking in I guess umm they were taking in homeless and refugees trying to find them homes or places to stay. So this guys kind of got weirded out so they came over and we offered them a deal gave them a discount on our end.”

Lisa says that being safe is the main priority. 

“Being the manager I’m the last one standing you know everyone else has a choice to leave but I can’t. I’ve been here for six years. You know my hardest thing is just to stay safe ya know, I’m a single mom so I gotta stay safe when I go home.”

he American Hotel & Lodging Association released a "Roadmap to Recovery," calling on Congress to prioritize relief for hotel workers and small businesses in the next stimulus package.

Imperial County / Top Stories

Gianella Ghiglino

Peruvian-born and LA raised Gianella Ghiglino joins the team from the San Fernando valley. “LA is the place that taught me how to breath and Peru is my breath.” She says she was inspired by the community she grew up in and began documenting her experience through poetry at the age of 7. “I wrote about everything I saw, felt and everything that inspired me.” When she entered High School she joined her school news station and realized that broadcast journalism allowed her to pursue her passion and her purpose all at once. Gianella attended Cal State Northridge and received a Bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science. She did several internships while in College but most notably interned for PBS’s local LA station for three years. “My purpose is to share my story and of those in my community, my passion is writing.”

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