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Corpus Christi Hospitality Industry Starting To Feel Impact Of Coronavirus

March 21, 2020 11:58 a.m.

Matt Briscoe

Corpus Christi (Southside Light)--The hospitality industry has taken a big hit and some here in Corpus Christi are feeling the hit. Waves Resort out on North Padre Island announced that they are in fact temporarily closing their doors until Summer 2021 due to the pandemic. But now that the dominos have begun to fall, many are wondering just how long the rest will remain standing?

 Foodservice workers at the Omni hotel here in Corpus Christi have said that they have been laid off in recent days as result of the ongoing pandemic. Hotel management has refused comment.

Corporate managers with the hotel and resort chain did confirm that some layoffs and reorganizations were underway and that hotels had been instructed to communicate with their staff and communities about the situation.

"I have been through layoffs before in other industries and I will get through this one," said one former Omni employee on Friday. "I am just taking it one day at a time. That is all we can do."

Sources at the Omni Hotel here in Corpus Christi said that they are concerned that they may also end up closing their doors temporarily due to the economic impacts of the pandemic.

The hotel and motel industry is partly what keeps Corpus Christi afloat and with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world there is no doubt that the financial hit will certainly be felt.

The Aloft hotel on Padre Island drive said that they are noticing a big difference. Managers there on Saturday said that they have a total of 105 and rooms in their hotel. Only 5 are occupied.

Just up the road from Aloft is the ever popular Embassy Suites hotel. Embassy Suites management said on Saturday that that they have 150 rooms and only 7 of them are occupied. Just last weekend they were sold out.

They also said that they have had to close their bar, restaurant, gym and pool due to health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Breakfast is a "walk up" only style meal where they travelers can get their breakfast to-go or order room service.

So far, they say that they have not experienced any layoffs or downsizing at their property, but employees are concerned.

The economic impacts could be devastating for the local economy. Corpus Christi currently gets about 11% in Hotel/Motel tax from every room sold throughout the year. If those numbers continue to go down and stay there, that could mean serious economic impacts for the community. But for now it is simply a wait and see kind of thing to see just how long this domino train is.


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