Connecticut Lodging Association
Coronavirus Update 6/1/2021
U.S. hotel profit improved to 60% of 2019 level, labor remains stagnant
Gross operating profit for U.S. hotels reached 60% of the comparable 2019 level, according to STR‘s April 2021 monthly P&L data release. While GOP in comparison with 2019 improved from 50% in March, labor spending was up to just 64% in April after coming in at 60% the previous month. 

Each of the key profitability metrics, on a per-available-room basis, came in higher than any month since February 2020 except for labor, which was down slightly from March. 

  • GOPPAR: US$28.67 
  • TRevPAR: US$87.34 
  • EBITDA PAR: US$14.12 
  • LPAR (Labor Costs): US$26.76

“April was an encouraging month as more of the top-line improvement we’ve been reporting on flowed through to the bottom line,” said Raquel Ortiz, STR’s assistant director of financial performance. “On a GOP basis, 92% of our sample hotels were profitable, which is similar to pre-pandemic levels. Also of note, F&B venue revenue, the restaurants and bars, is recovering right in line with room revenue. Overall F&B of course continues to be bogged down by a lack of group demand and the subsequent spending on catering.” Read more.
Breaking: EEOC Issues New Vaccine Guidance
As anticipated, today the EEOC released updated COVID-19 guidance for employers on vaccines as the vaccination distribution efforts continue and the reopening and recovery process forge ahead in the United States. The expanded technical assistance provides “new information about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply when an employer offers incentives for employees to provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination when an employee gets a vaccine in the community or from the employer or its agent.”

As outlined in the EEOC press release below, the key updates include:
  • Federal EEO laws do not prevent an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for COVID-19, so long as employers comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the ADA and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other EEO considerations.  
  • Federal EEO laws do not prevent or limit employers from offering incentives to employees to voluntarily provide documentation or other confirmation of vaccination obtained from a third party (not the employer) in the community, such as a pharmacy, personal health care provider, or public clinic. If employers choose to obtain vaccination information from their employees, employers must keep vaccination information confidential pursuant to the ADA. 
  • Employers that are administering vaccines to their employees may offer incentives for employees to be vaccinated, as long as the incentives are not coercive. Because vaccinations require employees to answer pre-vaccination disability-related screening questions, a very large incentive could make employees feel pressured to disclose protected medical information. 
  • Employers may provide employees and their family members with information to educate them about COVID-19 vaccines and raise awareness about the benefits of vaccination. 
We continue to monitor the CDC and OSHA for additional information and guidance, and will provide that information as soon as it’s available. In addition, we continue to work on updating our Safe Stay guidelines as this new information is released. 
Paolino Public Affairs Consulting, Inc. Legislative Report - 5/28/21
Another productive week is now in the books, both legislative bodies passed a great deal of legislation out of their respective chambers. Some of the most notable being the passage of a 'clean-slate' bill, a resolution to amend the state's constitution to allow early voting, and a pedestrian safety bill. The Senate also passed sports betting/online gambling legislation on to Governor Ned Lamont, who signed the bill Thursday, and is now, with both CT tribes, immediately seeking federal approval of necessary amendments. 
Regarding COVID-19, the state is now at a 1.06% positivity rate as Connecticut experiences the top vaccination rates in the country. Governor Lamont announced that he is putting an end to the twice-a-week COVID-19 press briefings that started at the beginning of the pandemic 14 months ago. Also as part of opening up Connecticut as we emerge from the pandemic Governor Lamont continued to promote the state’s new summer tourism campaign “Say Yes to Connecticut”. Enjoy the kick-off to the summer season and remember the sacrifices of our veterans and the fallen this Memorial Day. 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!