Connecticut Lodging Association
Coronavirus Update 5/18/2021
IMMEDIATE ACTION ALERT: SB 668 AN ACT CONCERNING A FAIR WORK WEEK SCHEDULE
We are alerting you to a Senate Bill 668 that concerns the lodging industry. As outlined below the bill contains many items that could negatively impact businesses in Connecticut.

Of particular concern is the definition of an employer. As currently written, the language would impact franchisees.As you know, this could dramatically impact many hotels in Connecticut. We urge you to reach out to your senator TODAY as the vote may take place as soon as this afternoon.

If you cannot get your senator to vote no on the entire bill, please urge them to remove the franchisee language from the bill.

Contact information for your legislators is found below. Please call or email them immediately.

Language of concern:

"(2) "Employer" means (A) an employer, as defined in section 31-71a 5 of the general statutes, that employs not less than five hundred 6 employees globally and, for an employer that is a restaurant where food 7 is prepared, served and consumed on the premises, such employer has 8 not less than thirty restaurant locations globally, or (B) a franchisee, as 9 defined in section 42-133e of the general statutes, if the global network 10 of franchises employs not less than five hundred employees in the 11 aggregate;"

Senator Christine Cohen
(Branford, Durham, Guilford, Madison)
860-240-0455
 
Senator Norm Needleman
(Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, Westbrook)
860-240-0428
 
Senator Steve Cassano
(Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury, Manchester)
860-240-5302
 
Senator Will Haskell
(Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, Wilton)
860-240-0068
 
Senator James Maroney
(Milford, Orange, West Haven, Woodbridge)
860-240-0381
 
Senator Julie Kushner
(Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman)
860-240-0509
 
We need to protect our entire industry, plus we know if a bill like this passes, it will only be a matter of time before they lower the threshold and start to target all hospitality businesses. Even if you get a voicemail today, please leave a message and also send along an email…there is a draft below to help.

Dear Senator or Representative ______,
 
My name is ____ and I own/operate _____ in your district. As I’m sure you are aware, the hospitality industry has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Several hotels in our state have permanently closed their doors over the past year. The industry is not only struggling to recover but also dealing with the challenges of bringing employees back to work. Now is not the time to consider proposals like SB 668, AAC A Fair Work Week Schedule. 
 
The lodging industry is an attractive industry for people from many walks of life for various reasons, but flexibility for employees is absolutely one of the most desirable aspects. This legislation takes that away. Employees and employers alike enjoy a mutually beneficial scheduling relationship. Our industry provides this flexibility and some examples include a single parent managing child care, a student working around their class schedule or someone who wants to add a second job.
 
The following examples provide a brief list of issues hotel operators will be faced with should this bill become law:
 
  • Last Minute Cancellations (ex. If someone cancels inside 72 hours, the employer cannot change their staffing schedule and would have to pay staff even if they don’t come in)
  • Last Minute Bookings for Parties/Events (ex. If someone is trying to schedule a party or maybe a Bereavement, the restaurateur could ask for more staff, but the staff don’t need to come in per this bill)
  • 11 Hour Mandate doesn’t work, especially on busy weekends (ex. Mother’s Day - Late Saturday Night and then early Brunch)
 
I urge you to vote NO on SB 668. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Sincerely,

Your name
Property name
Phone number
Email address

CDC Lifts Restrictions, Impact on Hotels
The CDC released new guidance yesterday that lifts face coverings and physical distancing requirements for vaccinated individuals in “any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.” While it’s encouraging to see the CDC begin to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated Americans as we move forward with summer travel season, it does put our industry at a crossroads with our CDC-based Safe Stay Guidelines that require face-coverings for employees and guests, physical distancing and other safety protocols.
 
AHLA is actively working with our members, the CDC and other industry groups to gain insights on how the business community will navigate these public health policy decisions during this critical point of reopening and recovery. We will also be convening the AHLA Safe Stay Advisory Council, which includes industry leadership across AHLA membership, to discuss policy, operational and communications options that put our industry in the best position to move forward while ensuring the safety of our employees and guests while balancing concerns around privacy. In the coming days, based on these discussions, AHLA will communicate any decisions and updates that are made to the Safe Stay Guidelines.
 
From the onset of the pandemic, we knew our safety guidelines would continue to evolve to align with the current environment. Moving into the next stages of recovery and as vaccination rates continue to increase, we will continue to carefully consider all new guidance in accordance with all federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations. In the meantime, Safe Stay’s health and safety protocols will continue to help create peace of mind for travelers.
Paolino Public Affairs Consulting, Inc. Legislative Report - 5/14/21
There is now officially less than one month left until the constitutional adjournment of the legislative session – June 9th! Time sure flies when you're having fun, right? Another productive week was had in the Connecticut General Assembly with the House of Representatives and Senate both meeting twice. The decision to expand Governor Ned Lamont's emergency powers passed both chambers. His emergency authority is now extended until July 20. Other notable legislation that got the green light: expanding prisoners’ eligibility for release via compassionate parole, electronic nicotine and vapor delivery systems, amending animal cruelty laws, and designating pizza as Connecticut's state food. Next week is expected to be equally busy with frequent session days. 
 
Regarding COVID-19, this was an eventful week with announcements of easing restrictions. On a national level, President Joe Biden announced that vaccinated individuals do not need to wear masks outdoors, or in most indoor settings. In Connecticut, starting May 19 a majority of coronavirus related restrictions are being lifted. Starting next week, alcohol can be served without food, there will be no limit to the number of people who may sit at a table in a restaurant; and the business curfew will be moved back to midnight. Also, under a new coronavirus-related directive issued this Thursday by Governor Lamont - state employees will return to work in their offices by July1st. In his regular Thursday afternoon briefing Governor Lamont stated, “I think it is time”. This comes as Connecticut is experiencing a low positivity rate at 1.57%.
STR: U.S. hotel results for week ending 8 May
Due to more supply in the marketplace, U.S. hotel occupancy fell slightly from the previous week, according to STR‘s latest data through 8 May. 

2-8 May 2021:
  • Occupancy: 56.7%
  • Average daily rate (ADR): US$110.19
  • Revenue per available room (RevPAR): US$62.50

Demand was up week over week, but an increase in supply from both reopenings and new properties pulled national occupancy down. Major markets, such as New York City and San Francisco, are showing the most movement with properties coming back online.
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