The Slice gives you all the news you can use. Each issue will include any COVID-19 updates, reopening information, legislative news, and other relevant items for our readers. Please let us know if you'd like to see anything in particular or have other feedback - just email marketing@vrlta.org.
What's the Latest?
National Restaurant Association Launches New National Ad Campaign

The NRA has created new 30 second and 60 second television commercials as part of their new Restaurant Revival advertising campaign. The campaign will run through September and is focused on bringing diners back into restaurants. View the 30 second spot here:
Welcome New VRLTA Members!

At VRLTA, we know that our members are our greatest strength, and we've been pleased to welcome many new ones over the past few months, listed below. We are working hard to answer questions, provide insight, and support these new organizations, as well as our long-time members. Please let us know how we can help!

New Hotels and Hotel Management Groups: Sandpiper Hospitality, InTown Suites of Virginia, Candlewood Suites Alexandria, Holiday Inn Express Alexandria, Homewood Suites Herndon

New Restaurants and Restaurant Groups: Delight VA Beach LLC, M&M Hospitality Group, Chick-Fil-A Culpeper Colonade, Main Street Pub, Preston’s Pub, Dyvine BBQ, Citizen Burger Bar, The Crazy Tomato LLC
New Suppliers: Setliff Law Firm LLC, BMS Direct Inc., Safe Guard Jack, Push Operations, Potomac Law Group, The Hand Sanitizer Guys, Ipsun Solar, ORS Interactive
New DMOs/Chambers/Municipalities: Visit Shenandoah
New Travel Attractions: Pleasant’s Landing at Lake Anna
New Partners: Biz2Credit, Zedic
VRLTA's Eric Terry and Other Members Named to Virginia Business Virginia 500 - The 2020 Power List

We're pleased to congratulate VRLTA's President, Eric Terry, as well as a number of VRLTA members, who have been named to the inaugural Virginia Business list. The list includes leaders in 20 categories, including Hospitality & Tourism.

Congratulations to VRLTA members who made the list! See the full list here.
  • Neil Amin, CEO of Shamin Hotels
  • James Carroll, President and CEO of Crestline Hotels & Resorts LLC/Barcelo Crestline Corp.
  • Cliff Fleet, President and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  • Sheila Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts
  • Rita McClenny, Presidnet and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corp.
  • Christopher Nassetta, President and CEO of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.
  • Bruce Thompson, CEO of Gold Key | PHR
Have You Checked Out the NEW VRLTA Website?

The Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association is pleased to announce our all new and completely redesigned website. You can find the site at www.vrlta.org – the same as before—but the web address is just about the only thing that hasn’t changed! In addition to the new site, we've upgraded our member management system, all to serve our members better. We hope you’ll take a look around the new site; please let us know what you think! We are happy to help answer any questions you may have or assist with any issues.

Members: look for an email from Tuesday, 8/25 around 4 p.m. with a subject line of "Welcome to the new VRLTA website" that has personalized instructions on how to sign in, create a new password, and update your profile (note: it may be in your junk folder).
Government Affairs
Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine Cosponsor Bipartisan Bill to Support Virginia Restaurants
U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine cosponsored the Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020, legislation that would establish a $120 billion revitalization fund to help independent restaurants deal with the long-term structural challenges facing the industry because of COVID-19 and support the reemployment of 11 million workers.

Upcoming Events
Ordinary Awards - Date Change and We're Going Virtual!
Thanks to everyone who submitted a nomination for the 2020 Ordinary Awards! We had a near-record number of submissions and our independent judges are now faced with the important task of selecting the winners! We also wanted to update you that the Awards Ceremony has been moved to a VIRTUAL event, which will now take place on September 30 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. More details will follow soon!
VA1 Tourism Summit - November 16 in Richmond!

The 2020 VA1 Tourism Summit is still on, although in a modified format. We'll gather for a one-day event in Richmond, but it will be jam-packed with amazing speakers and content focused on travel in the time of COVID-19; "back to business" strategies; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and more relevant and timely topics.

The event will follow all guidelines for safety and distancing, and adhere to current federal, state, and locally-mandated protocols. Visit this page to learn more about how we are keeping VA1 healthy and safe! We continue to monitor the situation and will adjust plans as necessary. Learn more at www.va1tourismsummit.org. We are working to finalize the schedule and speakers now.
Education & Training
Register NOW for VRLTA's Webinar Wednesday!

VRLTA is continuing our members-only webinar series on September 9. Joining us at 10 a.m. that morning is Jennifer L. Rose, CSP, the VOSH Cooperative Programs Director at the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. She'll be sharing how restaurants, attractions, campgrounds, and hotels can better comply with the recently-implemented Virginia Department of Labor requirements around workplace safety.
AHLA Offering New Enhanced Version of COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels

AHLA is proud to announce a new enhanced version of COVID-19 Precautions for Hotels, a hotel-specific online training course designed specifically for cleaning and safety during the pandemic. This valuable training tool was developed in partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) and now includes a brand new module focused on de-escalation training for employees. The new de-escalation module offers all hotel employees guidance on how to reduce tensions and promote a safe environment while maintaining the spirit of hospitality throughout all interactions. The course is available for $5 for individual purchase, and can also be purchased at an enterprise level.
ServSafe: Classes Are Up and Running

VRLTA's preferred ServSafe training partners are offering ServSafe training around the state - we currently are listing more than 25 classes in 10 different localities, so there is bound to be a class near you. We've added a new preferred training partner in Northern Virginia, ORS Interactive; they are offering some classes in Spanish. ORS and RVA Food Safety are also offering test proctoring. Click here to learn more and see the entire upcoming schedule. Partners' classes are filling quickly, so register today!
More News You Can Use
Diageo Will Donate $1 per Tweet or Instagram Post to the VRLTA Relief Fund!

You Post. Diageo Donates. Feel The Love. ❤ Post on Twitter or Instagram using #BackToMyBarVA & Diageo will donate $1 to Virginia service industry professionals.

Between 12:01 a.m. ET on 9/1/2020 and 11:59:59 p.m. (ET) on 9/30/2020, for each social media post that uses the hashtag #BackToMyBarVA, Diageo will donate $1 to the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association. Maximum donation of $5,000. Must be 21 or older.

Highland Brewing is Supporting the Virginia Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund

We are pleased to announce that Highland Brewing is contributing a portion of sales of their Gaelic Ale to the VRLTA Restaurant and Hospitality Relief Fund!

Highland distributes in areas of the state such as Roanoke, Bristol, Martinsville, Salem, and Radford. Look for their products on the shelves and in restaurants starting in September and through the end of the year!

The Relief Fund has already distributed thousands of dollars to organizations around the state. To learn more about the recipient organizations, visit this page.

Thank you, Highland Brewing, for your support of restaurant and hospitality employees in Virginia!
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Suicide Prevention Resources

Taking care of yourself and others around you is critical during these times; September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Here are some useful resources to use and share.

  • Active MindsResources to stay mentally healthy during this crisis time. (free) Access a free resources hub for help during the COVID-19 pandemic, including stress management, community building from a distance, and tips for remote workers.
  • Sanvello #1 rated app for stress, anxiety, and depression. (free) Go to the App Store to access premium features for free during the COVID-19 crisis. Includes guided meditation, learning modules, community discussion and daily tips. Connect with others in the hospitality community here.
  • PatientsLikeMe - The world's largest personalized health network helps people find new treatments, connect with others and take action. (free) Access a community for anyone concerned about symptoms and/or diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as anyone suffering from anxiety and depression, to come together and discuss coping mechanisms and support each other here.
  • Psych Hub - The most comprehensive online learning platform on mental health, substance use and suicide prevention topics in the world: psychhub.com
  • Ben’s Friends Hospitality-focused substance abuse support network. (free) Join a safe environment with others who understand the unique challenges experienced by people on the front lines in restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality industries. Click here to find a meeting near you or access telephonic meetings.
  • Crisis Text Line - In crisis? Text for immediate help anytime from anywhere. (free) Connect with a Crisis Coordinator within 25 seconds on average. Communicate until you feel safe. Text HELLO to 741741.
  • Substance Use Disorder Helpline - In crisis? Call for immediate help anytime from anywhere. (free) A person and/or a family member may talk with a licensed recovery advocate about their concerns and needs, get a referral to a professional who can develop a personalized treatment plan and access family support resources. Call 1-855-780-5955, or visit liveandworkwell.com/recovery.
  • Emotional Support Helpline - Need a little support? Call any time, free of charge. (free) This help line is staffed by professionally trained mental health experts. It is free of charge and open to anyone. Call 1-866-342-6892 24/7.
  • Telemedicine - Mental health + medical visits. Low members-only cost – employers may subscribe for all working and furloughed employees. Teladoc is offering unlimited, no-copay mental health and medical virtual appointments via their app and website to Virginia Restaurant Lodging Travel Association members for $7 per employee, per month. This cost includes unlimited visits for the employee + entire family. Click here for more information.