COVID-19 - Action Plan Update
To the Carmel-by-the-Sea hospitality community (as well as our close partners beyond 93921), thank you for the camaraderie, community, and care so many have shown during the past weeks. The irony of being so individually isolated, yet working even closer together as a community is not lost on us.

Up until just two weeks ago, Visit Carmel's mission had been (mostly) to promote the destination in order to increase overnight visitation. Now, as we have made the (temporary) switch from a visitor-centric to a community-centric focus, we sincerely hope that Visit Carmel as an organization has been able to help keep vital communications going throughout the community.
Here is an overview of the projects we have implemented during the past week or so:

  • Consolidated an active list of Carmel restaurants takeout/delivery options
  • Implemented local digital ad campaign for restaurants
  • Consolidated active list of Carmel hotels offering Shelter In Place options for both locals and visitors-in-need (who are already here and requiring shelter)
  • Communicated updates to media and tourism partners for community dissemination
  • Enhanced CarmelCalifornia.com website to reflect COVID-19 updates
  • Posted informative and aspirational messages and imagery for our visitors and fans
  • Started looking toward recovery campaign planning

Visit Carmel will continue to monitor the situation to help inform our marketing and communications decisions, and collaborate with our marketing agencies, the City of Carmel, tourism partners such as the MCCVB, individual businesses, and our Board of Directors and RID Committee. Our goal is to remain strategic in our priorities as both promoters and protectors of our community.

If you have any questions, concerns, or updates to share, please reach out to Amy Herzog at any time.
Many Carmel Hotels and Restaurants Remain Open
At this time, about half of the hotels and restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea remain open, albeit in a limited capacity.

Hotels - Some Carmel innkeepers are keeping doors open in order to maintain employees and /or to provide visitors-in-need (who are already here) as well as some locals a safe location to self-isolate or Shelter In Place. Visit Carmel is maintaining a list of hotels that remain open for these purposes. If you or someone you know needs a safe space, please call these innkeepers directly as the information is subject to change at any time.

Restaurants - Many of Carmel's restauranteurs have worked so hard to quickly adapt to a take out/curbside pickup/delivery business model, streamlining their online ordering systems and creating special to-go menus. If you are inclined to order-in, check out the link here for details. And please pass it on. We are continuing to seek ways to let residents know there are options to eat well while supporting a local business.

Thank you to so many community organizations and local media who have helped us spread the word on these options, including the Carmel Residents Association, the Carmel Pine Cone, the Carmel Chamber of Commerce, the City of Carmel, KRML, Edible Monterey Bay, and more.
Resources for Small Business Assistance and More
There is so much information coming out, it seems nearly impossible to stay up on it. But here are a few documents and resources that seem to help distill some information into something consumable. We encourage you to visit the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief and the SBA Coronavirus Loan Resources pages directly, as well as consult with your tax professional or financial advisor.

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide, prepared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

The U.S. Travel Assocation has created a resource that encapsulates a wealth of information regarding the recently passed relief package, including who is eligible, what kind of financial assistance is provided, and how companies/organizations can apply, as well as any outstanding questions or direction still to come from the administration.

Also the Monterey County Business Council and the Cal Coastal Small Business Development Center are offering a free a webinar on Friday, April 3 to learn more about disaster loan opportunities for your small business. Register here.

For RESTAURANTS, the NRA (the other one) has created a free video series on safe practices for take out and delivery during COVID-19.

For HOTELS, interesting article for your consideration. Here are the major takeaways:
  • Don’t rush to cut room rates too quickly or too deeply.
  • Hotels should resist cutting their future rates. “Studies have shown that hotels that are the fastest to drop their rates and who drop their rates the deepest can be the last ones to recover when demand comes back.”
  • The loss of pricing power can contribute to a slow recovery in revenue.
  • Look into “value-add” options versus cutting rates. An example is free airport transportation or credit for a future stay.
  • Reward loyal, or potentially repeat, customers.
  • “Throw your data from last year out and treat the data from the past couple of weeks as the ‘new world order’ and forecast based on that.”
  • “Use that data to create scenarios for the near-term and mid-term around profitability and occupancy, and front the models to owners and operators, who can test them,”
  • Prediction: Once business travelers show it’s safe, leisure travelers will rebound. 

Subscribe to Visit California's COVID-19 updates in order to receive timely projections, updates and resources to aid your response to coronavirus. Visit California also has put together a summary of the federal programs taking shape, with links to government resources and our partners at U.S. Travel for more detail on program components and eligibility.
Carmel Beach is Still Tops
One thing that has not changed during this pandemic (in fact, it has made this all the more valued), our beautiful Carmel Beach is still a hands down favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. Carmel Beach once again took the title of Best Place To Walk The Dog, Best Place to Watch The Sunset, and Best Beach in the Monterey County in the Monterey County Weekly's 2020 " Best of Monterey County" edition. 
Please follow, post, share and tag @visitcarmel us so we can promote you!