How are we managing fluctuating demand in bay area hotels? Tina Walters shares her perspective.

Life in the fast lane” (that song keeps playing in my head)… came to a screeching halt when COVID-19 hit hard at the end of March 2019, and we didn’t see it even coming.

A little over a month later, the sales department furloughed the sales coordinators and the sales manager and now I am on my own in sales for two hotels… and this keeps me busy!

We shut down floors along with power, heating/air, at both hotels. Weekends have always been a challenge in our area (lower occupancy) and finding that our occupancy rates are higher now on weekends versus weekdays. Shoulder days are typically Thursdays and Saturdays now. With rates so low, we have “interesting” guests.

Because of business demand levels, we have had to let go of 90% of our overall workforce within each hotel, as many of our neighboring hotels did. Housekeepers don’t go into rooms on a daily basis, but once a week to change out linen and empty trash because of COVID-19 rules. These housekeepers are our heroes – they are working harder than ever.

I went from going over 100 miles per hour down to 5, but this isn't good for my type A personality. Looking for new and different business has been a challenge. Rates have plummeted to minimal amounts. All of our local corporate partners are remote and aren’t planning to travel anywhere in the near future, so I’ve had to find “different” business. I can’t share any of my tactics; they are top secret!

I’ve always loved being the “hostess with the most-est” that’s probably why I chose this career. I have a travel agent background, ten years of retail experience and a degree in Hospitality Management.

What are our defining moments? Just do my best, our best. “None of us is good as all of us,” my favorite Evolution Hospitality guiding principle. We are in this together…

Tina Walters is SVBTA's Professional Development Co-Director (2019-2021). Tina grew up in the Hospitality Industry, bringing an appetite for service and passion for people, food, wine, and travel.

She is s highly experienced in opening new properties in the Silicon Valley such as the AC Hotel by Marriott San Jose Santa Clara and Sunnyvale as well as a wife and mom to a family that shares her interests in food and travel.

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