The CBC is reaching out to members to offer support and reflect on this challenging and difficult environment. We touched base with Jack Olshan, General Manager of Hotel Covington.
Have you ever experienced anything like this?
This pandemic seems like something out of science fiction movie. I have been in the hotel business for nearly 30 years and I have never experienced anything like this. It truly saddens me to see what impact the pandemic is having on the hospitality and restaurant industries.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
A majority of Hotel Covington’s mid-week business comes from corporate travel. When companies started to transition their employees from traveling to working from home, we saw a major decrease in business. Luckily, both Hotel Covington and our adjacent property, The Madison Event Center, had several bookings for weddings and special events, which benefited us greatly. When the pandemic worsened, we began to receive event cancelations and finally under Kentucky Governor Beshear’s order, we needed to halt operations temporarily. We are very fortunate to be connected with The Madison Event Center. The good news is; brides will continue to get married and people will continue to attend those events. We expect to bounce back from this quickly.
How has it affected your employees?
At Hotel Covington we’re a family, and we are dedicated to doing everything that we can for our employees. After we closed Coppin’s at Hotel Covington, we utilized our kitchen inventory and made care packages including produce, eggs, fruit, soup and other prepped items for our team. While some of our gratuity dependent associates have elected to receive unemployment benefits, the remainder of the staff have been working diligently on projects throughout the hotel and restaurant.
How long do you think it will take Covington to recover from this?
This pandemic has impacted every industry. Luckily Covington is made up of a tight knit business community that supports each other. We are also fortunate to have residents that support local businesses. I am confident that Covington will bounce back. It may take some time but it will happen.
What made you make the decision to close temporarily?
This was a very difficult decision, but it came down to the health and safety of our guests, staff, and the community at large. This decision aligns with the orders and recommendations from state and federal public health officials and we took that advisement very seriously.
Is there anything good happening or anything positive that you can share?
This temporary closure has given Hotel Covington an opportunity to do a lot of “behind the scenes” work like detailing our guest rooms and public areas. When we reopen, guests will see the closest thing to a newly opened hotel that they’ve ever seen.
Anything else that you would like to share?
I would simply ask that when all this is over, that we all remember our service workers, first responders, medical professionals, and hospitality workers. They have just come through a very difficult time and they deserve more patience, kindness, and gratitude.
Is there anything we can do to help you through this?
We hope that you keep highlighting businesses and initiatives in Northern Kentucky that are doing great things during this pandemic. Highlighting our communities now can help draw business back when this is all said and done.