The California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA), America’s largest state hospitality group, has launched a comprehensive program that provides the two essential elements needed for a hotel to successfully re-open – guidance for hoteliers and confidence for travelers.
Called “Clean + Safe,” the program directs hoteliers with a six-page checklist of protocols for properly protecting guests, staff, and property. After meeting the requirements, a hotel receives a decal of compliance that can be prominently displayed in strategic locations throughout the property to reassure guests.
CH&LA’s “Clean + Safe” – available at no cost to association members — is the first re-opening initiative in the country that is customized for a specific state.
“Coronavirus orders and restrictions in our state pose a real labyrinth for hotel owners because there is little consistency between California’s 58 counties and hundreds of municipalities,” explained Bijal Patel, Chairman of CH&LA. “Our program helps overcome this challenge by featuring lots of flexibility – it can be adapted easily by big and small hotels, for urban as well as rural areas, in both more and less restrictive communities.”
CH&LA’s “Clean + Safe” is also the first re-opening resource that embraces independent non-branded properties.
“About 50% of our member properties are independent, non-branded hotels, so they cannot benefit from the re-opening programs introduced in recent days by various brands,” added Patel. “While the brands have set the re-opening standards for their properties, we at CH&LA are setting the re-opening standards for our state.”
CH&LA’s members operate almost a quarter of a million rooms at properties that range in size from smaller inns to hotels with as many as 3,000 rooms. “Hotels are where travelers go to get ready for their next day on the road, expecting to find accommodations that are clean, comfortable, and dependable, especially in this new post-coronavirus world,” said Lynn Mohrfeld, President and CEO of CH&LA.
“Our new program will give guests the confidence and peace of mind they so desperately want and deserve because we are reassuring them that their hotel environment is safe and under control.”
According to Patel, another important feature of “Clean + Safe” is that it is proactive. “We are showing the public and our legislators that the hotel industry can start returning to normal without undoing all the work and sacrifice that has been put in by all of us during the past few months – and especially without the need for excessive legislation and burdensome government regulations,” said Patel.
Added Mohrfeld, “The task of re-opening a hotel is daunting, but hoteliers will get there by doing the work in small, manageable chunks. Our program helps by laying out a practical, low-stress way to protect the stay of guests and the investment of owners.”
Established in 1893, CH&LA is one of the oldest hospitality associations in the United States. It conducts a wide range of programs, notably professional education, government advocacy, and member services.
Bijal Patel, who serves as the 2020 Chairman of CH&LA, is the youngest person in that position in the association’s 127-year history. He is CEO of Coast Redwood Hospitality, a company based in Northern California that owns and operates a portfolio of hotel and multi-family assets. Lynn Mohrfeld has led CH&LA since 2008 as President and CEO, the association’s top staff position. He also serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Society of Hotel Association Executives (ISHAE); as a board member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA); and as board trustee of the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation.