Nashville hotels juggle influx of guests with shortage of workers

Hotel shortage
Posted at 5:47 AM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 06:51:38-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Guests are returning to Nashville hotels as the area continues to reopen, but now the hospitality industry is facing a new challenge in meeting the demand.

"As people were able to travel and move around safer really, employment and the ability to get staff up for the increased demand became one of our largest challenges," said owner of the Moxy Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel, Greg Averbuch. "The demand has returned faster than the workforce has transitioned."

The hotel's lobby was busy Sunday, but the peak in guests comes as the hotel struggles to find workers. "There's people that have left our industry during the slow period and have gone on to other industries. We have people that have family or personal issues like childcare that are out there," said Averbuch.

It's a similar story across town at the Omni Hotel.

"Staffing levels are changing based upon occupancy everyday but right now, to give you an idea, we have over 120 job openings," said Area Director of Sales and Marketing of Omni Hotels and Resorts, Todd Roadarmel. Pre-pandmic, that number was less than 20.

Now fewer workers means fewer rooms available. "We could fill but we choose not to fill completely because we still want the guests that come into our hotel to still have that Omni experience and not leaving saying 'it's not the Omni that it used to be'," said Roadarmel.

But employees say they'll push through so that, like COVID, this problem too shall pass.