Understaffed hotels find ways to be creative to meet demand

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Posted at 10:32 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 23:32:06-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Concerts, festivals and so much more are happening in Nashville as we continue our Rebound from the pandemic.

While it's great that people are returning to the city, hotels are struggling as they face multiple shortages.

Leesa LeClaire is the general manager of the Hilton Nashville Airport and says the pandemic has brought on some challenging times for the hospitality industry.

"It's a stretch on everybody right now."

Hotels around Nashville are greeting more and more guests as concerts and live in-person events return to Music City.

"March was a little painful because we really did have a pop in occupancy faster than we saw it coming in faster than we expected," said LeClaire.

Many hotels are facing an employee shortage, but they're also finding themselves in another difficult situation.

"We are struggling really with human resources, and with supply chain resources, things like getting chlorine for the swimming pool and soaps and shampoos for amenities in the guest room."

LeClaire says in order to be accommodating they're having to get creative.

"People don't change their bed sheets every day at home. And so, we don't do that here as well and then people I think are okay with that," said LeClaire.

Hilton is offering guests the option to opt-in or out of housekeeping services.

"We have been able to get creative with our staffing, we have room attendants who actually clean rooms later in the day," LeClaire said.

The Hilton like many others is hiring and in desperate need of workers.

Until then, they ask everyone to be patient.

"It's always easier to manage when you're always either not full, or always full. That gives the steadiness to the number of hours you can give people and the supplies that you need to buy so I think there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm very hopeful," said LeClaire.

There are more than 1,600 job openings for hotels in Nashville according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association.