“Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”

By Alison Fox
Updated April 04, 2020

Thousands of hotels across the country are ready to open their doors to aid first responders as the coronavirus pandemic overwhelms resources.

More than 6,500 hotels that are close to medical facilities signed up to offer temporary housing for healthcare workers as the country continues to fight the contagious virus, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) said this week. The initiative, dubbed “Hotels for Hope,” is calling on even more hotels to volunteer their rooms.

“As an industry of people taking care of people, the hotel industry is uniquely positioned to support and help strengthen our communities and first responders who are on the frontlines of dealing with this ongoing public health crisis,” Chip Rogers, the president and CEO of the AHLA, said in a statement. “Hotels have always been an active member of our local communities, and this time is no different.”

Related: How Major Hotels Around the Globe Are Responding to Coronavirus (Video)

To support the initiative, the AHLA is working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as well as the US Army CORPS of Engineers, and local government and health agencies. Agencies will have access to a database to find a hotel based on location.

Hotel One Sixty-Six, formerly the Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile, is seen March 23, 2020. The city of Chicago plans to rent thousands of hotel rooms, including those in Hotel One Sixty-Six, to be used for people diagnosed with the new coronavirus or those who believe they've been exposed, in an effort to stop the spread of the illness and relieve the burden on hospitals.
Chicago Tribune/Getty Images

According to the group, hotels in cities and states like Chicago and California have already offered up their spaces to help those who are on the front lines.

“The number of hotels wanting to be part of the program is growing by the hour,” Michael Jacobson, the CEO and president of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, said in a statement. “Our hotels are answering the call to action, and they want to be helpful to the city and the state.”

The effort follows a similar one by Airbnb, which committed to providing two months of free stays for medical workers combating the spread of coronavirus in Italy and France.

Many hotels have been forced to close amid coronavirus concerns, including many famous hotels and casinos in Las Vegas as well as Disney’s hotels.

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