In my Summer 2020 G&L piece “Preparing for the Future,” I discussed the economic consequences from the COVID-19 pandemic that revenue management staff would likely face as the economic consequences from the pandemic took hold, and provided guidance on specific approaches to prepare for the downturn. My recommendations in that piece were based on my own experience as an airline executive following the incidents on September 11, 2001 – and how it related to the “invisible enemy” (the novel coronavirus that we face today). In this piece, I will be discussing the reopening of our businesses, the issues that will be faced by revenue management staff, and recommendations for maximizing returns during a period of economic expansion and uncertainty following this type of event.
Let’s begin with a level-set on the current state of the pandemic, economy, and our industry. At this point, we have seen nearly every state in the U.S. go through an extended period of shut down and, now, reopening. Hotel and gaming properties have begun to reopen and operate, generally at reduced capacity. New policies, and physical barriers, have been put in place to help protect both employees and guests. The extended shutdowns, and slowdown in the economy resulting from the pandemic, have resulted in extensive unemployment, at levels not seen in decades.