Helping Hands: $18M Hospitality Relief Package in DC and More

NATIONAL REPORT—At this time of crisis, those associated with the hotel industry make every effort to take care of their own, as well as others in the areas that they serve. Here are some organizations that are helping any way they can during the coronavirus pandemic:

Events DC Offers Relief Package
Events DC, Washington DC’s official convention and sports authority, has offered an $18-million hospitality and tourism relief package to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is designed to provide emergency funding to help DC’s local hospitality and tourism industry and will provide support to restaurants, hotels and undocumented workers in Washington, DC.

“The hospitality and tourism industry has been upended by the pandemic and Events DC plays an important role with the ability to provide aid and support to our local partners, the backbone of our city’s economy,” said Max Brown, chairman of the board of directors of Events DC. “This relief package will provide a vital lifeline of support to our local economy by helping to lay a strong foundation for the recovery and supplements what Mayor Bowser and the Council of the District of Columbia have approved over the last several weeks. We’re all in this fight together and we remain dedicated to helping our city get back on its feet.”

The full relief package includes the following:

  • $5 million for hospitality and restaurant recovery efforts, inclusive of both worker and operator relief
  • $5 million for hotels recovery efforts, including both worker and operator programs
  • $5 million for undocumented workers across Washington, DC
  • $3 million dedicated to destination marketing efforts, with the focus first on bringing visitors back to DC

“As this unprecedented global health crisis is severely affecting all of us, it is our duty to act responsibly and do what we can to support our industry,” said Greg O’Dell, president/CEO of Events DC. “The goal of this $18-million relief fund is not only to help our local hospitality and tourism industry now, but will help fuel Washington, DC’s recovery. I am grateful for the resiliency of our industry and everyone’s willingness to support each other and stand in solidarity during these difficult times.”

Pair of Wyndham Hotels Help Out
A couple of hotels from Wyndham Hotels & Resorts are doing their part to help out during the crisis:

The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel by Wyndham
The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel by Wyndham, located in Indianapolis, is collaborating with the Buckingham Foundation—a local nonprofit—and serving as a satellite kitchen for Second Helpings. Second Helpings’ satellite kitchens leverage the unused capacity in the local hospitality industry to provide prepared, eat-at-home meals for homebound, low-income seniors and families who are struggling during this time. The Alexander and Buckingham Foundation are providing 250 meals to senior citizens in the area three days a week.

In addition to serving free meals, The Alexander has now expanded its community outreach by offering free accommodations to Indianapolis-area hospital medical workers and first-responders through the month of April.

Wyndham Garden Dallas North
Wyndham Garden Dallas North, located in Dallas, has been providing free accommodations to all first responders in the area and to those who are traveling to Dallas to help out. Nurses, doctors, paramedics, firefighters and police officers who may fear going home after a long shift and want to isolate away from their families and friends can stay at the hotel. Currently, the 350-room hotel is serving more than 100 first responders, and they are welcome to stay for as long as a week. In addition, the hotel is making food available at a highly discounted rate, or for free, through donations from vendors and other local companies.

DoubleTree by Hilton Reveals Cookie Recipe
For the first time ever, DoubleTree by Hilton is sharing the official bake-at-home recipe for the brand’s chocolate chip cookie.

The warm chocolate chip cookie welcome is synonymous with DoubleTree hotels worldwide, and travelers look forward to receiving one, fresh from the oven, upon their arrival. More than 30 million cookies are consumed every year, and the DoubleTree chocolate chip cookie even became the first food to be baked in orbit during experiments aboard the International Space Station.

Copycat recipes have been shared online for years, but only now has Hilton released the official version to create at home.

“We know this is an anxious time for everyone,” said Shawn McAteer, SVP and global head, DoubleTree by Hilton. “A warm chocolate chip cookie can’t solve everything, but it can bring a moment of comfort and happiness. We hope families enjoy the fun of baking together during their time at home, and we look forward to welcoming all our guests with a warm DoubleTree cookie when travel resumes.”

The recipe can be downloaded HERE