Irving hotel industry, workers feel full force of coronavirus shutdowns

The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas is closed amide the coronavirus pandemic. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas is closed amide the coronavirus pandemic. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas is closed amide the coronavirus pandemic. (Gavin Pugh/Community Impact Newspaper)

Irving has long been considered a favorable hotel market based on the city’s proximity to airports and its laundry list of major regional employers.

But Dallas County is under a stay-at-home order through April 3 amid coronavirus concerns. That has lasting implications for local hoteliers, Visit Irving Executive Director Maura Gast said.

"We have hotels that have begun pretty significant layoffs," she said. "Every single hotel property has been dramatically affected."

Irving is home to about 80 hotels, and more were under construction as recently as November, as reported by Community Impact Newspaper.

Because the Irving's convention and visitors bureau is funded exclusively by the city’s 9% hotel occupancy tax, or HOT, market downturns can mean tough times.


"We're anticipating at least six weeks of no HOT tax collections, likely, and a very depressed market, certainly, for the next, probably, nine to 12 months," Gast said.

Gast said her team is working with clients who had large events planned to push them back later this year.

"We have a skeleton crew here in the building," she said. "We're trying to take advantage ... of the downtime to do some engineering and maintenance projects that we haven't been able to get to because we haven't had the luxury of a couple of empty days in a row to do them."
By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


MOST RECENT

Effective June 26, unemployed Texans will no longer be eligible to receive the $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces end-date for Texans to receive federal pandemic-related unemployment benefits

Effective June 26, unemployed Texans will no longer be eligible to receive the $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.

masks
CDC ends all mask requirements for fully vaccinated people

The guidance states fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

Residents will have until May 2023 to obtain a Real ID. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
US Department of Homeland Security extends Real ID deadline until 2023

Drivers will have until May 2023 to get the Real ID, which will be required for adults boarding a U.S. commercial flight.

Susan Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. (Courtesy American Medical Association)
'I am convinced we will beat COVID': American Medical Association President Susan Bailey discusses vaccine successes, myths, challenges

Bailey was elected president of the American Medical Association in June 2020. Much of the organization's focus during that time has been on vaccine transparency and distribution.

Texas will add two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Texas is the only state adding two U.S. House districts, and it just missed out on a third

Seven U.S. House seats will shift from state to state, as Texas goes from 36 to 38 districts beginning with the 2022 elections.

Photo of a gloved hand holding a vaccine vial
Texas providers authorized to resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Following a safety review by the CDC and FDA, Texas health officials have asked providers to resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson shot.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
TEA Student Assessment Division calls STAAR Online Testing Platform connectivity issues 'completely unacceptable'

According to the release, three STAAR tests were affected by the connectivity issues including fourth grade writing, seventh grade writing and English I.