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
After reporting for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano paper for over two years, Gavin launched the Coppell, Valley Ranch and Las Colinas edition in October 2019. As editor, Gavin's beat includes transportation, municipal government, education and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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