'Contraction across the board': Grapevine hotels feel full force of beleaguered tourism, travel industries

Grapevine hotels' revenue declined by over 60% at the close of March, according to data provided by Grapevine's Conventions and Visitors Bureau. (Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Grapevine hotels' revenue declined by over 60% at the close of March, according to data provided by Grapevine's Conventions and Visitors Bureau. (Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

Grapevine hotels' revenue declined by over 60% at the close of March, according to data provided by Grapevine's Conventions and Visitors Bureau. (Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

The numbers tell the story: Grapevine hotels saw their finances take a nosedive in March as tourism and travel industries ground to a halt.

Grapevine hotels' revenue declined by over 60% at the close of March, according to data provided by Grapevine's Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

Grapevine CVB Executive Director Paul W. McCallum said the immediate toll of the COVID-19 pandemic on hotels has been universal.

“There was just contraction across the board,” McCallum said, adding when airlines limit flights and businesses are shutdown, “the basic tourism model just ceases to exist.”

McCallum painted the portrait of how the rippling effects of industry closures have forced many hoteliers to furlough employees.


“None of the meeting spaces are able to be open, so that takes you out of that business right away,” he said. “When [groups are] not there to support all the other businesses around, ... ultimately it moves to furloughs and layoffs and such—a great impact on on our workforce, and so it's pretty devastating.”

But as Gov. Greg Abbott announced a planned phased reopening of Texas’ economy April 17, McCallum said those furloughed employees should remain in close contact with their employers.

“Our hotels have issued furloughs, which means that they're essentially one phone call away from putting the staff back in place, even though they'll be running ... in a little more limited capacity,” he said.

Despite seeing massive declines in revenue, McCallum said he is hopeful to see a rebound as area residents search for ways to vacation locally.

“After 9/11 there was this sense of staying close,” he said. “Grapevine has ... very much provided this sort of family entertainment. ... This is where people come to kind of feel the hometown America experience.”