Minnesota hotels continue to struggle as pandemic wears on

60-percent of Minnesota’s hotels may face financial collapse by summer without some help from the Legislature this session.

That’s according to a recent survey by two industry groups and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve.

Hospitality Minnesota CEO Liz Rammer says 116-thousand hotel jobs have been lost in the pandemic.

“In one downtown Minneapolis hotel for example, at pre-pandemic levels, they were employing 120 people. Today they have 15. In June they hope to have 35, and by the end of the year they hope to have 65. They are wondering whether they’ll ever get back to their pre-pandemic level. And that’s just one hotel as an example. You multiply that by the dozens of others and you see the picture we’re talking about here,” said Rammer.

Rammer says they’re asking lawmakers for property tax relief, making PPP loans tax-free, and providing interest-free loans and direct grants to help get hotels and their employees back on their feet.

She says in good times, the hotel industry employs 300-thousand people and generates 16-billion dollars per year in sales taxes for the state.

“Our argument is: This is an investment in the future. The longer this industry is on its heels, the longer our economy in Minnesota will be on its heels.”