The hospitality industry in Maine is bracing itself for a bleak winter.
Conferences and large business meetings are no longer a reliable revenue source, because of the pandemic.
“I mean there's virtually no meetings, zero, and right now they are canceling into 2021 now," Steve Herwins, CEO of Hospitality Maine, an industry trade group, told Maine Public.
He said the annual Maine Real Estate Association group usually gathers every year at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, and usually draws 1,000 people. “It’s like the biggest single event in the state. And they’re going to do it virtually in January," he said.
Hewins said a follow-up report from the University of Maine due out next week is expected to show about $2.4 billion in revenue losses this year, about 30% down from 2019.
Annalise Lafayette, who manages the Holiday Inn by the Bay, said her venue can provide space to spread out for some periodic, in-person get-togethers, with new ventilation systems and audio-visual streams.
Coronavirus in Maine
She said the hotel recently used its parking garage for employees of one company to gather.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state since the start of the pandemic has grown by 27, the Maine CDC said Saturday. The total number of confirmed cases is more than 5,400. The number of deaths is 142.