At present time, all hotels remain open as they are deemed essential services. If you are in need of a hotel room or have additional questions, you can access properties within Winnebago County HERE.
RACVB is working daily with its hotel and lodging partners, and is hosting weekly conference calls with hotel general managers and staff on Thursdays. In addition to the weekly calls, RACVB created the Rockford Area Hospitality/Tourism COVID-19 Resource Group on Facebook. The group continues to grow with best practices, go-to-resources and valuable perspective from our local hospitality and small business experts—there are now nearly 200 active members. To learn more, click HERE!
Help for Hotels (and Restaurants): In an effort to alleviate short-term pressure for Rockford restaurants, bars, and the hotel and tourism industry, the City of Rockford is deferring collection of its Food and Beverage Tax and its Hotel-Motel Tax. While businesses still need to submit the forms on time, the taxes will be collected in installments over subsequent months and will not be subject to late fees or penalties.
Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Program for Hotels, Restaurants & Bars: On March 25, the Governor announced a new $14 million grant program aims to help small hospitality businesses make ends meet, providing up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels. These grants are available to support working capital (like payroll and rent), job training and technology to support shifts in operations (like increased pick-up and delivery). Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000. The program is funded by the Illinois Office of Tourism.
Applications are available today on DCEO's website and are due by April 1 at 5 p.m. All valid, eligible applications received within the five-day window will be entered into a lottery, and grant winners will be notified on April 4. Additional info is available HERE.
Moreover, here are some financial and operational hotel trends we are experiencing in Winnebago County include:
- Occupancy is down 28% and average daily rate has dropped nearly 14% over the last two reporting weeks
- Demand is down 11% and revenue has decreased by 23% over the last week
- Properties may limit number of available rooms to promote social distancing
- Breakfast is being reduced to Grab and Go offerings or eliminated
- Common areas including banquet and meeting rooms, lobby spaces, pools, fitness centers and spas are closed
- Increased cleaning and sanitizing is the standard
In addition to our hotel properties, Airbnb is offering refunds. Click HERE for more information.
Please continue to check back here for additional lodging updates.