GALION — Hotel job losses in Ohio will number 86,570 this year. That’s out of 192,378 hotel jobs in the state, according to projections by the American Hotel &and Lodging Association (AHLA).
That total includes the Sleep Inn on Ohio 598 at U.S. 30 that opened in late 2017, but closed this summer.
However, the local hotel is trying to buck that trend.
On Thursday, the owners of the Galion Sleep Inn and Suites announced on its Facebook page that it will reopen Sept. 21.
When it originally opened, the Sleep Inn offered 62 rooms. All included a 40-inch flat screen TV, microwave, coffee maker, iron and iron board, refrigerator and hair dryers.
There also were rooms available featuring Jacuzzis, a swimming pool and taxi service for hotel guests.
It was a popular place to stay for friends and family attending area weddings and reunions, who were visiting for the holidays and more. Workers doing long-term work trimming trees or working on gas pipelines also used the hotel on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, business was not good in recent months.
Galion mayor Tom O’Leary hinted at Tuesday’s council meeting that the Sleep Inn will open fairly soon.
Prompted by a question from council member Ken Bodkins, O’Leary said: “I know the current owner of the hotel plans to open in the near future. But there are so many moving parts to this.”
Bodkins’ family operates Victory Lanes in Galion and he wondered if the hotel would be open for a state bowling tournament scheduled there the last week of October.
“I think it will be open at that time,” O’Leary said.
He was right and Thursday’s announcement will be a relief for many.
When the Sleep Inn opened in 2017, it had 18 employees.
In recent weeks, advertisements looking for help at the hotel have appeared on local employment sites.
Still, across Ohio, the hotel industry is struggling.
Job losses and employee furloughs are are higher than ever, according to the AHLA. The industry supports about 8.3 million jobs nationwide, either directly or indirectly, according to the association.
This is on track to be the worst year on record for the hotel industry, with eight in 10 hotel rooms remaining empty during the coronavirus pandemic and an overall 50 percent drop in revenues for hotel operators, the analysis says.
Across the nation, more than two-thirds of U.S. hotel workers are unemployed or furloughed, according to related studies by Oxford Economics.
This is the pool at the Sleep Inn on Ohio 598 and Biddle Road in Galion. Opened in 2017, like many hotels across the nation, it closed this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic.