Chicago hotels have a pitch for quarantined office workers

Godfrey, Kimpton Gray are among the properties offering private rooms by the day

Chicago /
Apr.April 24, 2020 12:00 PM
The Godfrey Hotel in the Loop (Credit: Google Maps)

The Godfrey Hotel in the Loop (Credit: Google Maps)

The idea of transforming unused hotel rooms into makeshift offices during the day is catching on.

The Godfrey Hotel and the Kimpton Gray hotel are among the properties offering day rates to Chicagoans who are sick of working from home.

At the 221-key Godfrey, rooms are available from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m. for $52, according to Crain’s. The hotel, which is owned by Oxford Hotels & Resorts, is also housing healthcare workers as part of a deal struck with the City of Chicago.

With occupancy rates below 10 percent in downtown, desperate hoteliers are doing what they can to hold on in an era without travel. They’ll also have to compete with cheaper competitors with similar ideas.

Red Roof Inn, for example, is offering its rooms to office workers for $29 a day.

Stacy Naldony, managing director and senior partner at hotel consultancy firm HVS, told Crain’s it was a smart marketing tool.

“It’s trying to help customers get comfortable with leaving the house again,” she said.

In Los Angeles, Pacific Hospitality Group is pitching its hotels as “zen offices,” complete with a bottle of wine and a Mirror workout system.

The concept is not exactly new to Chicago. There were about 8,000 bookings for Chicago-area rooms in 2019 through Dayuse.com, according to Crain’s. [Crain’s] — James Kleimann


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