While large, multi-day meetings and events are still not happening in the U.S., some smaller employee team meetings or client meetings are going ahead. Before COVID-19, these types of events might have taken place in the office conference room, but with offices closed and staffs working remotely, meeting planners must look elsewhere. Convene, a day-meeting and workspace company, has seven locations in the U.S., but unfortunately all of them are closed for the foreseeable future.
To fill this emerging need, hotels are offering short-term rentals of guest rooms and meeting space for those not sleeping on property. Dayuse.com, a website for booking hotels that rent rooms during the day, has been operating since 2010. Many of the more than 5,000 hotel rooms available are close to airports, allowing business travelers to work conveniently close to the terminal before a flight without leaving the office early and getting stuck in traffic. Others are used for business meetings or simply as a quiet place to work, and rates are cheaper for a daytime stay than an overnight.
During the pandemic, some high-end properties are offering day rates for businesspeople to take advantage of rooms that are frequently cleaned, often in central locations, and offer Wi-Fi, F&B, and other services. According to this article in Barrons, luxury lodgings are converting guest rooms into private office spaces. The Marriott Marquis Houston charges a $99 day rate, which includes use of the pool and lazy river, and the Malibu Beach Inn has a $250 "YOUwork" package which offers an oceanfront room featuring a sit down/stand up desk, lunch at the Carbon Beach Club, and free parking.
The concept is useful for businesses where employees are working from home but occasionally require meeting rooms, and it provides a source of revenue for hotels suffering from low occupancy rates.