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Hurricane humanity

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation — loss of life, homes, businesses and neighborhoods — is the widespread interruption of routine, which is so central to how people operate on a daily basis. Some people cope well with a routine disrupted … others, not so well. The extent to which hotel staff has been able to help guests deal with the storm and its aftermath is a measure of the strength of the spirit of hospitality, our industry’s foundation.

There are so many heartwarming stories about the service that has been provided to stranded guests in New York City’s hotels in the days following the storm. Many hotels on generators for several days after Sandy’s onslaught operated beautifully thanks to staff members who put their own needs aside to assist guests with the many inconveniences the storm brought on. All over the city and in other affected areas, hotels served as havens for thousands of travelers and residents whose plans had been rudely interrupted by the storm.

At Trump SoHo New York, which operated on limited generator power for several days, our food and beverage team, led by Executive Chef Desmond Lim, provided complimentary meals to guests even with access to just one burner in the kitchen and flashlights to see. All of the associates came together as a team, and everyone pitched in for any task needed, regardless of department.

Post-Sandy, Trump SoHo will donate US$10 from every BAR booking to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief for reservations made through November 23rd and valid for travel through December 31st. Additionally, The Spa at Trump SoHo has been offering a 45-minute massage or facial for US$100 (normally US$145), 20% off retail, and a US$10 donation to the Red Cross.

On a broader level, Trump Hotel Collection has spearheaded a series of donations via truckload to some of the hardest-hit areas. Trump team members (both corporate and property-level) participated in the first drop, in Queens, which included more than 350 cases of food and supplies. Truckloads of bedding, toiletries and other supplies are scheduled in the coming days and weeks. I am very proud of these Trump volunteers for extending themselves to aid the recovery effort.

As victims restore their lives and their routines, many will be enriched by their memories of special experiences that were brought on by the storm’s circumstances. It is true that when times get tough, strength of character shows. In the case of Sandy, the spirit of hospitality and our industry’s humanity has shone brightly in the areas affected by the storm. It is a silver lining in a large and dark cloud.

For the past two years, my own routine has included blogging for HOTELS. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to express my point of view and have appreciated the interaction and engagement of readers. At this juncture, I am bringing “I on the Industry” to a close. It’s been fun! Thank you.

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