Hotel Industry Report Released
[From the desk of Chip Rogers, President & CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association]
Today, AHLA released its 2023 State of the Hotel Industry report. The report forecasts that the hotel industry in 2023 will surpass pre-pandemic levels of demand, nominal room revenue and state and local tax revenue, while inching closer to other key 2019 performance metrics. It is based on data and analysis from Oxford Economics and was created in collaboration with AHLA Platinum Partners STR, Avendra, Ecolab, Encore, and Oracle.
Top findings of the report include:
You can view the report here. For more information, visit AHLA.com.
AHLA is the largest hotel association in America, representing more than 30,000 members from all segments of the industry nationwide – including iconic global brands, 80% of all franchised hotels and the 16 largest hotel companies in the U.S. In addition to hoteliers, AHLA membership includes partner state associations, industry vendors and suppliers, hospitality students and those who teach and mentor them.
Meet Your Elected Leaders / Service Animals / Small Business Grants
Capitol Day & Taste Oregon
With a record number of new legislators in Salem, in addition to a new Governor and a few agency heads, now's the time to engage in opportunities to meet face to face with these elected leaders and help them understand our unique industry issues. There's a full menu of activities with ORLA and AAHOA's Capitol Day and Taste Oregon events presented by DoorDash in Salem on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. You are encouraged to participate in one or more of these activities with multiple chances to tell your story and discuss issues of importance with our elected leaders. Take a look at the day's schedule and plan to join us for some or all the activities. While these events are free to attend, an RSVP is required.
California FAST Act Update
It was an incredibly busy Fall for ORLA’s colleagues down in California as the state association worked alongside the National Restaurant Association to submit over one million voter signatures to stall the implementation of the FAST Act passed by the state legislature. In short, Californians will get the opportunity to either affirm the decision of their legislature or vote against it in November 2024. Until voters decide, we will not see the FAST Act take effect in California. Expect to see an expensive and hard hitting opposition campaign during the 2024 election season for our neighbors to the south. ORLA’s Government Affairs Committee will be following the issue closely as policy issues in California and Washington tend to find their way to Oregon.
A Miniature Horse Walks into a Bar...
Hospitality industry members have been experiencing more situations with customers walking into restaurants and hotels with "service animals" that may not actually be trained as such. We've reposted our Boiled Down podcast episode on the subject for some good reminders on what questions business owners and employees can legally ask customers. A local employment law attorney helps shed light on the dos and don’ts of service animals in your establishment. For additional resources, including downloadable posters for your place of business, visit ORLA's web page on compliance.
New Small Business Grant Applications
Business Oregon has partnered with the CCD Business Development Corporation to offer $3 million in Statewide Small Business and Microenterprise Grant Assistance (SBMA). This program is funded with federal grant funds from the Oregon Community Development Block Grant program CARES Act funding for communities affected by COVID-19. The application process opens January 23 and closes February 7, 2023. The grant applications are open to microenterprises (5 or fewer employees) or small business (more than five employees) that meet the eligibility requirements.
Oregon Governor’s Conference Registration Open
The 2023 Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism will be in Portland April 3-5, 2023. This is your opportunity to join your travel and tourism colleagues at Oregon's largest tourism gathering of the year. Keynote speakers and breakout session details are still to come but will focus on objectives aligned with Travel Oregon's 10-Year Strategic Vision, which includes experiences, equity, economy and environment. For more information and to register, visit Travel Oregon's industry site.
Questions on Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association's advocacy work? Contact Director of Government Affairs, Greg Astley or visit our Advocacy page.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) keeps members informed and educated on important issues impacting the hospitality industry. If you are not yet a member of ORLA, please consider joining the association in order to access the latest industry intelligence for businesses like yours. Visit our Membership page or reach out to an ORLA Regional Representative nearest you.
With the new year around the corner, hospitality employers should be aware requirements coming into play in 2023.
Close to 120 bills were passed in the 2022 short legislative session earlier this year. While some have already gone into effect, an additional 20 new laws go into effect January 1, 2023. Read more on OregonLive.com. The laws most relevant for our industry include:
Want to stay informed with ORLA's activity in the 2023 Legislative Session? Visit our website to view our legislative framework for the upcoming session, subscribe to email alerts and updates, and sign up to be a Hospitality Advocate.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) keeps members informed and educated on important issues impacting the hospitality industry. If you are not yet a member of ORLA, please consider joining the association in order to access the latest industry intelligence for businesses like yours. Visit our Membership page or reach out the ORLA Regional Representative nearest you.
Keeping Alcohol Out of The Hands of Minors
“Can I see your ID?” can be a refreshing and somewhat amusing question for those of us who ‘comb gray hairs.’ Such a request can catch some customers off guard; as asking them to rummage through their purses, pockets or ‘fanny packs’ is never a fun chore. However, keeping alcoholic beverages out of the hands of minors is a serious responsibility that front-of-the-house staff take on and must monitor throughout their shifts.
Alcohol is the number one abused controlled substance by teens. A 2019 Center for Disease Control survey revealed that 29 percent of high school students reported drinking alcohol within the last 30 days while a shocking 17 percent rode with a driver who had been drinking. These statistics show how serious the issue is and how vigilant hospitality businesses need to remain to prevent alcohol from getting into minors’ hands.
So why is keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors so important? Besides being illegal, alcohol drastically impacts minors’ ability to make sound judgements and sets them down a dangerous path for their future. Research shows that people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder later in life.
To confront this problem, restaurant and bar owners need to be proactive by ensuring there is an ongoing discussion with front-of-the-house staff. Bars and restaurants should:
Even with all that effort, minors still can be deceitful. Fake IDs are a common occurrence, and some minors look older than they actually are. College towns are particularly prone to fake ID problems and our Inspectors have received piles of these IDs from businesses. This is why it is so vital for bar and restaurant operators to stay on top of employee training, so staff are prepared to catch a fake and prevent a sale.
Frontline staff should feel empowered to ask questions and trust their instincts when in doubt. Asking a questionable patron details about their ID can reveal a lot.
Ultimately, all servers should remember they have the right to refuse a questionable sale.
Due to the serious impacts of underage drinking, the OLCC is charged with conducting minor decoy operations. In order to carry out this charge, the OLCC employs minors between 18-20 years old who look under the age of 26. These decoys attempt to purchase alcohol or marijuana at OLCC licensed businesses. If asked for identification, the minor decoy shows their own valid Oregon identification, which indicates they are underage. Minor decoys do not disguise their real age or encourage the sale of alcohol or marijuana.
While not the most popular part of the agency’s mission, minor decoy operations uncover when businesses become too lax and forget the seriousness of their responsibilities. When marijuana became legal, retailers had a great deal to learn about running a front-facing legal operation. One challenge that was identified quickly was preventing sales to minors. As reports came in about such suspected sales, the OLCC responded by initiating minor decoy operations on the budding market.
In late 2017, the first set of operations showed that the industry was not taking the issue seriously with an 81 percent compliance rate. The Commission responded by increasing the penalty for any sale to a minor and engaged in a campaign to educate licensees and worker permit holders of their responsibilities. In January of 2018, the Commission reengaged in minor decoy operations and saw compliance improve to 89 percent.
Establishing a name for a business takes time, dedication, and hard work. Not being proactive and enabling minors to drink in your establishment can endanger all of that work and put lives at risk. It is vital for the health of Oregonians that the hospitality industry work to prevent minors from obtaining alcoholic beverages. OLCC Inspectors are available to meet with your staff to provide education and tips on how you can prevent selling alcohol to minors. | Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
This article first published in the Autumn 2022 issue of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Magazine.
Restaurant and Hotel Industry Members Honored by Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
[Wilsonville, OR] – The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) honored four members of Oregon’s foodservice and lodging industry as the 2022 Oregon Hospitality Industry Award recipients earlier this month. Jodi Doud with So. Oregon Elmer’s was named Employee of the Year, Nick Pearson with Jupiter and Jupiter NEXT hotels in Portland was named Lodging Operator of the Year, Emma Dye with Crisp restaurants was named Restaurateur of the Year, and Matthew Lowe with Jordan Ramis PC was named Allied Partner of the Year.
Recipients were recognized among their peers and over 270 delegates of ORLA’s Hospitality Conference on September 11, 2022, at the Graduate Eugene. These statewide awards recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and businesses serving the hospitality industry and communities throughout the state.
“Oregon’s hospitality industry is overflowing with individuals who contribute significantly to the health of the trade,” says Jason Brandt, president and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “These recipients represent not only some of our industry’s most dedicated leaders and advocates, but also the exemplary service that sets the high standard for the entire industry to achieve.”
Employee of the Year: Jodi Doud, Server, So. Oregon Elmer's
With over 20 years working for So. Oregon Elmer’s, Jodi knows how to win over customers for life by providing exceptional service and bringing her kindhearted demeanor to every customer, during every shift. Being able to make positive, lasting connections with her customers comes naturally and she has played an integral role in helping create memorable experiences for her customers time and again. Beloved by the staff as much as her customers, Jodi epitomizes hospitality and reaffirms how frontline employees truly are the heart and soul of our industry.
Lodging Operator of the Year: Nick Pearson, General Manager, Jupiter & Jupiter NEXT
During the first weeks of Covid shutdowns, Nick and his team collaborated with local municipalities to convert the original Jupiter hotel as a temporary voluntary isolation shelter for houseless folks who were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to rest, recuperate, and receive treatment. In addition to supporting local community programs, Nick continuously engages with organizations like ORLA and participates in activities that foster growth for Oregon hospitality. He’s being recognized not only for his outstanding contributions to the industry but also for exemplifying exceptional leadership among his peers.
Restaurateur of the Year: Emma Dye, Founder + Chief Salad Officer, Crisp
When Emma founded Crisp, her passion was to provide better food options for as many people as possible while keeping their carbon footprint and environmental impact minimal. Emma’s first priority, however, was to provide a place that is welcoming, respectful, and safe for her employees as well as for every customer that walks into the door. Emma and her staff are very proud of the culture at Crisp and the fact that it is a woman-owned, local startup that gives back to the community. Her vision and message about inclusivity also resonates through partnerships with locally owned businesses and nonprofits where Crisp contributes 10 percent of sales every month. Emma is recognized with this hospitality award not only for her accomplishments as a successful restaurateur, but also for the exceptional culture she’s created in her restaurants.
Allied Partner of the Year: Matthew D. Lowe, President, Jordan Ramis PC
Matthew’s passion for hospitality can be seen in every interaction with his clients, having dedicated over 20 years helping restaurant and lodging operators achieve success in their endeavors. As President of Jordan Ramis, he consistently demonstrates outstanding service, and under his leadership, the firm continues to make innovative contributions to support Oregon’s hospitality industry. Matt and his colleagues work hard on behalf of the lodging industry keeping local jurisdictions accountable in how they expend lodging tax dollars. He is recognized as a friend of the industry by his clients, proving time and again the value of his representation on critical issues impacting Oregon hospitality.
Click here to access photos from the event, view ORLA’s photo library. To watch the 4 award videos, visit www.oregonrla.org/nominate.
For more information on the ORLA Hospitality Awards, visit www.Oregonrla.org/nominate.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which provides over 150,000 paychecks to working Oregonians. Currently ORLA represents over 2,800 members and advocates for over 10,000 foodservice locations and more than 2,000 lodging establishments in Oregon. The affiliated Oregon Hospitality Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, supports the workforce, educational, training, and philanthropic needs of Oregon’s hospitality industry through educational opportunities and job training programs.
Gubernatorial Candidate Events / Oregon PFML / ORLA Conference
Gubernatorial Candidate Events
The Oregon Beverage Alliance (OBA) is hosting three events with Oregon’s Gubernatorial candidates coming up in the next several weeks. This is a unique opportunity for our industry to have an audience with the future Governor to talk specifically about the hospitality sector, our force as an economic driver for the state, and the importance of considering the impact of policy decisions on our sector. Having a large presence at these events will help ensure that Oregon’s next Governor understands the depth, diversity, and strength of our voice. These events provide a forum for open dialogue on issues of importance to our group. The events are all free of charge and will be held at Columbia Distributing, 27200 SW Parkway Ave, in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Oregon's Paid Family Medical Leave Program
Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program (PFMLI) goes into effect January 1, 2023, and is funded by employer and employee contributions. Employers with less than 25 employees are not required to contribute to the program, but their employees are. Employers will be required to participate in the program or provide an equivalent plan. ORLA is actively looking into private sector solutions right now. Here are some key dates:
Still Time to Register for the Conference
ORLA is excited to have both Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association joining us in person as keynote speakers at the ORLA Hospitality Conference in Eugene. This will mark the first time in ORLA’s history where both national CEOs will be present for a gathering of our members. All details relating to the conference can be viewed on our designated conference site. View the “Sessions” tab on the following website to review the flow of the conference and reach out with any questions. This is a great time to bring key staff and those you’re looking to develop as part of your long term sustainability plan for your operation.
Affordable Housing / Economic Report / Per Diem Increase / Oregon Hospitality Heroes
‘People for an Affordable Oregon’ Involvement
ORLA is part of a broader business coalition challenging the latest rulemaking conducted by the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) without appropriate levels of public input. There’s potential that legal action may result out of this movement: the business coalition challenging the lack of public process within the rulemaking effort and municipalities questioning DLCD’s authority over local zoning controls. To learn more about this developing issue visit:
Operators Endure Weaker Business Conditions
The costs of goods restaurateurs need most have continued to accelerate, and according to a new survey released today by the National Restaurant Association, 46% of operators say business conditions are worse now than they were 3 months ago. More than 80% of operators say the cost of food, labor and occupancy are higher than 2019; 94% say operating costs in general are higher. 85% report profits are down. See full survey results and the press release.
GSA Increases Per Diem rate
The FY2023 standard per diem rate will increase to $157 for the continental U.S., and rates for the 316 non-standard areas will be at or above FY2022 rates, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced this week. This is extremely welcome news for the hospitality industry as our recovery continues. By increasing the standard rate and setting a floor at pre-pandemic rates for NSAs, GSA has ensured fair increases in markets that warrant them while also avoiding hurting hotels in markets that have taken longer to recover. See Oregon rates.
ORLA Hospitality Award Winners
We will celebrate four hospitality heroes Sunday evening, September 11 at our Awards Dinner during the annual Conference in Eugene. Congratulations go to Nick Pearson (Jupiter & Jupiter NEXT) as the Lodging Operator of the Year, Emma Dye (Crisp) as the Restaurateur of the Year, Jodi Doud (Elmer's Roseburg) as Employee of the Year; and Matthew D. Lowe (Jordan Ramis) as the Allied Partner of the Year.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions by emailing email@example.com.
In the News / Sports Economy / Reigniting Travel / Worker Shortage
ORLA's professional staff is in full swing as we turn the corner on event season and gear up for our final productions – Swig & Savor August 12 at the Nines in Portland and the ORLA Hospitality Conference at the Graduate Hotel in Eugene in September. See below for our latest association updates:
Media Coverage – State of Sport
The Portland market and secondary markets in Eugene and Bend are working collectively to amplify the State of Sport within Oregon’s economy. Findings of a recent report launched intentionally in advance of the World Athletic Championships in Eugene elevates the identity we have in Oregon around sports and recreation companies. Of course the hospitality industry benefits greatly as we continue to develop a more comprehensive identity around sports and recreation. The Oregon Hospitality Foundation, ORLA’s 501 c(3) arm, financially supported the creation of the study and continues to be involved in the ongoing task force work. Here are some of the media pickups resulting from the collaborative work.
Reigniting Travel Press Event
Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association joined ORLA alongside Travel Portland and the Portland Business Alliance in holding a press event July 22 about reigniting travel in the Portland region. Here’s a sample of some of the coverage:
Where Have All the Workers Gone?
Almost everyone in the industry still needs more help to meet demand. And there are some misunderstandings about how much our workforce has been effected by Covid compared to trends that started long before the pandemic hit. If you haven’t already, read the Wall Street Journal's article, The ‘Great Resignation’ Started Long Ago, it’s worth your time. Something to ponder: "There are more than 11 million job openings in the U.S. but only six million unemployed workers. So what’s happening?"
ORLA Hospitality Conference
Both Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association will join us in person as keynote speakers at the ORLA Hospitality Conference in Eugene. This will mark the first time in ORLA’s history where both national CEOs will be present for a gathering of our members. This is a great time to bring key staff and those you’re looking to develop as part of your long term sustainability plan for your operation.
Questions? Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email us.
Industry Awards / Whiskey Event / Sports Economy / Job Fairs
ORLA's Hospitality Conference in Eugene will include recognition for our Restaurateur Of the Year, Lodging Operator of the Year, Employee of the Year, and Allied Member of the Year. Nominations are open until end of day on Monday, July 11 so please submit a nomination form if you know of a deserving candidate.
Swig & Savor
ORLA’s public-facing high-end Swig & Savor liquor event has opened ticket sales! This is a unique event featuring top-shelf whiskies for tastings, educational seminars, and allocated and rare products–an opportunity that does not currently exist in the Pacific Northwest market. VIP participants will automatically entered into a raffle with drawings for hard-to-get allocated bottles.
Sports Economy and Jobs
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation contributed to the production of the economic report released last week by the Portland Business Alliance in partnership with U.S. Bank. Oregon: The State of Sport highlights the economic power and competitive advantage in Oregon stemming from the athletic, outdoor, team, and recreation industries. The report’s initial focus was on the Portland Metro area, Eugene, and Bend, but there is widespread recognition that Oregon’s strength in this space is truly statewide. The report articulates what many of us already knew: if you want to be in this ecosystem as an entrepreneur, employee, or even customer…Oregon is the place to be. The report and key findings can be found here.
Youth Job Fair
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation will be doing more work to elevate workforce development efforts from partners and stakeholders around the state in the coming years. We look forward to documenting our success in getting industry professionals sharing their stories in high school and community college classrooms, assist with lining up student job shadow experiences with industry professionals, and build out more options for educators to take their students on experiential field trips of industry businesses when it makes sense. Our work also includes shining a brighter light on youth job fairs and other events focused on connecting employers with prospect employees.
Questions? Send us an email or give us a ring at 503.682.4422.
Leveraging Oregon’s Leadership in the Sports Ecosystem to Boost Workforce Opportunities
This July, the World Athletics Championships come not only to the United States for the first time, but to Oregon. We are a leader in track and field with Hayward Field consistently hailed as an elite track and field venue, but we are also a global leader in the “sports adjacent.” In the area forming Eugene to Bend to the greater Portland area, there are over 800 sports apparel companies and thousands of sports related manufacturers, therapists, coaches, semi professional and professional athletic teams, Olympic trials, skiing, outdoor adventure, mountains, rivers, fields, venues, hopes, and dreams. Where else in the country can you engage in the quality of recreation and athletics, live in the region where those amenities already exist, and make a living at the very activity that brings us joy?
When the World Athletics Championships meet later this month, they bring with them media opportunity from around the globe. We have a rare opportunity to tell the world that Oregon is much more than Nike, Hayward Field, Portland Thorns, and Trailblazers. We are a state dedicated to sports and everything that supports those sports. That is why ORLAs’ Hospitality Foundation (OHF) has partnered with the Portland Business Alliance (PBA) to bring into focus the major impact that sports and recreation have on the economy and workforce of Oregon. As OHF is digging deep into workforce development for our industry, it seemed logical that we needed a voice at the table to be a part of this important work.
PBA has completed an economic analysis and is in the process of naming what we will eventually promote as a brand for Oregon’s sports related economy, but what good does a bunch of data do except tell us what we already know? The truth is, not everyone knows, and we are going to tell the world. This is about, creating awareness for existing investment and attraction of additional sports opportunities. We need to engage in legislation at every level of government to get traction for investment in our state and local sports economies. From workforce development to infrastructure, it is time to leverage our leadership in outdoor recreation and sports and and get creative with how we use it to make everything in Oregon more attractive and inclusive.
While we are unsure exactly how the messaging will be employed, we know that the powerful information this provides us would be lost if we don’t use it to leverage into real actionable help for our restaurants and lodging partners in Oregon. How can we use this information to bring economic relief to workforce development, engage housing initiatives, affect transportation, food security, lift BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women-run business voices, help with houselessness, mental health, and addiction and recovery services? Right now we are meeting and talking through how to use this data to best affect the State of Oregon.
Watch for more information on the analysis and branding as we welcome the world into our homes for the World Athletics Championships. Let’s be ready to tell the narrative that Oregon is the leader in sports, outdoor recreation, and the opportunity it provides us all. | Ken Henson, Vice Chair, Oregon Hospitality Foundation
This article originally published in the July issue of ORLA Magazine.
Third Party Deliver Fee Cap / Hotel Loading Zones
Recently, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) went to bat on a couple of issues affecting restaurants and lodging properties in Portland and we came away with two huge wins!
On the restaurant side, ORLA was instrumental in securing an extension of the 10% Delivery Fee Cap for an additional eight months. The ordinance takes effect June 29 when the ordinance from 2020 was set to expire. ORLA will now work with restaurant owners, the City of Portland, the third party delivery companies and other stakeholders on a proposal around a permanent delivery fee cap within the city limits. A huge thanks to the restaurant operators who testified and shared their stories to City Council.
On the lodging side, ORLA reached out and communicated with Commissioner Hardesty’s office about proposed changes to hotel loading zones that would have turned the current 15-minute zones into 3-minute zones. Our discussions were successful in maintaining the 15-minute loading zones. ORLA pointed out that as Portland hotels continue to recover from the last two and a half years, making it more difficult and less welcoming for visitors to enjoy our city is the opposite of what we need to be doing.
Advocacy on behalf of the hospitality industry and our members is at the core of what we do at ORLA and we appreciate your involvement and your support as we continue to fight on your behalf.
Questions? Contact ORLA Regional Representative Steven Scardina or ORLA Director of Government Affairs Greg Astley.
Inflation / Job Loss / Travel Forecast
More than two years into the pandemic and we're still realizing the effects of Covid on travel, supply of goods, and inflation. We appreciate the work our national partners do to provide valuable insights and data highlighting the ongoing economic issues facing our industry.
This week, the National Restaurant Association released an updated summary of the Misery index based on the May jobs and sales reports. While job growth is still slow, sales are continuing to grow. American restaurant owners and operators are experiencing the impact of several global factors influencing food supply. The war in Ukraine, India’s record heat wave, and delayed planting in China last year mean that wheat is in short supply. With wholesale food prices already up nearly 18% in the last 12 months, the growing list of unavailable or items in short supply is adding pressure to an already strained industry.
Highlights from the June 2022 Misery Index:
A recent survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shares how new concerns about gas prices and inflation are impacting Americans’ travel plans in a variety of ways. Majorities say they are likely to take fewer leisure trips (57%) and shorter trips (54%) due to current gas prices, while 44% are likely to postpone trips, and 33% are likely to cancel with no plans to reschedule. 82% say gas prices will have at least some impact on their travel destination(s).
The survey of 2,210 adults was conducted May 18-22, 2022. Other key findings include:
AHLA recently relaunched its Hospitality is Working campaign with a focus on reigniting travel across the nation and highlighting hotels’ positive economic impact in cities across the country. With travel ramping back up, hotels have embarked on an unprecedented hiring spree to recruit hundreds of thousands of workers for more than 200 hotel career pathways.
Bottom line, restaurant and lodging operators are feeling the same economic pressures that our customers and guests are, and we’re always going to work hard so we can keep serving them, our employees, and our communities.
Stay strong, serve well!
ERC Eligibility / National CEO Presence / Board Nominations
Eligibility Clarification for 2021 Q3 Employee Retention Tax Credits
The law states there are two criteria by which an employer may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit:
AHLA and NRA CEOs to Speak at ORLA's Hospitality Conference
Mark your calendars and plan on attending the ORLA Hospitality Conference September 11-12 in Eugene. We are excited to host both CEOs from our national affiliates for the first time at an ORLA event. Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO for the National Restaurant Association and Chip Rogers, President & CEO for the American Hotel & Lodging Association will be speaking in person during the kickoff lunch on Sunday. This is a rare opportunity to hear insights directly from these industry leaders on legislative activity in Congress, industry trends, emerging issues, and projected industry recovery. In addition to the general sessions, we have eight breakout sessions including two that will offer a deeper dive on restaurant and lodging advocacy.
ORLA Board Nominations Committee Convenes in July
Active ORLA members provide the backbone for all association efforts and we remain fortunate in having committed restaurant, lodging, and allied members who serve on ORLA’s Board of Directors. The ORLA Board is made up of 10 restaurant member representatives, 10 lodging member representatives, and 3 Allied member representatives. Board members serve 3 year terms and attend 4 board meetings each year. Those serving are eligible to serve two consecutive terms before reaching their term limit. For ORLA’s upcoming fiscal year beginning October 1 there are 3 openings on the board due to term limits – 1 restaurant, 1 lodging, and 1 allied position. If you are interested in being considered for ORLA Board service please reach out to ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt.
Sysco Sponsors Teacher Flex Fund
Thanks to our partners at Sysco, the Oregon Hospitality Foundation had the opportunity to extend a small grant application in support of the ProStart program across the state. The Oregon ProStart Teacher Flex Fund encouraged teachers to apply for a $500 grant for to prepare for the 2022–2023 school year. At the teacher's discretion, these funds can be spent on much-needed products or equipment within the classroom to help facilitate their culinary program. Allocations from the $5,000 Flex Fund were made on a first come, first serve basis, and will be dispersed later this month. To learn more about how ProStart is helping foster our next generation of industry leaders, or to see how you can support this valuable career technical education program, visit OregonRLA.org/prostart.
Questions? Feel free to contact your association.
Lodging operators are optimistic about leisure travel returning to Oregon. In addition to Oregonians traveling locally around the state, the World Athletic Championships - Oregon22 should bring visitors from around the globe to experience Oregon’s unique hospitality.
According to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, nearly seven in ten Americans (69%) report being likely to travel this summer, with 60% saying they are likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21.
The survey of 2,210 adults was conducted May 18-22, 2022. Other key findings include:
As business and leisure travel continue to rebound from the last two and a half years of restrictions and shutdowns, lodging operators in Oregon are looking to in-state travel as well as the boost from over 200 countries and their fans coming to our state for the 2022 World Athletic Championships. Although the competition is in Eugene, there’s no doubt visitors to Oregon will take the opportunity to explore every corner of our state and take advantage of the natural beauty and hospitality our industry and others will offer.
You can find much more information on the World Athletic Championships on Travel Oregon's website. An industry-facing toolkit has also been developed to provide additional information, resources, broadcast-quality b-roll and hi-res images, as well as inspirational trip ideas and media contact information. Questions can be directed to Jaime Eder, Industry Communications Manager at Travel Oregon. | Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, ORLA
RRF / Elections / Liquor Privatization...
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Senate Vote – Oregon Senators Voted Yes
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate was unable to overcome a filibuster on a motion to begin debate on a $48 billion bill that would have replenished the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The vote to invoke cloture and overcome the filibuster failed by a vote of 52-43 (60 votes were needed to prevail). Read the press release from the National Restaurant Association for more information. Highlights of the vote from yesterday:
Primary Election Roundup
There has been an increase in the number of industry members who have expressed a willingness to run for office. ORLA members Cheri Helt (BOLI Commissioner candidate), Daniel Nguyen (State Rep Candidate), Janelle Bynum (Current State Rep), and former ORLA staff member Christine Drazan are all working to bring more industry expertise to our policy making decisions. Here are a few highlights from this week’s primary election on state races:
Portland Lodging Alliance (PLA) Statement on Portland City Budget
ORLA was involved in group discussions on the City of Portland's budget earlier this week. Generally, the high level social service and public safety investments and content within the budget seem on point. What continues to plague Portland are the deficiencies in management and a desire by our members to see consistent progress on the streets. One of ORLA’s local groups is called the Portland Lodging Alliance and current ORLA Board Members George Schweitzer and Daryn White Cyrus sit on the PLA Steering Committee. Joining them in leadership are Brandon Carter of the Bidwell downtown and Martin McAllister who runs the waterfront Marriott Hotel. This coming week the Portland Lodging Alliance is submitting comments on Mayor Wheeler’s proposed budget to the City through their online public comment portal.
Liquor Privatization Off the November Ballot
There’s one less thing to worry about on the November ballot now that the Northwest Grocers Association have pulled their initiative petition from the signature gathering process to qualify as a state measure. Initiative Petition 35 would have opened the door to liquor sales in grocery stores here in Oregon. Although the convenience may seem enticing on its surface there are far ranging implications if the current alcohol system were to be disrupted with cost escalations on liquor inevitable for ORLA members. See the story summing it all up here on OPB. ORLA has been an active part of the opposition campaign to this effort ever since our Government Affairs Committee voted unanimously to oppose these efforts when this was attempted the last time.
Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us via email.
Paid Family Leave / Governor's Race / 'Hospitality is Working'
Paid Family Leave Rulemaking
Paid Family Leave passed in the long legislative session of 2019 before Covid and has been in a delayed planning state ever since. The law is now getting more attention as the Oregon Employment Department and their new Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Division (PFMLI) work to launch the new program in 2023. The program is ambitious and requires a 60/40 percent employee/employer split in contributions to a new fund for specific family and medical leave needs. ORLA’s Director of Government Affairs serves on the rulemaking committee; we'll keep members informed of paid family leave updates.
Governor’s Race & GOP Polling
Recent polling for the Governor’s Race shows former Oregon Restaurant Association staffer Christine Drazan may have a good shot at securing the GOP nomination for Governor in the upcoming primary. Most political pundits continue to believe the Democrat primary win will go to Tina Kotek although Tobias Read has been making a considerable push to gain more favor within the party.
Hospitality is Working Campaign
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) relaunched its Hospitality is Working campaign seeking to reignite travel nationwide and showcase the economic and community benefits hotels provide in neighborhoods across the country. Hospitality is Working showcases the broad range of benefits hotels provide the communities they serve while highlighting the industry’s strong commitment to investing in its workforce, providing quality career opportunities, and protecting employees and guests as more and more Americans begin to travel. The campaign will include television and digital advertising as well as AHLA events around the country alongside local hoteliers, economic development organizations and community groups.
Have questions? Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email us if you have any questions. Happy Friday!
Local Lodging Tax Watchdog Work / The Fate of RRF / Workforce Storytelling / 77% of the Way
Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved a bill to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Details on what to expect in DC as well as other updates from the week are below. Don’t forget to sign up and support our largest ORLAPAC fundraiser of the year, One Big Night. If you haven’t already, register to attend and/or consider donating an auction package and help us make a difference in the upcoming election cycle in support of our industry recovery efforts.
Local Lodging Tax Watchdog Work
ORLA’s successful win in court at both the Circuit Court and Oregon Court of Appeals level has helped usher in a new chapter of relevance for the association in ramping up our watchdog role for our lodging members and the broader tourism industry. As a reminder, ORLA won on all counts against the City of Bend which helped cement our legal standing in holding local governments accountable for how they expend local lodging tax dollars even though ORLA itself does not collect local lodging taxes directly. With the help of legal counsel, ORLA is actively seeking more transparency in the Cities of Gladstone, Gresham, Cannon Beach, and Albany. Watch ORLA's explanatory video as a refresher on how local lodging taxes are to be spent. This video has proven to be a helpful resource to help educate newly appointed local elected leaders or city administrative staff so please share with your contacts whenever helpful.
The Fate of RRF Replenishment
As anticipated, the U.S House of Representatives passed H.R. 3807 - replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The challenge of getting replenishment over the finish line continues to be in the Senate. On Tuesday, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced The Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022 (SBCRA) (S. 4008). The SBCRA would allocate $40 billion for RRF replenishment and $8 billion for other small businesses impacted by COVID. It would partially offset (pay for) the $48 billion through $5 billion in unspent Payroll Protection Program funds. In the interim, we will encourage Senate Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement on replenishing the RRF. The largest hurdle remains overcoming vast differences between the parties on whether the spending must be paid for, and how. If you haven't already, tell Senators to replenish the RRF. A special thanks to a contingent of ORLA current and past board members for joining ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt and ORLA Director of Government Affairs Greg Astley at the National Restaurant Association Public Affairs Conference coming up at the end of this month in Washington D.C. RRF, as well as several other key issues will be a part of our discussions as we meet with lawmakers.
We have a big challenge at our doorstep which revolves around reclaiming the narrative around jobs and careers in the hospitality industry. There are incredible stories all around us about the positive and lasting impact hospitality jobs have for Oregonians from all backgrounds. The Spring edition of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association magazine focuses in on the importance of mentors and the opportunities we all have to do more in sharing the opportunities in our industry with both high school and community college students. On page 24 is our Industry Champions article, The Essential Role Of Industry Mentors For High School Culinary Classrooms, where four of our ProStart mentors were interviewed. They each had great stories to tell, worthy of a broader share than just in print, so we repurposed the article as a blog post as well.
77% of the Way Back
The hardest hit sector, accommodation and food services, has regained 77% of the many jobs lost in the initial COVID crisis. In addition, the following article is featured on the Oregon Employment Department’s website regarding youth employment trends in our industry. It’s worth a read to learn about our history and our efforts to regain traction in employing high school youth over the course of the past decade.
Oregon OSHA Fixes Workforce Housing Caps
ORLA has been advocating for our hospitality businesses who provide housing for workers as a benefit of employment. This predominately impacts our resort members who leverage visas and provide work experience to citizens from other countries with those opportunities ramping up in the Spring and Summer seasons. Thankfully Oregon OSHA has answered the call to repeal the Covid rule that capped the amount of workers we were allowed to house in each dwelling unit due to concern over Covid spread. This will greatly assist members in controlling costs associated with the number of vacation homes/dwelling units that must be rented out for the purposes of workforce housing.
Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email us if you have any questions. | ORLA
RRF Replenishment / OSHA Updates / H-2B Visas / US Labor Department Investments
We are seeing signs of sales getting close if not reaching pre-pandemic levels for some Oregon operators. Of course sales numbers don’t tell the whole story for our restaurants given the cost of goods and the ongoing impacts of a marketplace driven by historic leverage in the hands of employees. On the lodging side it continues to be a tale of two realities with operators seeming to do quite well in secondary markets with Portland still working to find its footing with the delay in corporate/conference travel. Spring/Summer live events and the return of the full fledged Rose Festival events for a month from late May through late June will certainly help Portland turn the page.
RRF Replenishment Votes Possible in House, Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as early as this Wednesday. Details on the size of the bill, and whether it is funded with new government spending or reallocating existing federal dollars remain unknown. Meanwhile, if the Senate is able to reach agreement on legislation to fund COVID treatment programs, Democrats are expected to offer an amendment to replenish the RRF. Senate Republicans have been clear in calling for any COVID spending to be fully offset by cuts in other government programs, and will vote against RRF replenishment if this condition is not met.
ORLA has been working with the National Restaurant Association on your behalf to urge that Congress not treat the 177,000 restaurants waiting for COVID grants as hostages to battles over government spending. The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to the Hill this morning in support of RRF votes and posted a press release urging support from Congress. We will keep you informed if a vote occurs and when the next grassroots activation will launch.
OSHA Update on Workforce Housing
One of the many unintended consequences of agency rules during Covid was the impact of workforce housing restrictions on our resort communities around the state. Oregon OSHA was focused on preventing the spread of Covid in agricultural worker housing specifically, but their rules also prevented resorts around Oregon from housing hospitality employees within residential vacation homes. The Covid rule limited the number of workers who can be housed in resort vacation homes–and those limits did not exist for vacation travelers from different households using those same homes. ORLA pointed out this inequity over the course of the past week and thankfully Oregon OSHA responded. OSHA just released a Workplace Advisory Memo on April 1, 2022, that removes these workforce housing limitations in our industry.
American Hotel & Lodging Association President & CEO Chip Rogers (who will be joining us in person at September’s ORLA Hospitality Conference in Eugene) shared the following good news this week on H-2B Visas. A number of ORLA members utilize Visas for seasonal employment needs and expanding capacity has been a priority for the industry.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) announced they would make available an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for the second half of fiscal year 2022 (FY22), which begins April 1. Of these, 23,500 visas will be available for returning workers, while 11,500 are reserved for nationals of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In December, for the first time ever the Departments released an additional 20,000 H-2B visas for the first half of the fiscal year. These additional visas will provide critical help to seasonal resorts as we enter the busy summer travel season, and they suggest that the Biden Administration recognizes the acute workforce shortage we are facing. AHLA will continue to push for legislation and policies that will help fill open jobs and keep us on the road to recovery.
US Labor Department Investments
This week the National Restaurant Association shared more details on President Biden’s federal budget proposal which includes an 18% increase in U.S. Department of Labor funding from 2022 levels ($2.2 billion more) with $400 million proposed to go towards the hiring of additional staff within the department’s workforce protection agencies. Here are the cliff notes from the administration's proposals that are more industry specific:
Labor & Workforce
Food Supply Chain and Competition
Technology and Competition
Access to Credit
For more information:
We look forward to sharing more about workforce development efforts in future reports. There is a lot of work going into improving connections between industry operators and high school/community college classrooms. Give us a call at 503.682.4422 if you have any questions. | ORLA
Food Scrap Policy, Customer Entitlement, and March Madness
Business Food Scraps Policy In Play – Implementation of a regional food scraps separation requirement went into effect March of this year and many businesses within the Portland Metro boundary will need to comply by 2023. Originally scheduled to begin in March 2020, the requirement was delayed by two years due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s residents and businesses. The earliest any business must be in compliance is March 2023 and all businesses generating more than one 60-gallon roll cart of food scraps a week must be in compliance by September 30, 2024. View more information about the requirement and how to access resources for implementation on Metro’s website at Oregonmetro.gov/foodscraps.
Multnomah County Candidates Forum April 20 – There continues to be a lot at stake in Portland with how we are managing safety and security issues as we start getting a taste for what Spring and Summer looks like in the Portland region with the activity surrounding March Madness. Some of you are seeing sales numbers returning to acceptable levels as of this month for the first time in a long time. One of our goals is to not let our elected leaders off the hook in understanding the significance of our debt loads just to get to the point where we could be open and start seeing customer demand improve again. ORLA is co-hosting along with several other business organizations an upcoming forum on April 20 focused on Multnomah County Commissioner candidates. Visit Portland Business Alliance's website for details.
OTLA 3rd Year Class Launch – This past week the 3rd year class for the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA) gathered in Sunriver immediately following the Oregon Governor's Tourism Conference. ORLA had the chance to sponsor one of the keynote sessions at the Conference and showcase a new promotional video to bring more awareness to the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy and opportunities for tourism professionals to get more involved in the program. Subscribe to updates on OTLA and view the new video.
Customer Entitlement? – A 2022 pilot study from OSU Cascades Hospitality Management program shared by the program's director, Todd Montgomery, confirmed what they have been hearing during focus groups and personal interviews for years: entitled customer behavior is getting worse, and it is impacting the desire of hospitality workers to stay in the industry. OSU Cascades will present a white paper on all of their results in the coming months where they will address workers perceptions of what is driving these customer entitlement events. In the meantime, you can view their latest infographic.
Learn more about how the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is protecting and promoting Oregon's hospitality industry at OregonRLA.org.
Press Release | Khan Properties Group
After 13 years of dedicated service, Masudur Khan, has withdrawn as a member of Seaside Lodging Hospitality LLC, Doel Hospitality LLC, and City Center Hospitality LLC, which operate the Inn at Seaside, River Inn, and the SaltLine Hotel. Khan will be focusing on new business ventures in real estate development and hospitality as the Founder and CEO of Khan Properties Group.
An award-winning hotelier and developer specializing in the hospitality and multifamily industries since 2009, Khan has grown his portfolio through dedication to providing the highest quality service to the hotel’s guests and developing properties to meet the current and future demands of the hospitality and housing markets. "We are deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul that he has put into developing and transforming our Seaside community. Now it's time for him to lead the way with his new ventures" says his current team at Khan Properties Group.
About Khan Properties Group:
Formed in 2020, Khan leads a team of industry experts he has formed to expand into the multifamily development and hospitality markets across the Pacific NW. Khan Properties focuses on a hybrid model of housing and hospitality specializing in renovation and expansion of existing properties as well as new construction projects. Additionally, Khan Properties Group has expanded its real estate portfolio into retail and food & beverage. Khan and his group are exploring partnerships with nationwide companies to further innovate and expand the residential and hospitality offerings in the area. Current projects and ventures include Ocean Crest Resort (Moclips, WA), Gilbert Block (Seaside, OR), and three multifamily developments in Seaside. The Ocean Crest Resort acquisition in Moclips, WA was awarded as a top three finalist for Acquisition of the Year by AHLA at the 2021 American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS).