Hotels Make Room for Fall Students Amid Coronavirus

Hotels Make Room for Fall Students Amid Coronavirus
Izzy Hall

As part of promoting safe living and social distancing on college campus this Fall 2020 semester in the wake of COVID-19, colleges and universities holding in-person classes have cut down on the number of students who can reside in the traditional college dorm. Many colleges have invited just a fraction of the class back to school and are altering traditional double and triple rooms into singles. Because of this, there are students who would like to live on campus for the fall semester who cannot. Some students have taken to renting rooms at nearby hotels to capture some of that campus magic.

Hotel living might be more expensive than dorm room and board fees, but it has added comforts that may appeal to students especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Among these amenities are regular housekeeping, air conditioning and more modern ventilation systems. Some hotels have gyms or even pools for their guests, and outdoor spaces like rooftop terraces. And no hotel would be complete without Wi-Fi and plenty of power outlets.

That being said, hotels are still hotels, not upscale dorms. They do not have resident assistants (RA’s) you can wake up in the middle of the night if they lost their keys or are feeling homesick. Hotel housekeepers and staff are not servants. They do not have huge dining halls with tons of food options. And they expect students staying there to act like proper guests.

Whether schools have partnered with hotels to offer rooms at dorm rates or student have booked hotel rooms on their own initiative, both schools and hotels stand to gain from this partnership. For schools, it’s a matter of student safety, but for hotels it’s a way to recoup lost revenue. People have begun to stay in hotels again since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic but at nowhere near the rate they did last year. College students can fill that gap in occupancy and revenue for hotels, even potentially allowing hotels to re-hire furloughed staff. Hotels also present a more flexible living option for students who are wary about their campuses staying open for the entire semester. If a college shuts down and students want to head home, hotels may reimburse their remaining reservation.

Are you living in a hotel room rather than a dorm room this Fall 2020 semester? Do you wish you were? Let us know in the comments.

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