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Hotel Industry Updates

Yesterday’s Hotel is Today’s Polling Place

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iStock/SeventyFour

The coronavirus pandemic has required hotels to evolve with the market. As Election Day draws near and bookings have dropped, they’re taking an entirely new role altogether: operating as polling places. According to The Washington Post, cities have turned to large hotels to provide space for voting in this time of social distancing.

This includes the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood, which was selected to become an official Los Angeles early-voting center. “Of course, the answer was ‘yes,” Kimpton General Manager Nick Rimedio told the Post. According to Rimedio, who is also the chairman of the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the staff of the hotel was pleased that “we could make our facility available for something as important as voting right now … I couldn’t think of a better way to support our community.”

“I’m fairly confident we’re going to have the best view of any polling place on the West Coast.”

The hotel’s rooftop will feature 15 voting booths from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3., while also giving voters views of downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills and Century City. “I’m fairly confident we’re going to have the best view of any polling place on the West Coast,” Rimedio added.

Another hotel that will serve as an early voting location is the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Although it is closed until January 2021, it will act as an early-voting location for the capital’s Ward 3 constituents, starting on Oct. 27.

“D.C.’s board of elections reached out to us, given our size in this world of social distancing,” Omni General Manager Mark Roche-Garland told the Post. “We have plenty of space, across several ballrooms and 104,000 square feet of meeting space to accommodate this unique election cycle …. The hotel was built in 1930, and in terms of space, they just don’t build them like that anymore.”

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