Papillion, Neb. (WOWT) – Kevin Fulcher’s hotel is usually preparing for Berkshire Hathaway and the College World Series this time of year… but both have been canceled.
“It’s a tough time for occupancies for hotels and we thought it be an opportunity to give back,” Fulcher said.
But he’s keeping some of the Fairfield Inn’s rooms full by housing doctors and nurses who work next door at CHI Health of the Midlands.
Fulcher and his staff started offering discounted rates a few weeks ago after a handful of area hotels closed.
Right now, the medical professionals who have checked in are either at work or fast asleep in their rooms.
“They’re working four to five days, 12-hour shifts and just want a place to come and stay and sleep when they can and not be around their families,
which is hard for them.”
After furloughing some of his own staff, Fulcher is able to do this with eight full-time employees.
The hotel had to make some changes as well.
The gym and pool are closed… and no more self-serve breakfast buffets for now… instead, grab-and-go meals are available for the medics staying
“We’re running between 18 to 20 guests a night, which I think during this time is pretty good considering many hotels have closed.”
Before this week, front-line workers had to pay out of their own pockets if they wanted to stay clear from their homes.
On Thursday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said the state will help cover some of those costs if their employer won’t.
More rooms could be filled as Nebraska anticipates the number of cases to rise.
“I think we’ll start to see more. We’ve had some repeat guests come back.”
“But it’s nice to be able to give back something like this to people on the front line battling this every day.”
Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services is offering to cover the lodging cost for medical workers.
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