What to do with all those empty hotel rooms, particularly in downtown Seattle, where occupancy rates have goon from 80 percent to 20 percent over the past 11 months. These hotels are now bereft of cruise ships, conventions, business travel, and game-day sports fans. One answer is to create an agency that purchases many such rooms for housing the homeless at discounted rates.
Here’s another suggestion, courtesy of the Riggs Hotel in D.C., a hotel converted from a former bank. The idea is to set aside 10 rooms on one floor for room-service fine dining. The bed is removed to make more space, and the fine meal arrives from the hotel kitchen. The rooms are carefully disinfected before guests arrive. You can contact your server by cell phone or text, to speed up service. Choose your own background music. Private bathroom very handy. Social distancing easily arranged. The cost: $125 minimum per person (which helps pay for the careful cleaning before each dining group). Of course, these rooms can easily revert to hotel use, once demand returns.