The hospitality industry in Lansing is getting a dash of Christmas cheer

LANSING, Michigan – The hospitality industry was hit hard during the pandemic.

According to Scott Keith, CEO of the Lansing Entertainment Facilities Authority, they have struggled to revive the business, but it has been a slow climb.

“The variations are sure to keep people a little small to get back together,” he said. “We still see masks being worn. We’re still seeing vaccinations improving, but I think people are a little skeptical right now about how safe it is until they go to an event and feel good. “

The Impression 5 Science Center has seen a sharp drop in visitors. Operations and guest experiences manager, Betsy Mappilaparampil, said Saturdays would be her busiest days before March 2020.

“We usually have around 1,000 guests every Saturday, especially in the winter months,” she said. “Today we usually see around 500 people on a Saturday.”

The problem is twofold as there is also a staff shortage.

“This is one of the biggest challenges our industry is facing right now,” said Keith. “This applies to restaurants, hotels, meetings, events and venues.”

Mappilaparampil’s staff has shrunk a bit.

“However, we have been able to get some salary security loans to keep all of our employees, but as people’s lives are changing every day, we’ve seen headcount downsizing,” she said.

Joe Gebhardt, WSYM, 2021

Due to the lack of staff, the catering staff ask for patience.

“I think it will be a while before we get back to where we are really working to develop a whole new group of people who can get into the industry and find something new and learn something new,” said Keith.

The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to put people in the industry in a good mood.

CEO Julie Pingston wanted to “turn the tables” at an event they normally host with their customers by delivering gift baskets full of merchandise from local companies like the Sweetie-licious Pie Company, Park Lake Creamery, Fabiano’s Candies and others.

Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau

Joe Gebhardt, WSYM, 2021

CEO Julie Pingston gives something back to Lansing companies

“We bring the Christmas cheer to all of the people who normally are in a good mood this time of year and do things for everyone else,” she said. “We’re going to about 100 different meeting venues, hotels and attractions today just to get the Christmas spirit up and encourage them to move on with whatever has happened in the past 20 months.”

Despite the hardship, companies are hopeful.

The Courtyard Marriott Downtown Lansing only opened in February. Marketing and Sales Director Corey Harvey looks to a brighter future.

“Things will definitely have improved when Michigan State University gets back into business,” she said. “Together with the convention season, that gave us a nice boost. We are really looking to spring 2022. “

“I hope that here at Impression 5 more people will learn about science in a practical way.

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