Hotels Feeling Labor Shortage Squeeze With Summer Vacation Season Starting Up

CBS4's Wendy Gillette has more from Arizona.

Video Transcript

- Memorial Day weekend signals the start of the summer vacation season.

- But many hotels across the country are dealing with labor shortages right now. CBS 4's Wendy Gillette reports from Scottsdale, Arizona.

WENDY GILLETTE: Laurel Ely is a front desk agent at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess just outside Phoenix. The hotel has been overwhelmed with guests since February, when more people started getting vaccinated.

LAUREL ELY: It's been very busy. Lots of guests are coming to enjoy this beautiful weather we have, to sit at the pool, hike, golf, and just relax.

WENDY GILLETTE: While the guests are coming back, not all the workers are. Business plummeted when the pandemic started, and many employees left the industry or the area. The hotel is currently looking to fill 200 positions across all departments.

- I've never seen the need for staffing like this unmet as it has been.

WENDY GILLETTE: The hotel is offering an incentive of $500 to new hires, and current employees can get a bonus of $500 if they refer someone who gets a job.

About a dozen miles away, the Phoenician Resort is searching for 50 employees.

DENISE SEOMIN: We have cards that we take with us that we can hand out if we meet someone. Hey, are you interested in joining the luxury collection in the Phoenician family?

WENDY GILLETTE: Staffing shortages extend across the country. Benjamin McCarney is the general manager of the Bohemian [? RiverFront ?] in Savannah, Georgia. He sometimes busses tables at the hotel's rooftop restaurant when he's short on staff.

BENJAMIN MCCARNEY: I do love the industry, but we all get tired. I'm working. I had two days off last month, closing the rooftop bar multiple nights.

WENDY GILLETTE: The president of Visit Savannah says managers everywhere are picking up the slack.

JOSEPH MARINELLI: It might be cleaning rooms and scrubbing toilets. And you know, that's a challenge for people that are also responsible for the bottom line and managing their business.

WENDY GILLETTE: Establishments are asking guests to be patient this summer as the industry works through these staffing issues. Wendy Gillette, CBS News. Scottsdale, Arizona.

- Well, some state leaders have blamed the labor shortages on enhanced federal unemployment benefits. More than 20 states, including Florida, have canceled those benefits.