The hotel industry has taken a big hit with massive layoffs but several Charlotte hotels are getting creative to bring back customers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The new AC hotel in South Park is doing something pretty unusual to bring customers back. The hotel is offering day rates to allow people to work from rooms in the hotel and take business calls.  If you need a quiet place to do Zoom calls or just need a break from a full house, you can spend the day there. 

The General Manager of the AC Hotel, Taylor Luger, says since opening in December 2019, “It’s been a little bit of a roller coaster.”

“January was awesome. February was even better and March got off to a great start and then COVID hit and we had to shut down the hotel completely, and that meant temporary layoffs for our entire staff.”

The upscale boutique hotel was completely closed until June when they decided to open just on weekends. Just this the hotel began offering the day rates. For 50 dollars a day customers can book a room to work in for the day. 

“For a lot of people life at home has changed with kids doing virtual classrooms and working remotely and we said our hotel and rooms are equipped as offices. So lot of people setting up offices in the basement or at home. We said why don’t we try to sell that here?” said Luger. 

The GM says these days it’s all about being creative.

“It’s even more important now I think creativity and flexibility are going to be what makes us successful moving forward.”

The Ballantyne hotel is getting creative too. The south Charlotte property used to fill up with business travelers during the week but the hotel has now shifted to focus on weekend stays and local customers.

Marketing Director Beth Allen says they have themed weekends including Halloween and wellness events scheduled. “We’re really trying to do a lot of different creative offerings that give locals and the drive market a reason to still travel.”

For both hotels,  it’s a new way of doing business they’re figuring out day by day.

“We’re excited to try it out be flexible because you have to be in these times, we’ll see how it goes.”

Leadership at both hotels say one of the big changes these days is that everything is last minute. Many people aren’t planning as far in advance due to the pandemic so that’s been an adjustment for hotels too which have to balance staffing and budgeting.  

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