Would you consider booking a vacation just a few miles from your home?
Well, that's what some stir-crazy Angelenos are doing, and with hotels offering exclusive deals just for locals, there's no better time to spend the weekend relaxing and exploring across town.
Hotel Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles offers a relaxing environment that will make Angelenos feel like they are on vacation. One couple from West Hollywood visited the hotel with their daughter.
"My husband and I wanted to get away for a weekend without having to fly anywhere or drive too far away, so we booked a room in downtown L.A. because the vibe is so different here compared to West Hollywood," guest Thomas Desage said.
Workers at Hotel Figueroa say they have become an epicenter for local staycations.
"People may have had vacations planned elsewhere, and instead of traveling far away, they want to support local spots, and they come to our hotel to still feel like they're transported somewhere new and to have that experience," said Connie Wang, managing director or Hotel Figueroa. "They get to reset, relax, indulge in some wellness for themselves by the pool. They get to do some pilates, and have all of the features of feeling like getting away for a vacation while just being a short drive away."
The history of Hotel Figueroa inspired its workers to get creative during the coronavirus pandemic.
"I look back at our founders, and when they started the hotel in 1926, they made the hotel a safe haven for the community," Wang said. "We looked back to that time as inspiration and kept the hotel open to serve first responders and essential workers when the pandemic first hit. Then, at the beginning of June was when we started welcoming back our regular leisure clientele. Now, if you travel to our hotel, the majority of our guests are from Los Angeles who are here just to enjoy our city."
Over the last five to 10 years, travel and tourism have become the third-largest employer in L.A. County.
"I think it's been devastating about the pandemic, is our sector was hit first, and it was hit hard. Sadly, over the last six months, we have seen one of three people in the leisure and hospitality secure lose their jobs during the pandemic," said Adam Burke, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
Four months ago, there was a plan for a staycation initiative, but it was not safe to launch it at the time, Burke explained.
"Two things had to happen before we decided to move forward with the initiative. One, we saw that from an L.A. County health perspective, the case counts had come down to a point where people felt that it was safe to start getting out and exploring their backyard again. The second thing is, we looked closely at consumer sentiment, finding out if Angelenos were ready to start getting out and about. So, even though we had this program developed, we didn't launch it until we saw that people were already starting to get out and explore their neighborhood, and even those neighborhoods in L.A. that they haven't before," Burke added.
L.A. Tourism launched a new initiative called L.A. Love, which is an effort to stimulate the local economy.
"With L.A. Love, we have over 100 special offers that people can take advantage of from now to the end of the year," Burke said. "If every Angeleno who is currently employed [were] to visit three local attractions, support three local restaurants, one three-night staycation would help us recover 21,000 jobs in L.A. County. And it would infuse another $1.4 billion back into our local businesses."
If you could use a staycation, it's worth checking whether hotels near you offer reduced rates or extra perks. For more information, visit the Discover Los Angeles website.