Jim Inman (Photo: ind.com)
Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start to summer… so what can people expect who plan to travel for the first time in over a year?
The Associated Press is reporting that many vacation spots are still rebuilding staff and finding ways to make experiences enjoyable for guests. The labor shortage in hospitality – including hotels, airlines, restaurants and theme parks – will definitely be noticeable across the country.
Travelers may find that hotel room sheets aren’t changed every day, and some hotels are not even opening all rooms due to the lack of housekeeping staff. Restaurants are looking for employees in all areas – serving, food preparation, dishwashing and more – so diners may experience delays or find limited seating at favorite food stops.
Theme parks are seeing shortages in staff – especially water parks. Lifeguards, ride operators and theme park workers are few and far between.
Rental cars are also a challenge to find as well. Many rental companies sold inventory last year as demand plummeted during the pandemic. The Washington Post reported in early May that more than one out of three rental cars in service before the pandemic are no longer available.
What should you do if you’re traveling? Plan well in advance – and make sure to confirm reservations. Bring paper documentation with you, in case of long lines or computer issues. And patience is crucial – the person working behind the counter isn’t the customer who was late returning a car, or who didn’t get your hotel room ready in time.
Congratulations to the men’s and women’s teams that won the 2021 Little 500 races on Wednesday.
Delta Gamma won the women’s race – its fourth title – after a strong start. The women were in the lead from about the 30-lap mark on the 100-lap race.
The 200-lap men’s race was won by the Jetblach team.
The races were held without spectators, per COVID-19 guidelines.
More congratulations to area high school graduates! Commencement ceremonies for the class of 2021 will be happening in the coming days!