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Boutique Hotel Professionals CEO, Paul Wegert, CHA, testified yesterday before Michigan's Senate Regulatory Reform Committee on behalf of the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association regarding current COVID restrictions placed on meeting and events space in Michigan.
Committee hearings are held at the Capital Building Lansing and broadcasted live for public viewing. The intention of Wegert's testimony was to help educate the Senators on facts regarding the current restrictions placed on meeting and event space and how detrimental it has been for hospitality businesses.
Wegert points out the difference in restrictions for restaurants versus meeting and event space, making a strong case that weddings and events can safely re-open to 50% capacity. Photos presented during his testimony included a ballroom located at The Inn at St. John's (above) configured to accommodate the current Michigan COVID maximum limit 25 people per ballroom regardless of size. He makes the comparison between restaurants with 25% capacity and the essentially empty ballrooms. Additionally he points out safety protocols that are well-established within the meeting and event industry (and have been for years) that would enable quick and efficient dissemination of information regarding any guest's potential COVID exposure.
Currently Michigan businesses are losing both weddings and events (both immediate and future bookings) to neighboring States that have eased their COVID restrictions. This has in turn had a negative impact on the Michigan's tax revenue as well.
Watch Wegert's testimony starting at the 59 minute mark: