Wisconsin hotels struggle to find workers after pandemic

GREEN BAY – Wisconsin’s $22 billion tourism industry is hurting for help after thousands of its workers found other jobs when the coronavirus pandemic shut down leisure and business travel.

Hotels, recreation centers, resorts, restaurants, entertainment venues and other businesses have put the ‘help wanted’ signs out for housekeepers, chefs, wait staff, front desk clerks, office managers and sales staff more people prepare to travel as the coronavirus vaccines roll out.

Without enough workers, tourism-related businesses could have to turn down bookings and reservations, stunting their recovery.

“It’s been brutal,” said Bill Elliott, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association. “It’s literally putting hotels in a position of having to cut sales off because they can’t clean all the rooms they need to the following day. It’s really a weird time.”

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