Like all local hotels, COVID-19 heavily impacted Shore Hotel in 2020. Beginning in March, Shore Hotel saw its occupancy rates drop to single digits in a matter of days and, by April, was one of only a handful of Santa Monica hotels that continued to operate. “We never contemplated closing, not even temporarily. We are a family-owned small business and we felt we had an obligation to keep our staff employed as long as possible, and I felt a tremendous responsibility to continue serving our community,” said Jon Farzam, Vice President of Shore Hotel.
Further, the unprecedented challenges of 2020 and ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the local community inspired Shore Hotel to extend its reach. “There are so many Santa Monica residents in need, especially now, as a result of COVID-19. Shore Hotel is struggling but we still have to find a way to do more,” said Farzam. “I was born in Santa Monica and our family has conducted business in this community for more than 30 years. We can’t, in good conscience, stand by when our neighbors are suffering from food and housing insecurity and our communities of color are disproportionately being affected by the pandemic.”
In response, Shore Hotel and its sister properties, Ocean View Hotel and Santa Monica Motel, began offering a discounted “Heroes Rate” that provides a much-needed respite for first responders and health care workers who need a staycation or are concerned about exposing their families to COVID-19. Shore Hotel has also made financial contributions and donated hotel stays for auction fundraisers to the Santa Monica Salvation Army as well as to the Pico Youth and Family Center, which directly supports at-risk youth in Santa Monica, many from the Pico Neighborhood.
The Pico Neighborhood is comprised of the city’s most diverse and lowest socioeconomic demographic, and many live below the poverty line. It is home to an abundance of frontline workers who often have an exponentially higher risk of being exposed to and contracting COVID-19. To further support these vulnerable residents, Shore Hotel donated $1,000 to the Virginia Avenue Park Food Pantry, which will feed an estimated 20 families for two weeks, and Shore Hotel is also participating in the Santa Monica Fire Department annual toy drive.
Shore Hotel plans to continue giving back beyond the holiday season. “We are doing whatever we can to help Santa Monica end 2020 on a high note and instill a sense of positivity and optimism for 2021,” Farzam said. “I look forward to finding new ways to continue to support our community. Even though this has been the toughest year for our business and the community at-large, there is always so much for which we can be grateful.”