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California Hotel & Lodging Association letter to Board of Supervisors

Supervisor Peskin                                                             June 29, 2020

Supervisor Safai

Supervisor Walton 

City Hall

1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place Room 244

San Francisco, Ca. 94102-4689

Dear Supervisors 

On behalf of the more than 200 hotels in San Francisco and 6,000 statewide, we, respectfully, fail to understand the need for the proposed Cleaning and Disease Prevention Standards in Tourist Hotels and Large Commercial Office Buildings. 

San Francisco hotels have worked closely with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Gov. Newsom, the California Department of Public Health and your own county’s public health officer to develop the Hotel Council’s Prevention & Enhanced Cleaning Guidelines that exceed, short of hospitals, the standards of any other industry. On April 30 – almost two months ago – the California Hotel and Lodging Association issued its 10-page Clean + Safe certification guide with customized plans for employee trainings, appropriate signage, regulatory forms and updates. In May, the American Hotel and Lodging Association released its comprehensive Stay Safe program aligning with CDC recommendations and AHLA’s authoritative Advisory Council. 

We adhered strictly to the governor’s guidelines on June 12, when 51 of 58 California counties reopened for tourism. San Francisco, painfully, has not reopened nor does it have immediate plans to do so. We also partnered with Gov. Newsom’s Office of Emergency Service to supply personal protective equipment to San Francisco hotels and those throughout the state. 

We employ tens of thousands of people directly and support hundreds of thousands of other businesses. Because of the San Francisco’s shelter-in-place mandate – now the longest in the state – our hotels and small businesses have had to lay off thousands of workers. This legislation will stop hotels from reopening and keep these hard-working employees unemployed. 

Your so-called Healthy Buildings Ordinance has nothing to do with health or business. It’s a sell-out to politically connected union leadership. The ordinance is not based on CDC recommendations, but on the self-interests of the largest hotel union in the country. It puts labor protections ahead of proven health protections. There is nothing progressive about it. 

The ordinance, drafted by the labor union, is designed to add new positions at every hotel while also supporting the hotel union bosses to legislate the end of incentive programs that allow guests to opt-out of daily cleaning. This is unsafe and harms the environment. The legislation, selfishly, exempts all City, State and Federal buildings. Why are these standards targeting specific industries and not the public buildings where the legislation is being heard? 

San Francisco’s hotel community has been in the forefront of stepping up to respond to the pandemic, housing first responders and our most vulnerable populations. No industry was safer, cleaner or more committed to the health and welfare of visitors and employees. 

Once again, the Board of Supervisors is out-of-touch with the reality hotels and our employees face. Once again, the hotels were not invited to participate in the legislation. And, once again, San Francisco’s over-regulation puts hotels closure to the brink of not surviving. 

This ordinance does little to serve the public good, harms the No. 1 industry in San Francisco, pollutes the environment and further delays the return of more than 25,000 San Francisco hotel employees to work. Please stop this ordinance now and let science, not politics, guide our public health decisions.  


Kevin Carroll

President & CEO

Hotel Council of San Francisco


Lynn S. Mohrfeld

President & CEO

California Hotel and Lodging Association


Chip Rodgers

President & CEO

American Hotel and Lodging Association

Cc:  Board of Supervisors, Mayor London Breed