Sep 4, 2020

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 448 words, a 2-minute read.

  • If you're able, please enjoy a safe, relaxing holiday weekend.
1 big thing: Hotel crisis hits new milestone

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Labor Day weekend traffic might be a touch lighter this year, with hotel bookings down 65% compared to last year, reports Axios' Erica Pandey.

  • Why it matters: America’s hotels are on life support as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, with hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue and some 2 million jobs at stake.

What’s happening: The pandemic-era travel drought has continued through major holiday weekends like Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day and, now, Labor Day.

  • As a result, the American hotel industry is projected to shrink by 45% in 2020, according to the market research firm Ibis World.
  • Just 16% of Americans plan to travel for Labor Day, 25% for Thanksgiving and 29% for Christmas, per a new report from the American Hotel & Lodging Association. 14% of hotel rooms are booked for this weekend, compared with 41% last year.
  • And even as states around the country begin to reopen, 4 in 10 hotel workers are still on furlough.

The other side: As hotels suffer, Airbnb is doing quite well, Axios' Felix Salmon writes.

  • Work-from-home has turned into work-from-anywhere for America's telecommuters, and vacationers prefer homes they can have to themselves over buildings they have to share with other people.

The bottom line: Travel is starting to creep back from lows earlier in the summer, but it'll be a long time before people feel comfortable checking into hotels again. And it'll be even longer before international tourists start filling up rooms.

2. A Derby unlike any other

Tiz the Law works out at Churchill Downs today. Photo Darron Cummings/AP

No celebrities, crowds, funny hats or bourbon — plus a 4-month delay: The Kentucky Derby will be a bit different when horses finally race tomorrow.

  • “It’s going to be weird,” five-time Derby-winning trainer Bob Baffert told the AP.

P.S. Tiz the Law is the biggest favorite in 31 years at 3-5 odds.

3. Catch up quick
Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals
  1. The U.S. added 1.4 million jobs last month, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.4% from 10.2% in July. Go deeper.
  2. A record 52% of young adults in the U.S. are living with their parents. The previous peak was 48% in 1940. Go deeper.
  3. Law enforcement endorsements: The largest police union in the U.S. endorsed President Trump. Meanwhile, more than 190 law enforcement officials endorsed Joe Biden.
  4. 🎧 Axios Re:Cap hosted World Central Kitchen CEO Nate Mook discussing what needs to happen to address food insecurity when Congress is back in session. Listen here.
4. Domino's thrives during pandemic
Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Domino's Pizza couldn't have timed the roll out of its “Carside” pickup any better, as the pizza/tech company is thriving during the coronavirus pandemic, reports the Wall Street Journal.

  • "Upon arrival, you check in via the Domino’s app on your phone or text message, and an employee deposits the pie in the trunk of your car. You never make contact."

Why it matters: Companies with "touchless transactions, robotics, online commerce or the infrastructure needed to support a decentralized workforce ... are emerging as winners in an economy where customers and workers must avoid contact, offices are empty and travel is limited."

Mike Allen