The manager of Mojave Resort looks out at his empty pool.
The boutique hotel was expecting to be full for the BNP Paribas Open, but that changed quickly when its postponement was announced Tuesday morning.
“This morning I had about 7 or 8 cancellations, and we were almost sold out,” said Mash Koya, the manager of Mojave Resort.
When the tournament was canceled in March, hotel managers were hopeful the event would be rescheduled.
“We’d love to have something come back because it’s going to be hard to make back two weeks of what that tournament represented,” Joe Alegre, the general manager of Hotel Paseo, said back in March.
Now months later, they’re surprised to be having the same conversations.
“They kept telling us that everything was going to be okay and it was all set. It’s going to impact us quite a bit,” said Koya.
In 2017, the tournament brought in over $400 million to the Coachella Valley, and experts say postponing it can lead to financial challenges.
“There’s a reason why these events happen between January and April, we know that’s our maximum saturation rate for not just tourism but also for seasonal residence and a lot of the folks that support, either in part or in bulk some of these events,” said Josh Bonner, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Coachella Valley Chamber of Commerce.
With a return date up in the air, Josh expects the impact to be long lasting.
“At this point it’s probably safe to say that we’re going to be entering some type of recessionary cycle, especially within the small business community, even though it may not be showing up on Wall Street yet, we can certainly see it on Main Street,” said Bonner.
After a financially uncertain year for so many businesses, including the hospitality industry, Mash is ready for the day he’ll be able to welcome tournament guests back to the hotel.
“Definitely, and also Coachella and all the other events. It’s just going to impact everybody,” said Koya.