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ABILITY TO ADAPT: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of employees at the Providence Marriott Downtown plummeted from more than 200 to eight. Susan Colucci, the hotel’s controller, says she had to relearn the systems her staff had been handling, such as accounting, purchasing and human resources as a result. / PBN PHOTO/TRACY JENKINS

Susan Colucci

PBN 2021 Leaders & Achievers Awards Susan Colucci | Controller, Marriott Providence Downtown Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in March 2020, the...
A PATIENT HOST: Erin Umbdenstock held out hope she’d get her job back when she was laid off from the Providence Marriott Downtown when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. It turned out better than that for her. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

Hospitality’s headache: How to attract, keep workers 

Erin Umbdenstock spent her four-month stint of unemployment trying to keep busy. She cooked and cleaned her Coventry apartment and took up several new hobbies....

‘Herculean effort’ needed for local hospitality industry to recover

PROVIDENCE – Farouk Rajab on Thursday said there is “no clear path forward” for economic recovery of his downtown hotel that has been crippled...

R.I. awards 43 direct support grants to large hotels, arts and...

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Commerce Corp. will distribute 43 direct support grants to large arts organizations and hotels that suffered substantial losses due to...

R.I. Hospitality Association distributes blankets, PPE, heaters to restaurants

CRANSTON – The Rhode Island Hospitality Association on Oct. 14 launched its #BYOBlanket campaign to help restaurants in the state extend the outdoor dining...

Providence Marriott Downtown invests $2.5M in energy efficiency

PROVIDENCE – Using a $2.5 million loan through the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank, the Providence Marriott Downtown has installed a new, highly efficient heating,...

UPDATED: R.I. Congressional Manufacturing Summit Postponed

UPDATED March 12: The Rhode Island Manufacturers Association has postponed its congressional summit, due to the increased risk of the virus associated with COVID-19. The...
NEEDED TREATMENT: Susan Benzuly, owner of Evolve Apothecary and Spa in Providence, says selling spa time to customers who are giving the treatments as gifts has become a key part of her business during the holidays. “Self-care is not a luxury; it is a necessity,” she said. / PBN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

‘Intangible’ holiday gifts are big business for spas, hotels

“Give the gift of time.” It’s a sales pitch for a watch, right? Not always. Sometimes the gift of time is actual time – quiet time,...
BRIDGE BUZZ: Bryan Lavin, an assistant professor at Johnson & Wales University’s College of Hospitality Management, says the pedestrian bridge in Providence has been generating positive reviews in the tourism space. / BN PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

R.I. tourism inches toward sustainability as threats from climate change, ‘overtourism’...

About 25 million visitors drive, fly and sail into Rhode Island each year. Mansions, restaurants, theaters and historical sites attract their fair share of...
Bruce Newbury

R.I. high school students hone their hospitality chops at career conference

The Rhode Island Hospitality Education Foundation recently held a Hospitality Student Career Conference for 150 high school students who are currently enrolled in a...

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