Why now is the time to schedule parking lot maintenance

Properly maintained parking lots will improve guest satisfaction and safety. Photo credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Suthat_Chaitaweesap (parking lot)

With the hospitality industry dealing with so many safety protocol updates and operational shifts during COVID-19, planning for 2021 can be overwhelming for hotel operators. Thinking ahead about safety protocol updates, reviews of compliance with city code, staff training and any hiring needs are all top of mind, but one often overlooked piece of the operational puzzle is making property maintenance appointments ahead of the busy summer season.

Whether it is to conserve long-term operational budgets, to ensure safety for customers or to avoid fines or more costly repairs down the line, scheduling maintenance early in the year—while fewer patrons are on site because of COVID-19—can help make the rest of 2021 run more smoothly.

Budget Planning

The hospitality industry has been ravaged by the pandemic, keeping survival top of mind in 2021. While property operators may react swiftly by cutting expenses, this can create a buildup of unfinished projects down the line.

A great way to hit your budgetary goal for the year and reinvest in your property is through preventive parking lot maintenance. It is cheaper to fill cracks and potholes and seal a parking lot than it is to do a total repave, and these smaller maintenance items extend the life of your lot. Chances are, your parking lot does not need a full repave, and calling around to a few local contractors for estimates will go a long way in maximizing your maintenance budget long-term.

Additionally, properly maintained lots will improve guest satisfaction and safety, both non-negotiables when it comes to retaining reservations during these uncertain times.

Mild Winter Temperatures Can Ruin Your Pavement

It is important to schedule items like parking lot maintenance after the winter months and their fluctuating temperatures and precipitation, especially during milder winters. Temperature swings cause asphalt in parking lots to expand and shrink, leading to more rapid deterioration.

These seemingly minor cracks and potholes can quickly grow and cause unsafe conditions for guests and cause costly repairs later in the year. Being proactive now can save you the headache of scheduling maintenance once reservations are back in full swing as more people begin to travel.

Avoid Fines By Following City Codes

Outdoor walkways and parking lots have to be maintained to a certain level for public access and in accordance with the city code under which the hotel is operating. To avoid warnings or fines, hotel managers should make sure their property is in great shape.

With losses from COVID-19 already constraining budgets, the last thing a hotel manager wants is to be hit by an unexpected fine that could have been proactively avoided. To start, connect with your local city entity to ensure you’re familiar with code, and then identify a local contractor that can help you address any Americans with Disabilities Act, signage, or accessibility needs in your lots.

With these tips in mind, managers will be well equipped to rebound from a year that was one of the hospitality industry's most grueling. With safety at the forefront of guests’ minds, the time to prepare your location is now.

Bob Lester is president and CEO of Dura-Seal.