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A Life-Saving Match: Residence Inn Finds Opportunity with Traveling Nurses

February 28, 2022 - by Sandy Vo


Category Heart of Bellevue

A Life-Saving Match:
Residence Inn Finds Opportunity with Traveling Nurses

Image courtesy of Residence Inn Bellevue

Throughout the pandemic, hotels in Downtown Bellevue have struggled to stay open and fill rooms. According to Visit Bellevue, the average hotel occupancy in 2020 was only 29.21% compared to 70.36% in 2019. Residence Inn was no exception.

Kate Hudson, director of sales and marketing for Residence Inn, saw the hotel industry change drastically since March 2020. Travel restrictions left Hudson fighting to occupy rooms and keep a staff together. These new and unprecedented challenges pushed her to think creatively.

Seeing how much the medical community endured throughout the pandemic, Hudson was inspired to create a traveling nurse program. She scoured Facebook and sought out traveling nurses looking for a safe and relaxing place to temporarily live.

“This was something we could do to take care of our community and provide a home away from home for traveling nurses,” Hudson said.

Residence Inn by Marriott Bellevue Downtown offers rooms that look more like studio apartments, providing unique amenities such as fully equipped kitchens and spacious suites. They operate as an extended stay hotel, ideal for guests who need a long-term accommodation.

According to Hudson, up to 40 traveling nurses stayed at the Residence Inn since March 2020, contributing to nearly 8,000 overnight stays. The hotel offered lower cost rooms and flexible checkout dates to create a stress-free living environment. Hudson said the support from traveling nurses saved the business.

“If we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t have stayed open,” she said. “They helped gain occupancy for us and provided jobs for our staff.”

Guests enjoying a "safecation" at Bake's Place

The traveling nurse program wasn't the only creative project Hudson launched during the pandemic. In the summer of 2020, Residence Inn partnered with Bake’s Place Bar & Bistro to host a “safecation” for downtown locals. Guests who stayed a night at the hotel received a 15% discount voucher to Bake’s.

“We’re just doing our part to get people back to the heart of Bellevue and explore the area,” Hudson said.

Today, Hudson and her team at Residence Inn continue to work with traveling nurses and are hopeful for the future. She's excited about events coming back to Downtown and especially for the East Link light rail to open next year. 

"It’ll allow for an easy commute to different cities around us, so why not stay in Bellevue," Hudson said. "We’re excited to be part of the growing community and to continue helping those around us."

Contact the Residence Inn at 425-637-8500 for more information on the traveling nurse program.

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.

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Residence Inn by Marriott
605 114th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98004

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