Imagine you’re a California hotelier, with multiple properties in a direct line of fire – literally.

Alan Barmaper of Barmaper & Associates is living this nightmare, with a portfolio of luxury, boutique properties spread across northern California, many surrounded by smoke and in the path of the dangerous flames. “We are staycation hotels…and we have a 70% cancellation rate just due to smoke…because you can’t go outside…it rains ash everyday,” said Barmaper.

The unpredictability of the situation makes it difficult to predict when conditions will improve, or plan for the future. Even with the pandemic, local hotels have remained open for the staycation crowds, but now the smoke and fire are keeping people away.  “The winds are very unpredictable, they can change on a moment’s notice,” says Barmaper, “The fires in the canyons create their own wind patterns, making it very difficult to predict where the fires will go next.”

Barmaper says there are over 17,000 personnel battling these fires, and they’ve been at it for over a month straight.

The smoke and fires are not just affecting the west coast. The smoke from Seattle has blown into Wyoming and Montana, causing problems for properties there as well. “I’ve been in this industry for 23 years, and I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Barmaper.