“After hitting rock bottom, we finally appear to be turning the corner. At this rate, by the end of May we may even break even for the month, for the first time since March last year,” says Pol. He and his two partners own Hostal Live Barcelona, a small two-floor hostel in the center of Barcelona that was closed for 12 months, from March 2020 through February 2021.
“We have no idea when, if ever, we’ll be able to rent the rooms at the sort of prices we were charging in 2018. But for now at least the worst appears to be behind us — barring another cataclysm,” he said.
It was touch and go for a while. The only reason Hostal Live is still a going concern is that Pol and his two partners had capital to draw upon when the virus crisis hit. That capital was supposed to be used to expand the business. Instead much of it was used to keep the business alive:
“As our bank manager told is in March, the only reason we qualified for an emergency loan is that we had no debt on our books and we had savings backing us up, which we had planned to spend on buying another hostel,” he said. “We may still have that opportunity at some point further down the line. For the moment we are counting our blessings; many of our competitors didn’t make it this far.”