Noon approached as Ken Kruger pulled his cart down the darkened hallway of the empty hotel. After checking a map, he entered room 1207 to close the blinds and shut off the lamp. Then he rechecked his homemade map for his next stop in the DoubleTree Hotel (shown below) in Crystal City, on busy freeway 395 connecting Washington D.C. and northern Virginia.
Kruger moves quickly, doing a highly visible part of his job. He creates a design displayed by windows on the hotel's north tower.
First there was a giant heart. And then the word HOPE, followed last month by LOVE. Hotel workers hope the messages will inspire people, however briefly, in a region still reeling from the pandemic. "This next room we'll leave open," says Kruger as he works his way down the hallway consulting a color-coded map along the way. "All right, 12's done!" he said. "Only nine more floors."