Hotels redefining cleaning, safety standards as they reopen amid pandemic

Posted at 6:54 PM, May 27, 2020

When guests check in to Magnolia Hotel in downtown Denver, they’re greeted by new safety measures and staff cleaning more often.

From social distancing markers on the floor to hand sanitizer at the door ,this is the new norm for hotels operating during a pandemic.

“It’s been very difficult in hospitality with COVID-19,” said Sarah Treadway, president and co-CEO of Stout Street Hospitality and Magnolia Hotels, a hospitality company with hotels across the country which had to lay off 95% of its employees during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Many of our employees have worked for us for more than 30 years,” Treadway said. “So, it’s been devastating.”

It’s devastating both emotionally and financially as coronavirus concerns have closed down thousands of hotels around the world.

“A lot of people are feeling a lot of pain,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

Rogers says about two thirds of all hotels have laid off at least half of their workers. He added that many hotels that closed due to COVID-19 might never reopen.

“In fact, the experts say the industry will not fully recover until 2023,” Rogers said.

To hopefully help expedite that timeline, industry leaders are now focusing on ne­w safety standards.

Marriott International is rolling out a new Commitment to Clean Program which claims to go above and beyond normal protocols.

In Las Vegas, a city with 150,000 hotel rooms, MGM Resorts has started working with medical experts to develop a plan that will allow them to safely welcome guests back.

Back at Magnolia Hotels, their increase attention to details is paying off.

“I’m very proud to say none of our staff members have come down with COVID-19 because of our cleanliness standards from the beginning,” Treadway said.

This extra cleaning, however, comes at a cost. But it’s a price guests say is well worth it.

“I think they’re even stepping beyond what the protocol would ask them to do right now,” one guest said. “I think they’re doing great.”