Updated: July 01, 2020 10:21 PM
Created: July 01, 2020 10:14 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The hotel and service industry has been hit especially hard by this pandemic. To top it off, many of the state’s biggest tourist attractions have been canceled.
Still, one of our state's biggest homegrown hotel chains is slowly starting to reopen Wednesday. Heritage Hotels and Resorts is getting some big names up and running again.
For the first time in months, people are slowly starting to get back to work at Hotel Albuquerque. Signs are going up as employees are getting ready to welcome back guests in a whole new way.
"I think today the things that are factors are masks and gloves, Plexiglas in some cases to protect the guests and associates," said Adrian Perez, President of Heritage Hotels and Resorts. "We're just trying to make it simple, keep things easy for our associates to understand, but we also want to provide the guest with a luxury experience."
Like many other businesses, Hotel Albuquerque has looked vacant since the end of March.
Hotel Albuquerque is just one of 13 Heritage Hotels and Resorts around our state that's been closed during the pandemic.
"It just wasn't economic for us to keep it open with limited capacity and we're really a four diamond hotel company so for us without a restaurant, without a bar, without a pool, without a spa, without room service it really served very little purpose for guests to come to the hotel," said Perez.
Between all the properties, Perez said the company employees about 3,000 people. He said they started their first phase of reopening Wednesday, which let them bring back about 20 percent of their staff.
"I think we're all in survival mode. I don't think there's a business out there, maybe if you're making masks, but other than that, I think most businesses have been brought to their knees because of this pandemic at the end of the day its hurt our families, and our team members. We've had to lay off thousands of people," said Perez.
But Perez said they are resilient. During the time off they've updated policies and practices by requiring staff wear masks and gloves and have their temperature checked at the start of each shift.
They're also catering to guests, both for those who need social interaction and those who don't want it.
"We're allowing the guest to drive that process," said Perez. "If a guest wants us to come in their room and set up room service like we used to do, we'll do that with a mask and gloves. There might be guests who say leave that outside my door I don't want to touch that I want to set that up and we'll let them do that," he said.
Starting Wednesday, six Heritage Hotel and Resort facilities will reopen:
Hotel St. Francis -Santa Fe
Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe
Palacio de Marquesa -Taos
Hilton Garden Inn -Las Cruces
Perez hopes to attract guests with the breathtaking views, spacious patios, all for the much needed staycation. Heritage Hotels and Resorts will reopen more properties on July 15. and the rest will open by August 5.
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