FLORENCE, Ala. — If you were looking to book a room at the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa this weekend you’re out of luck. They are completely booked and have been for most weekends since Memorial Day.
Hotel management said as vacations were canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, locals turned to “staycations.” But it took some time for business to pick back up, resulting in some furloughs.
“We had a lot of cancelations and it was very eerie at times without a lot of transient business—guests in the hotel,” Selena Miller, Director of Sales and Marketing said.
Miller said the local hotel team as well as the corporate office worked together to formulate plans and projects to get through the pandemic.
“Our cleanliness standards have completely changed so we’re doing, in the conference center, the way we clean the conference center, between meetings, between guests coming in, our sleeping rooms, our public space,” Miller said.
Once Memorial Day came along, Miller said the hotel began to see an increase in the number of guests.
“Because we have this fantastic pool, guests were looking for just a place to get away and so they were coming to the hotel and staying and enjoying the pool because once the governor allowed us to open the pool that was huge,” Miller said.
The increase in guests also meant the return of a full staff.
The hotel may be operating a little differently because of the pandemic, but the gradual return to normalcy is offering hope for the future.
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