According to Harris Rosen, president/COO, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, reopening the country to tourism is not very complicated.
“Maybe I have a tendency to oversimplify things,” he said. “But it’s simple. Screen inside, screen outside, and get everyone back to work.”
Recommend spoke to Rosen following a roundtable he hosted last week at Rosen Shingle Creek Resort that included Vice President Mike Pence; Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association; Florida Governor Ron DeSantis; and other tourism leaders.
His company, Rosen Hotels & Resorts, which consists of eight hotels in Orlando, has created a COVID-19 task force that will work in conjunction with its RosenCare program that was established in 1991. Rosen started it as his own self-funded associate healthcare program in response to rising healthcare insurance premiums for employers. The program includes the 12,000-sq.-ft. on-site Rosen Medical Center, with a 60-member staff including full-time doctors and nurses and various ancillary specialists to service the more than 6,000 associates and dependents on the plan.
“Our economy is absolutely devastated. We have to get everyone opened up,” he added.
Rosen is in a more advantageous position than most as he has zero debt. His foray into the hotel industry was a motel that he bought for $20,000, his entire life savings at the time, and grew his company into what it is today.
He continues to pay his associates most of their salaries, spending $6 million a month with seven of his hotels closed.
Right now, he eyes a reopening date of June 10.
“When someone checks out from one of our rooms, it will be cleaned like never before. It is going to be all about sanitizing, sanitizing, sanitizing,” he explains.
Among the new procedures being implemented at all eight properties include cleaning of guest-centric public and back-of-the-house private areas with quick-acting hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectants considered effective by the CDC. In addition, protocols will include:
- Adjusting to ensure social distancing between associates and guests and to limit cross-contact of common items. This includes space capacity limits, furniture rearrangements, queuing floor decals, and other procedures to promote social distancing among guests.
- Posting the CDC’s guidelines on handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes as reminders to guests and associates, while increasing the number of hand sanitizer dispensers that are available and easily accessible throughout the hotels.
- Placing clear protective barriers at the front desk to separate guests and front desk associates.
- Using hospital-grade disinfectants designed to kill viruses when thoroughly sanitizing each guestroom with electrostatic sprayers and to ensure touchpoints and commonly handled items throughout the hotels and guestrooms are more frequently disinfected throughout the day.
- Bed and bath linens are cleaned at the company-owned, computer-controlled, and monitored on-site laundry facility in water temperatures hot enough to kill viruses. The laundering process also uses steam, which further disinfects linens, while virus-eliminating detergents are used. Carts transporting linens from the company’s laundry facility to each hotel will be sanitized with fast-acting disinfectants.
- Screening associates to include temperature checks before each shift. All ill associates will be instructed to remain at home. Associates also have been trained and are frequently reminded on how to assess for symptoms and how to notify management for assistance and guidance.
- Key management will be continuously apprised on the latest developments. Rosen associates, who play an integral part in the efforts, will be regularly briefed on the need for proper and consistent hygiene practices.