Hotels up and down Southwest Florida are offering incentives to people hoping they’ll spend a night or two at their establishments. Like so many other businesses, hotels are weighing the cost of opening up or staying closed, at least until the economy is a little more predictable.
We visited The Inn on 5th in Naples, where they made the decision to welcome guests again Friday.
Owner Philip McCabe walked the halls of his beloved hotel for the first time in nearly five weeks
“Walking through the hotel today is like something out of a movie,” McCabe said. “Nobody’s here. It’s completely closed.”
And while McCabe is ready to reopen The Inn on 5th, he’s bracing for what it’s going to cost him.
“The demand is just not there” McCabe said. “In fact, I was still debating with my staff and my sales department as to whether I should open or not because we’ll lose more money opening, believe it or not, than keeping it closed.”
So McCabe and his staff are busy, making sure any guest who comes feels “welcome,” “safe” and “satisfied.”
That means ensuring social distancing.
“Separating the pool area as far as seating,” McCabe said.
They’ve even placed these signs in all guest areas at The Inn on 5th, asking that elevators be limited to two people unless you’re traveling together.
“Credit cards, we won’t handle,” McCabe said.
Like many other hotels, The Inn on 5th is offering specials for Florida residents, families looking to have a reunion and reduced rates for Memorial Day weekend. And they will tell guests that all meals prepared by the staff will be individually sealed to limit contact from the kitchen to a guest’s room.
“How long is it gonna go for?” McCabe said. “We just don’t know.”
McCabe hopes not for long because he already knows The Inn on 5th, a popular Memorial Day destination, won’t see as much traffic this year.
“We’d be lucky if we could get thirty to forty-percent occupancy,” McCabe said.
That leaves 70 to 75 rooms empty during the traditional start to summer.