How to open a resort in a pandemic
How do you open a resort in Muskoka in a pandemic? How do we make it safe for our guests? For our employees? How do we make it financially feasible and show value for the customer? All great questions we asked ourselves at Rocky Crest between March and June.
It started with a plan for golf, maybe the best social activity possible, as it occurs outside and few adjustments are needed to create physical distancing. Then when you sort out the details for enhanced cleaning, traffic flow and a focus on sanitizing frequent touch points and you have a 30 page document of how to ensure golf is safe for everyone, with every possibility considered. A resort operation is even more complicated but using the same template in every department we created a master plan with the same goal of safety for all.
We shared best practices with other resort properties in Ontario, resourced cleaning supplies and best practices for cleaning surfaces, created physical distancing with barriers, footprints on the ground and plexiglass, supplied masks to employees for when distancing was not possible and made sure no one ever came to work when ill. We also cleaned and cleaned some more, every day. There are lots of signs to remind all of us about staying 2 metres apart and not to gather in groups. We even purchased a new Rocky Crest mobile app (to be rolled out shortly) where you can have contactless check in and out, other than picking up keys, with menus and hotel information all available on your smart phone.
Rocky Crest Golf Resort had to change some amenities as well including asking guests to bring their own PFD’s (life jackets) to ensure we didn’t share like in the past, cleaning the non-motorized boats often (and providing cleaning supplies for those guests that wanted to do on their own) provided patio seating in our restaurants without reservations and provided take out for those that wished to take food back to their room. Although our waterpark and Day Camp are closed tennis and basketball are available with your own equipment. We are not currently offering stayover cleaning right now but we needed to create procedures for those guests that needed new linens, towels or extra amenities, and have done so.
We are so proud of our team and thankful to all of our guests who are respecting the rules and expectations of travelling in Ontario during a pandemic. I think we all appreciate each other a little more in the “next normal” we live in.