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The dramatic decline in reservations for Canal Park hotels

May 29, 2020 06:48AM ● By Editor

The spring and summer months are typically the busiest time of year for hotels in Canal Park.

The coronavirus pandemic says otherwise.

Events like Grandma's Marathon and festivals at Bayfront that drew in thousands of people, also posed a treat to hotel reservations this year.

The Inn on Lake Superior is seeing those declining numbers.

Kim Chick, the Regional Director of Sales for ZMC Hotels says they didn't have any out-of-town guests in March and April.

"Now compared to last year we're about 80 percent down, you know that's a tough number to swallow sometimes," said Chick.

Meanwhile, ZMC Hotels spokespeople said the drop-in guests during the state's Stay-at-Home order forced them to cut nearly 1,000 employees.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel now that the Stay-at-Home order has been lifted.

Chick said, "The uptick has kind of started after the shelter in place ended a couple of weeks ago."

For Jeff Russell a trip to Duluth in the spring is a yearly tradition, and COVID-19 concerns didn't deter him this year.

"We've been doing it for 30 years maybe or more. We love coming up to Duluth," he said.

The warmer weather is also helping attract tourists.

"Every spring around the end of the school year we have a big family vacation that comes up here. My whole mom's side comes and we stay in a hotel," said Nicholas Wood who's visiting from Eau Claire, WI.

For guests when they check-in they'll find hotels like the Inn on Lake Superior have implemented new precautions to keep them safe including sneeze guards and spacing out guests.

"One thing we are doing when we can is after a guest checks out we are leaving that room unoccupied before we even clean it for at least 24 hours. And so that is helping with surfaces," said Chick.

ZMC Hotels said they do plan to bring laid-off workers back.

The next step is to see when and how fast they can bring them back.

To read the original story and see related articles for this link to the CBS 3 Duluth website.

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