Mass. Announces Guidelines for Hotels to Reopen

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Those looking for a change of scenery after being cooped up at home will soon be able to check into hotels. But your next stay will look a lot different.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced new guidelines for the lodging industry on Friday. The rules for when they are allowed to reopen in phase two will include social distancing and santization protcols. Hotels are also encouraged to keep rooms vacant for 24 hours between stays if possible.

NBC10 Boston spoke to two hotel groups ahead of the guidelines being announced. Both were already getting a jumpstart on implementing the changes.

Lark Hotels has several properties in New England, including Plum Island and Provincetown. There is no date yet for when their Massachsuetts properties will reopen, but one in Maine and one in Vermont are set to open next month.

"We've shifted from telling people we have 1,000-thread-count sheets to telling them what kind of chemicals we have to clean the rooms," Lark Hotels founder and president Rob Blood said.

Blood said extensive cleaning is just the beginning. The check-in process will be contactless and housekeeping will stay out of your room during your stay unless requested. Masks will also be required when guests are outside their rooms.

"A lot of rethinking has to happen, for sure," Blood said.

At Red Jacket Resorts on Cape Cod, they are already posting videos on social media of what they call their "clean team."

"We're kind of telling people, 'When you're ready, we're going to be ready,'" said Matt Pitta, Red Jacket Resorts' director of communications.

Before the state released guidelines, they submitted a 40-page plan with ideas for protocols. Among them were rules for common areas, like calling ahead to reserve pool time.

"So that we don't have a rush first thing in the morning when everyone is trying to crowd into the pool at the same time," Pitta explained.

With an emphasis on remote working and many hotels starting with in-state guests first, owners hope to see a boost in regional tourism.

"Why not work on the Vineyard? Why not work on Nantucket? All of the sudden, my Zoom background is a beautiful beach," Blood said.

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