Next Normal: Operating a boutique hotel during COVID-19 pandemic

Next Normal: Operating a boutique hotel during COVID-19 pandemic

JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - These days it’s hard to make the decision to do a little traveling and maybe spend the night somewhere, but independent boutique hotels are doing their best to make a stay as safe as possible.

WEBXTRA: Operating a boutique hotel during COVID-19 pandemic

KLTV speaks with a Jefferson hotel manager about what they are doing in the Next Normal.

If you’ve been to a town like Jefferson you know there are privately owned places to stay the night, and Nancy Canson runs one of them: The Excelsior House Hotel.

“We’re doing okay. We’re wearing masks, and our guests are wearing masks in the lobby and the common areas,” she said.

Of course in the rooms guests are welcome to remove their masks and get comfortable.

“We have been filling up on the weekends, pretty much. Not entirely, we’re trying to keep it at 75 percent,” Canson said.

But that helps their business quite a bit since they, like other Jefferson hotels, had to:

“Shelter in place during the last three weeks of March, all of April and the first two weeks of May,” Canson said.

But they’ve been back open for over two months now, which has kept them from going under. There is a lot of sanitizing happening when guests leave.

“Cleanliness is a critical part of a hotel anyway,” Canson said.

They’re much more vigilant about it now, although when they first opened back up they felt like:

“Hey everything’s normal, and it wasn’t. So now I think the travelers here; they’re coming from all over,” Canson said

So they are addressing that.

“We still have to be cautious about who’s coming to Jefferson,” Canson said.

As do all hotels, although this one is a little different since the Excelsior House has been around:

“A hundred and sixty two years so it will survive this,” Canson said.

And she feels she’s right. The hotel did survive a lightning strike on July 22, and has already been through one pandemic back in 1918, so once before it dealt with, and survived, the Next Normal.

The additional cleaning expenses and a recent remodel just prior to the pandemic have caused the Excelsior House Hotel to raise the nightly rates.

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