by Margo Christensen, Ponderosa Hotel Management Services, LLC
As we are close to the one-year mark of the emergence of COVID-19, there are hardly words to describe the financial devastation to so many business, especially those related to travel and hospitality.
Hotels, conference centers and restaurants that, in large part, rely heavily on groups were forced to reduce occupancies or close entirely amid egregious government mandates. Here in Prescott, we began to see some groups and tournaments returning in the summer and fall of 2020, but meetings were few and far between.
Rounding the corner now in 2021, there are signs that people need and want to get back to normal including meeting in person with new safety measures in place.
During several months in 2020, SpringHill Suites by Marriott in downtown Prescott underwent an extensive renovation completed in October. Nearly every surface inside and out was touched including the meeting space and business areas.
In normal times the meeting room would seat approximately 50 people, depending on the style of setup. Currently we are electing to reduce meetings to 24 attendees maximum (banquet, classroom or theater setup). We offer complimentary wireless internet and projector, screen, podium and microphone at a nominal cost.
The business center next to the meeting room offers plenty of comfortable seating for breaks and computers, printers and a touch screen S-Canvas, which holds a large collection of information about local area restaurants, attractions, airline schedules and weather.
Cleaning, sanitation and social distancing procedures are very strict, and masks are required in all public spaces. Once attendees are seated and the door is closed, we leave it up to the person in charge of the event to decide if masks can be removed.
We are optimistic that very soon we can return to normal with the more in-person connections people are craving. We hope that you will think of SpringHill Suites by Marriott for your next small social gathering or corporate meeting.
Social distancing guidelines in place to ensure guests’ safety • Photo by Christopher Marchetti Photography