Hotels feeling COVID-19 pinch

A man in a pink suit and blue vest sits behind a bar, as a woman in the background in plaid pours a drink from the bar tap.
Casablanca Inn general manager Murray Latham, front desk agent Rebecca Palleschi and staff have implemented a stringent series of new cleaning practices.

By Mike Williscraft

Virtually every person and business is feeling the pinch from COVID-19’s impact and the hotel sector is no different.

Both the Casablanca Inn and Super 8 Grimsby are among those who have seen reservations plummet.

Not that it would ever be a good time, but Casablanca general manager Murray Latham said the pandemic could not have been worse timed.

“The hotel was making great strides back into the marketplace and was on pace for their best quarter in years,” said Latham.

With their food and beverage service being closed March 10, it also came with a $65,000 loss in bookings.

“We are not closing.We are going to muscle through like a lot of other people,” said Latham, who added free continental breakfast is served to guests daily and coffee/tea are available at the front desk.

He noted, a host of new cleaning practices have been implemented throughout the property – among them, the doors are all locked to avoid transient traffic, such as travellers looking for a washroom break.

For Super 8 general manager Meg Yoder, the cancellation of sports seasons has taken a toll.

“We lost a lot of bookings when some tournaments in town were cancelled,” said Yoder.

“The number one question we get when people call now is, ‘Are you open?’”

Corporate bookings have remained steady and Yoder, like Latham, praised her staff.

“I would just like my staff to know how much I appreciate them coming to work every day and sticking this out,” said Yoder, who noted if any area residents require a room to create some space in their homes with everyone home, call her and a “special rate” can be negotiated, 905-309-8800.

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