Resorts and Hotels Welcoming Guests Back
Resort and hotels are allowed to welcome guests back! I think it is safe to say the times we are living through are unprecedented. Initially, the Governor’s office issued the “Stay at Home” order which did not allow people to travel outside of their home area for recreation or lodging. The week of April 20th, some additional details were released allowing very slowly and methodically certain segments to start opening again with restrictions and precautions in place. The resort and lodges throughout Minnesota were one of those segments and now can welcome guests back.
With the sturgeon bite in full swing and the Minnesota fishing opener Saturday, May 9th with a strong population of walleyes and saugers, timing was welcomed by resorts and anglers alike.
The Rainy River has been showing off the great sturgeon population it has living in it’s waters. Anglers have been catching good numbers of lake sturgeon all spring. They also have been catching some nice walleyes while fishing for sturgeon.
As resorts and hotels start opening again, they have implemented a variety of safety precautions. Many believe, if both businesses and guests do their due diligence, the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in a responsible manner is readily available.
Here are just a handful of changes resorts and hotels have implemented for this year’s fishing season.
Specialized cleaning and disinfecting. Lodging industry associations have done a nice job of sharing best practices known throughout the world in cleaning and disinfecting for COVID – 19. Consequently, properties around the lake have implemented new cleaning standards to ensure guests are entering safe environments in their cabin or hotel room. In some cases, this demands more time, different cleaning agents, additional laundering and just a different way of doing things to provide sterile conditions.
For some, this means public areas are cleaned, in many cases, numerous times throughout the day. Some resorts are taking special measures to clean rental, guide and charter boats, rods and reels, nets, bait containers, fish cleaning areas and other surfaces used in a day of fishing that people could be touching when charters and guided fishing are rolling again.
Remote Check In and Communication. Measures have been taken for social distancing as well as simply eliminating human to human contact when possible. Many resorts are doing check-ins and other communication via email or over the phone. That might include taking payment, discussing fish patterns, when and where to meet your guide or charter, etc.
In many cases, guests don’t even need to enter the lobby, but rather continue right to their room or cabin that staff has unlocked and ready.
Altering check in areas and flow. For some resorts, changing the way people flow into and through the resort for check-ins has been altered. Making sure there are only a couple of people at a time in the office and eliminating the need for guests to be in small confined areas together are just a couple of the tweaks resorts have changed as of recent.
Meal Plans. Meal prep has taken on a different look with kitchen facilities and employees implementing precautions in meal prep and distribution. Depending upon when the rules for eating in a restaurant or bar are allowed, resorts with meal plans are adapting nicely with pick up and in some cases, delivery available. Some resorts are taking orders over the phone and allowing pick up in the lobby or actually delivering meals to your room or cabin. Again, each property is different so it is good to check ahead, but for many, it is reassuring to know there are options that allow for relaxation, a variety of good food while minimizing exposure.
Social Distancing in Fish Cleaning Houses. Fish cleaning houses are a staple at The Walleye Capital of the World. Depending upon the size of each fish cleaning area, resorts / hotels are implementing social distancing guidelines to keep anglers apart. In addition, they are working hard on new COVID – 19 cleaning protocols within the fish cleaning areas.
As some things are very different, some things will remain the same. The Minnesota fishing opener will be happening again up at Lake of the Woods as it has for generations. Walleyes, fish frys and memories.
We encourage anglers to communicate with the resort and hotel you are staying at ahead of time and do everything possible to be safe. See ya on the water!