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Denver's Oxford Hotel reopens to guests with new precautions

Oxford Hotel during covid-19
Posted at 3:53 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 21:13:25-04

DENVER —The Oxford Hotel opened its doors Friday in Downtown Denver after closing for nearly two months due to a halt in tourism during the pandemic.

The Oxford was built in 1891 and has survived World Wars, the Spanish flu and multiple recessions throughout its history.

Now, it’s reopening after surviving the economic blunt from COVID-19, using new guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

“Our check-in process is virtually hands-free for the associates; there is no pass-back of credit cards and ID’s, we installed different scanners to really minimize that contact between two people,” General Manager Tiffany Owen said.

They already have a busy weekend of bookings.

“We have a lot of leisure travelers coming in, staycations, we have a 50th birthday this evening, (and) also welcoming some newlyweds this evening,” Owen said.

When guests arrive, they will notice glass partitions at the front desk, staff are wearing masks and no more than 10 people are allowed in the lobby at any given time.

Complimentary face masks and gloves await guests in their rooms.

Once a guest leaves, those rooms are being left vacant longer between stays.

Hand sanitizer stations are spread throughout the property and cleaning has been ramped up.

“We have different chemicals we are using, and obviously more frequent cleaning of the more high touch areas of the hotel and the hotel rooms,” Owen said.

The pandemic shut the doors of many hotels across the nation as business was put to a halt to try and mitigate the spread of the deadly respitatory disease.

Hotel stays in Colorado dropped from an occupancy rate of 69% in March of 2019 to 38.8% this March. The Colorado Hotel Lodging Association expects those numbers to be even worse in April.

Oxford Hotel officials say they hope to be back at full staff soon.

“It is going to be a ramp up process, our occupancies are not what they once were, so as we start to see the business increase, we will be bringing back more people,” Owen said.

The Oxford is opening its salon and spa Saturday. They are offering free massages for medical professionals and first responders through June 10.