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Holiday Inn in Downtown Rochester closes temporarily

Randy Gorbman

The Holiday Inn in downtown Rochester will close temporarily, the result of reaction to the coronavirus outbreak.

Paul Kremp, general manager for that hotel on State Street, says they will close through April 30. He says all business from May 1 and beyond has not been impacted and the hotel is booking all business including events May 1 and after as usual. 

Due to mandates on not holding any gatherings over 10 people and social distancing recommendations, all events scheduled through April 30 had already been canceled.

Kremp said, “This is the most difficult decision I have made in my career - particularly because of the impact it will have on our employees and their families. We have built a wonderful team of employees who love to take care of our guests, which made this decision even more difficult. I have been in hospitality for over 40 years and have never experienced anything like this before. The safety and health of our guests and employees are our number one concern and we look forward to getting back to some semblance of normal in the near future.”

“In March and April, the hotel received thousands of dollars of cancellations impacting hotel rooms and catering events. We have made the decision to temporarily close until May 1, 2020 in order to better serve our guests into the future. We have informed VisitRochester of our ability to re-open for healthcare or other medical agencies needing bed space or other emergency needs if requested."

Almost all staff at the 217-room hotel have been laid off. Staffers are being encouraged to apply for unemployment.

Kremp said the hotel had added staff and had been taking extra measures including enhanced cleaning and sanitation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. No guests are currently in the hotel. And there were no known cases of the coronavirus among staff or guests.

He also noted that occupancy throughout the hotel industry has been declining due to increased travel restrictions and rising health concerns. The Holiday Inn’s hotel restaurant closed earlier this week in accordance with health department recommendations to eliminate dining in.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.