A key downtown Rochester hotel that closed because of the pandemic has reopened.
The Hyatt Regency temporarily closed in the fall, partly due to lack of conventions which was impacted by the pandemic.
The hotel operators said in January they would push their reopening date from February to late March, but they changed their decision and had a 'soft' reopening earlier this week with guests in rooms and their in-house restaurant, according to hotel general manager Jason Fulton.
He says the Hyatt is already booking reservations and expects some leisure travelers this summer, but it may take longer for convention business to rebound.
"We know that we’ll see conventions in the late fall, early winter season, but not expecting too much convention-wise in the summer, mostly leisure travelers." Fulton said. "People who are now remotely working, that can travel with their families and still work on the road, we’ll see a lot of that this summer."
Fulton is glad the Hyatt is booking rooms again, noting that it’s a mainstay of the downtown hotel scene.
"We certainly wanted to get the Hyatt open…it’s kind of a cornerstone of downtown and if we can lead the way by opening the hotel sooner than later, we expect that other businesses will follow," Fulton said.
For right now, the Hyatt will just use about half of their 341 rooms to better manage the property during the pandemic. Fulton said they have brought back about 45 of the 120 employees who had been furloughed. He hopes to bring more employees back to work as business picks up.