Small Hotels

There are many challenges to managing your small hotel during good times, but additional challenges during the pandemic need even more careful planning, oversight and management. It is important to understand the COVID-19 requirements that may still apply to your industry, suggested best practices, and resources available to help you.

Small “boutique” hotels in Nevada generally offer 10 to 100 rooms.

COVID 19 Requirements

Nevada’s Roadmap to Recovery lays out a requirements for businesses with specific capacity limits and other requirements. Starting May 1st, 2021, the state transitioned to local authority for setting specific requirements by business types. Visit the Nevada Health Response website for the latest updates on COVID-19 Guidelines in Nevada.

Refer to the Nevada Hotel and Lodging Association website and the Stay Safe information from the American Hotel and Lodging Association for more industry specific information.

Industry Best Practices

Some general best practices and tips that may help you comply with guidelines and help your customers and employees feel safe include: 

  • Require customers and employees to wear face masks
  • Social Distance
    • Post social distancing signage and disinfect high-contact surfaces
    • Install plexiglass/clear acrylic panels or barriers between the customer and cashiers
    • Alternate end-of-day shift changes for social distancing
    • Use every other workstation at the front desk to encourage social distancing between employees
    • Emphasize self-parking options and eliminate valet service
    • Require guests to wear face coverings throughout public spaces in the hotel; provide masks for those not arriving with their own
    • Replace traditional room service with a no-contact delivery method
    • Housekeeping should not enter a guest room during a stay unless specifically requested, or approved, by the guest, or to comply with established safety protocols
    • If there is a pool or jacuzzi, limit the number of people allowed & remove toys and equipment
      • Have a signup sheet and have the guest sign up for available times
      • Place any seating at least six feet apart
      • Require guests to wear face coverings except in pools or when social distancing is not possible
  • Innovate
    • Install and use a touch-less, non-signature payment system
    • Have customers pay through an app on their phones
    • Rethink food prep and serving:
      • Consider limiting traditional buffet service – if offered, it should be served by an attendant wearing PPE and utensils should be washed and changed more frequently
      • Portion controls should be encouraged to reduce food exposed for long periods
      • Install sneeze and cough screens at food displays.
      • Minimal items should be placed on guest tables to allow for effective disinfection in between each guest, including condiments, silverware, etc.
      • Consider using prepackaged foods and ‘grab & go’ items
  • Cleaning
    • Have hand sanitizer and sanitizing stations and products readily available for employees and customers
    • Wash as much of the linen that comes in contact with guests. Items that cannot be easily washed, like comforters and pillows, should be enclosed in coverings that are washed after each guest
    • Use cleaning products that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) – this list of products can be found on the EPA website here: List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2

Business Basics

Business basics are more important than ever. Evaluate your profit and loss statement. Look for ways to reduce operating costs. Analyze your cash flow and breakeven to evaluate the impacts of guidelines and best practices on your operations. As Nevada’s COVID-19 measures evolve you may need to continually adjust your operations. Here are a few things to think about: 

  • Get Help
    • Contact a business development counselor at the Nevada SBDC by calling 800.240.7094 – we can help you assess your operations and decide on best strategies for your business
    • For questions about cleaning and disinfecting, strategies to control new waste streams, advice on green hotel options, or other environmental questions, contact an environmental business advisor at BEP at 800.882.3233
  • Communicate
    • Keep communicating with your customers on social media and your website with announcements about your current hours, make sure they know you are not shut down for good.
    • Be open about the measures you are taking to meet guidelines; consider signage at your entrance so customers can be aware of the steps you are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to meet new industry guidelines
  • Expand Services
    • Offer incentives for discounted or free stays, meals, or activities
    • Consider additional benefits such as upgraded rooms
    • Offer gift cards
  • Potential Cost-Saving Measures
  • Creative Marketing
    • Update or redesign your website; make sure it is mobile friendly
    • Create a following on social media and keep in touch with guests
    • Use micro social media and focus more on the immediate neighborhood in order to bring in local guests
    • Advertise through local homeowner associations and apartment and condo complexes
      • Supply homeowners associations, apartment complexes, and condos with special promotional codes to help drive business
    • Place ads in the local visitors center