After more than two months of self-isolation for New Yorkers, everyone is overdue for a break (especially from their houses). With the phases of reopening continuing, many private hotels are opening their doors once again. Here are two places where you can relax and enjoy nature in the Hudson Valley this summer.
On June 15, Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz started accepting guests again. Until the introduction of a vaccine or some other relief, Mohonk will only host overnight guests.
“Density is one of the main factors if you look at the most numbers. We’re, by choice not by mandate, opening at a reduced capacity,” details Eric Gullickson, the president of Mohonk Mountain House. “Typically, in the high season in late-June and July, we get up to over 600 guests on any given night. We’re going to be reducing that number by half this season.”
Along with reduced capacity, Mohonk is enacting mandatory wellness checks before entering the property, required usage of masks, and social distancing. Its safety plan adheres to county and state regulations, along with additional precautions that are being used throughout the hospitality industry. As a part of the board of the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s reserve committee and a member of the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association, Gullickson recounts the constant communication and sharing of industry best practices throughout the pandemic.
“The hospitality industry is very collaborative. We used a lot of information from partners in industry, with support from the state and county,” describes Gullickson. “We built it not just to use it as our propriety guide, but also to share our update procedures with other industry partners and businesses in Hudson Valley.”
For those of you longing for some of Mohonk’s culinary offerings, the restaurant has transformed into a “marketplace,” which consists of food in to-go containers for dining on one of Mohonk’s three outdoor porches.
“Cuisine is such a big part of Mohonk — we’ve built and designed an inspiring dining experience,” says Gullickson. “It’ll be very romantic, looking over the lake and the Catskills, and listening to live music. We wanted to respond to the restrictive circumstances with a unique and fantastic experiences for our guests.”
Further upstate, Pine Ridge Dude Ranch in Kerhonkson anticipates a July 1 reopening. Like Mohonk, Pine Ridge adapts its venue to meet the county and state’s safety standards and regulations. Michael Offner, the owner and operator of Pine Ridge Dude Ranch, compares Pine Ridge’s reopening to its 2018 opening, but with reduced capacity and COVID-specific guidelines. Some of these new procedures include the implementation of masks and gloves, 10 times the amount of hand-sanitizing stations all over the property, a half-capacity dining room, a reduced guest count, a streamlined check-in process, and more.
“We’ve got a 20-page response plan, with new policies and procedures to keep everyone safe,” reveals Offner. “Also, Pine Ridge is a big property so everyone will be able to spread out well.”
Offner sees the reopening as a great opportunity for people to show up for their community while also having much-needed fun.
“It’s really important for everybody, myself included, to support their favorite local businesses after this tough time,” Offner says.