Local hotel closing temporarily to protect guests, employees amid COVID-19 pandemic
KEYSTONE, S.D. — When most hotels should be opening for the tourism season, some will be closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
One hotel general manager was left with the decision whether to close or try to recoup reservations.
Rushmore Express Inn and Family Suites opened in February, preparing for the spring. Last week, General Manager Richard Greene decided the hotel would close during the month of April to protect guests and employees.
“By the end of march, and with a decline in reservations, that there just wasn’t,” Greene said. “It wasn’t worth endangering the lives of our staff or even our guests.”
Greene says management is looking at financial options during this time. He says the small business administration loans are not suited for seasonal employers.
“Seeing that we opened late February and a lot of the payroll forgiveness stuff comes from January and February payrolls, and so we didn’t have anyone on payroll,” Green said. “It kind of effects us a bit.”
Opening of the Rushmore Express is still to be determined. Greene says the town of Keystone has been great working together.
Greene remains optimistic though the future of tourism season and of the hotel is unknown.