By Colleen Sparks
North Central resorts are rolling out the red carpet for guests this summer as they aim to recover from a huge drop in visits earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Resorts in North Central and around the state, along with many other businesses, suffered huge decreases in traffic before the COVID-19 vaccines became widely available. They are offering deals on visits and dining this summer while promoting their luxurious swimming pools, spas, rooms and other amenities.
“I will say definitively this has been the greatest crisis to hit our industry ever,” said Kim Sabow, president and CEO of the Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association (AzLTA). “It’s wiped out 10 years of job growth and I don’t think there is a business within this industry that hasn’t felt deep, deep painful impacts.”
The AzLTA launched an AZSAFE+CLEAN certification, in collaboration with the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Safe Stay initiative, to enhance sanitation best practices to try to ensure healthy, safe visits to hotels, resorts and other lodging venues.
Since the state has done a “great job” providing the COVID-19 vaccines and it has “beautiful, world-class resorts,” Sabow said leisure travel in Arizona has increased in recent months.
Jeff Lesker, general manager of the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort at 11111 N. Seventh St., said starting in the third week of March of 2020 the resort saw cancellations of about 95 percent of all visits. The resort closed by the end of March and reopened June 1 of 2020.
“We think we’re going to be very robust and have one of our best summers ever,” Lesker said.
Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs is offering summer packages, including the “Suite Savings,” which gives guests a $50 daily dining credit and waives the resort fee through Sept. 30. To learn more, visit https://www.tapatiocliffshilton.com/specials-packages.
The Hilton Phoenix Resort at the Peak at 7677 N. 16th St. also is offering many summer specials. Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Colorado residents can receive up to 15 percent off the best available rates this summer. For details, visit www.hiltonphoenixresortatthepeak.com.
The Hermosa Inn, which offers luxury guest casitas at 5532 N. Palo Cristi Road, closed for three months when the stay-at-home order was in effect but reopened about a year ago.
“We are very, very busy,” said Pam Swartz, director of guest experience for The Hermosa Inn. “I think people are really ready to get out and start enjoying everything again.”
The Hermosa Inn also is providing many specials, including the “Summer In Paradise Getaway” deal, available through Sept. 30, which provides weekday rates starting at $169 and weekend rates beginning at $189, plus the tax and resort fee. Two drink tickets per room, a $25 daily food and beverage credit and daily poolside treats are included. To learn more, visit www.hermosainn.com.
The Arizona Biltmore, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, which closed in late March 2020 due to the pandemic, used the down time to complete a $70-million-dollar renovation and reopened May 1 of this year. The newly remodeled resort, located at 2400 E. Missouri Ave., is offering several deals this summer, including a “Summer to Remember” package, in which guests receive a $100 daily resort credit when they book a room. To learn more, visit www.arizonabiltmore.com.