First, it brought back Cajun tots. And soon, you can book sleepovers at some of McMenamins' iconic properties.
The Pacific Northwest hospitality chain is certainly not rushing to get things back to normal during the coronavirus pandemic. Its slow reopening currently includes one hotel—the Kalama Harbor Lodge in Kalama, Wash.—but it will be joined by a handful of other properties beginning Friday, May 15, including the Crystal Hotel and Kennedy School in Portland as well as Forest Grove's Grand Lodge and Old St. Francis School in Bend.
The relaunch comes just a few weeks after McMenamins turned on the kitchen burners at all 55 of its pubs for to-go orders as well as beer and cider sales. The company laid off nearly 3,000 workers March 17 and closed all but one of its properties.
Don't expect to see every room booked—McMenamins is reopening at reduced capacity to allow customers and staff to maintain 6 feet of distance from one another. Many common areas—theaters, soaking pools, bars and restaurants—will remain closed, most likely into early June. Overnight guests can order limited room service.
Employees at hotels that are welcoming the public back have received specific training to prevent the spread of the virus that covers proper hand-washing techniques and sanitization procedures. They must wear face coverings at all times, but guests at this point are only being encouraged to wear masks.
And for now, leave your McMenamins Passports at home: Sending customers on scavenger hunts through the business's sprawling properties is just too risky during a pandemic, so collecting stamps and prizes is on hold.