Not home, but safe and comfortable

Among all of the problems the COVID-19 pandemic has created, one of them is the quandary health care workers and first responders have been put in. They work so hard every day to save lives, but in turn risk the lives of their family members when they return home through the possibility of transmitting the virus they may have caught on the job. Some self-isolate in their homes, some live in a tent in the yard, both of which are heartbreaking. Some pay out of their own pockets to book hotel rooms. Las Vegas-based Diamond Resorts, which owns the Vegas properties Polo Towers, Desert Paradise Resort, and Cancun Resort, has been providing first responders, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff free rooms so they can have somewhere comfortable to get some rest.

It is still awful that these people that we count on so much have to stay away from their families, but this at least gives them somewhere they can clean up, relax, and get some decent sleep, while making sure they don’t endanger their loved ones. A home away from home.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that as of Tuesday, Diamond Resorts has given away more than 2,500 complimentary rooms. What’s really nice is that the accommodations are suites, so they have kitchens, full bathroom, and laundry.

When Diamond Resorts originally announced this initiative, it said it had instituted strict safety measures such as contactless check-in and check-out, 72-hour “offline” time between room stays, and extra cleaning efforts. The goal is to keep everyone, both staff and guests, as safe as possible.

“We realized we are in a unique position to provide accommodations that are particularly well-suited for social distancing,” the company said.

The vast majority of Diamond Resorts’ rooms have been vacant for weeks, so it’s not like it is kicking paying guests out to make room for health care workers. Three-quarters of the company’s employees have been furloughed, as well, to help Diamond save money during the pandemic.

Other hotels around the country doing their part

In addition to Diamond Resorts, “at least” 67 properties in Nevada are housing health care workers through the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s Hospitality for Hope program. Across the U.S., as of couple weeks ago, more than 6,500 properties around the United States have participated in the program. The rooms are not always free, but usually at a reduced price, at the very least.

Interestingly, Wynn Resorts offered up housing to Clark County’s Multi-Agency Coordination Center, but Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver told the Review-Journal that his company was told that properties of that size “are not ideally suited for medical housing.”

Caesars has not offered housing simply because it does not have any staff working at its properties.

Lead photo credit: Robert Riley via Flickr

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