BATH COUNTY, Va. – Despite signs of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic, the tourism industry is still being hit hard, forcing the Omni Homestead Resort in Bath County to scale back its operations.
Though guests are checking out, no one is checking in at the Homestead.
As of Monday, the resort is only open Thursday through Sunday through at least the end of January.
“COVID-19 has definitely had a devastating impact on our resort, on Omni hotels and resorts and on our industry as a whole. It has been very difficult for all of us,” said Lynn Swann, the director of marketing for the resort.
Swann said business always slows down this time of year, but with the pandemic driving a lack of group business and travel overall‚ they couldn’t afford for things to slow down much more.
“Our goals are to operate our business in an efficient manner, to manage our cash flow, just as every other impacted business has to do but above all, to protect the safety and the health of our guests and our associates,” Swann said.
It’s tough news not just for travelers but also for the many workers of Bath County’s largest employer, whose hours are now cut too.
“We have a very significant economic impact on the county in this region and so we don’t make these decisions lightly,” Swann said.
It’s not yet clear what operations will look like beyond January, but Swann said the Homestead’s long-term viability is top of mind.
“We know that this resort, it’s more than just a hotel. This has a very special and a very deep connection with a lot of our guests over the years and we want to be able to continue that for many, many years to come,” Swann said.