As we negotiate through these very trying times, we are tasked with setting our planned protocol for re-opening Northern Rail. Some things will be different and some things won't. We are required to have a plan with procedures in place for social distancing and for following Minnesota Department of Health guidelines for lodging.
So here is what has and hasn't changed.
What's the Same (sort of):
- Rooms are cleaned and disinfected to the required standards (every surface, every time) [No Change]
- Our rooms are comfortable [Yep, still comfy!]
- Campfires will be offered on Friday and Saturday evenings during the summer (seating will be limited; bring your own snacks and roasting sticks) [We are working on revising when and where we have fires but we are back to providing s'mores fixings when we have a fire 😊]
- Breakfast is available though different standards are put in place - See below for more information [We have returned to our tradition continental "heat and eat" breakfast - yay!]
- Decorative pillows, bedspreads and extra throw blankets have been removed [Still gone and not sure about bringing them back - most of the bedspreads are tapestry and brocade fabrics that are dryclean only and as such did not get cleaned as often as they should have been.]
- An extra set of regular bed pillows have been added [Staying]
- Room decor won't be as coordinated [This is an unfortunate side effect of the new bed making style]
- Multiple night stayover service is suspended - See below for more information [We have resumed service however, as always, you may use your privacy sign if you prefer not having anyone enter your room]
- Lobby usage is limited - See below for more information [We are allowing lobby usage]
- All games, puzzles, books and toys have been removed [Sadly this is still true. We are watching Covid numbers and hopefully we will feel comfortable enough to put those things back out in a few weeks]
- Staff will be masked and gloved whenever necessary, though especially during breakfast [Ding, dong, the masks are gone - yay! However, if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask then please do so!]
This is all new to everyone and the guidelines are changing frequently. So hang in there and we will get through this together! [We commend everyone for getting this far and cooperating with all of the restrictions and protocols! It hasn't been easy but we have all been doing our part!]
Multiple Night Stayover Service: We have returned to stayover service procedures. If you want your room freshened then don't do anything. If you prefer we not enter then please put up your privacy sign. If you would like fresh towels please bring yours to the front desk and we will give you fresh ones. If you need your trash emptied just put the bin(s) in the hall and we will empty them. If you need anything else please ask at the front desk.
Lobby Usage: Lobby usage is limited somewhat. A table and 4 chairs have been moved into each of the three Suites. Guests in those rooms are asked to take breakfast to your room. There are still a few tables and chairs in the lobby spaced apart for social distancing. If there is no seating available then please eat in your room or at the tables outside. There may be no more than 10 people in the lobby at any time (including staff). [The tables and chairs were a success in the suites so we purchased 3 new sets for those rooms and moved the original sets back to the lobby for breakfast. It is more crowded than we remembered but I think everyone is making it work. If you choose you may always take your breakfast to your room.]
The movie collection is still available. Please sanitize your hands before touching the cases to make your selection. Please return the movies to the front desk for sanitizing when you are done. All of the games, puzzles, books and toys have been removed due to the difficulty of keeping them safe and sanitized. Be sure to bring your own entertainment! [This is all still in effect ☹]
Interesting fact – the American Library Association guide for books is that they should remain untouched for 7 days before being put back in circulation. [New facts - contact is not how this virus spreads as much as respiratory droplets. That said, we are going to err on the side of caution for now and re-introduce things in stages.]
Breakfast: Breakfast will still be available but it will be very different from what it was in the past. All items are listed on an order sheet. You will select what you want and we will put it together for you (kinda like take out). The offerings will be pre-packaged and pre-prepared items like yogurt, granola bars, donuts, etc. We will have coffee, tea, milk and orange juice as well. Again, seating is limited in the lobby so you may take your breakfast to your room. Please return your tray to the front desk when you are through. [Forget that Covid breakfast - Breakfast is Back!]