WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The City of Wilmington extended their state of emergency order Friday, but lifted some restrictions, including allowing hotels to reopen.
“The phones have been ringing all day, and actually I think we’re going to be at our allowed capacity for this weekend,” says owner of The Hive Robert Rosenberg.
Hotels can only operate at 25% capacity, but Rosenberg says they’re just happy to get the green light.
“We’re just itching to get back to work and to some sense or normalcy,” he says.
Restaurants say they’re hoping it will bring some more foot traffic to downtown Wilmington.
“These streets are usually packed right now with families visiting, and we haven’t really gotten to see that obviously,” says Bourbon Street General Manager Matt McBride. “There’s been nobody walking around.”
Especially as tourist season gears up, McBride hopes the reopening of hotels helps keep downtown businesses alive.
“Even just two weeks ago when they did the slight reopening, we’ve seen a lot more foot traffic,” he says. “People are using safety precautions, so we’re really excited to serve a lot of vacationers. Even if it’s not out of state people, there’s a lot of people who travel from within North Carolina to come to Wilmington.”
If you do come to visit, you’ll see changes at hotels.
“We’re having all the public areas get sanitized three times a day by our housekeeper that’s all the knobs, all the railings, all the door handles and stair rails. In between guests, we were fortunate to get an electrostatic fogger,” says Rosenberg.
He also says they’re allowing a longer turnover time in between guests.
“We’re allowing 24 hours in between turnovers to give the rooms a chance to breathe,” says Rosenberg.
Hotels and restaurants alike say they’re just making things work.
Rosenberg says The Hive is a touchless hotel, meaning they use keypads on the doors and all communication is done virtually.