How a new Arizona hotel is preparing to open in a post-coronavirus travel landscape

How a new Arizona hotel is preparing to open in a post-coronavirus travel landscape

At a time when Arizona's hospitality industry is furloughing its workforce and temporarily closing resorts, a new boutique hotel in Tucson is holding virtual job fairs.

In fact, Tucson native Vishal Patel and his business partner Sunny Patel are optimistic that they could open their 112-room property, The Tuxon, just as people are ready to return to travel this summer with features guests will be looking for in a post-COVID-19 world.

Pronounced "Tuck-son," the hotel's name is a play on the silent c in Tucson. The goal is to blend the emerging arts and culture scene downtown with the surrounding desert beauty and nearby loop of popular hiking and bicycling trails. Its creators hope it will become a "destination for adventure seekers drawn to desert trails and mountain landscapes."

"Most of my friends didn't know how to pronounce Tucson, they would call it 'tuck-sahn,'" said Vishal Patel, co-creator of The Tuxon.

Emphasis on authentic experiences

A guest room in the Tuxon Hotel in Tucson.

The decor and programming will reflect the city's crossroads of American, Mexican and Native American culture while celebrating "the hotel's unique connection to its desert surroundings just steps away."

The hotel, which is a renovation of a property dating to the 1960s, will become part of Marriott's Design Hotels, a collection of independent boutique hotels worldwide that aim to offer authentic local experiences. It will be the first Design Hotels property in Arizona and the hope is that it will help drive growth on the west side of downtown Tucson. Room prices will vary by season.

"We call ourselves the largest community of neighborhood transformers," said Markus Schreyer, Senior Vice President, the Americas & Global Business Innovation at Design Hotels.

Schreyer said the plans for The Tuxon fit with the brand's vision for independent hoteliers offering local experiences. More than 400 hotels apply each year to be part of the elite brand and typically 5% of those fit its vision for demonstrating “a passion for cultural authenticity and genuine hospitality that is enhanced by thought-provoking design and architecture.”

"Because they are creating a new kind of experience, the whole area gets transformed in a way," he said.

Reacting to coronavirus concerns

Guest bathrooms at the Tuxon Hotel have detailed tile work and rain showers.

Statewide, Arizona has seen a significant drop in tourism due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent numbers showed that the statewide occupancy rate for hotels in Arizona during March was just 47.9%.

But The Tuxon's timing might have a silver lining.

While many hotels are rethinking and retrofitting their designs to accommodate concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Tuxon is making those adjustments before opening.

Hotels, vacation rentals announce new cleaning protocols: Here's what they look like

"We've spent a lot of time thinking through from a safety standpoint first and foremost for our employees, our team, which includes our various partners, and then certainly our guests," Sunny Patel said.

In addition to implementing new state, local and Marriott-recommended guidelines, the co-creators believe guests may be reassured by the midcentury modern design of the hotel.

Marriott's disinfection plans: Spraying guest rooms, sanitizing keys to stop COVID-19

The property has a V-shaped, open-air design with a central pool. Guests can park near their rooms and not have to reach them via a lobby. The hotel already planned to offer amenities such as remote check-in by phone. Now, it's adjusting the placement of furniture in public areas to offer distancing.

Still, despite an unknown road ahead, the business partners view this as a long-term investment in the city.

"We’re fully expecting it to be tough sailing early on as travel still is in the process of bottoming. But I think we have an amazing product and there's nothing like it in Tucson and I think that between how our property is set up and how we are positioned, I think we expect to do very well over time," Vishal Patel said.

'Airlines are way behind': Hilton CEO says hotels more likely to recover faster from coronavirus

You can connect with Arizona Republic Consumer Travel Reporter Melissa Yeager at melissa.yeager@azcentral.com. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

Support local journalism like this story by subscribing today.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2020/05/09/tuxon-boutique-hotel-in-tucson-prepares-to-open-post-coronavirus-travel/3104409001/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »