Surrey’s two largest hotels are now closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 279-room Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel is closed until May 31, according to an outgoing message on the hotel’s phone system.
In the downtown area, the 144-room Civic Hotel is also now closed.
“We have made the difficult decision to temporarily close as of Wednesday (April 1), until further notice,” Civic Hotel general manager Franklin Jackson said in an emailed statement. “We are communicating this information to our guests and are relocating reservations to alternate locations. We believe it is our responsibility to do everything we can to keep our staff and community safe and to support our healthcare professionals as they work to stop the spread of COVID-19. We look forward to re-opening again as soon as possible.”
The Century Group-built Civic Hotel opened in 2018 as the first new highrise hotel built in Surrey in two decades, as part of the mixed-use 3 Civic Plaza complex adjacent to Surrey City Hall.
The hotel logo tops the project’s 52-storey residential tower, not the smaller, 23-storey hotel building located below, to the south.
Fourteen hotels and three motels are listed on the “Stay” page of the website operated by Discover Surrey, the city’s tourism organization.
Among them, the 77-room Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Guildford remains open. Contacted Wednesday (April 1), general manager Julia Barreiros said the “select service” hotel has a “minimum amount of business” at the moment.
“At this time of year we typically expect around 85 to 90 per cent occupancy, and we’re now at 25 or 30, and even less some days – single digits some days, I can tell you that,” Barreiros told the Now-Leader.
“It’s pretty tough, and we’re trying to stay open because we have employees who have families and need to work. Even with the minimum amount of business we have, which is very little, we are trying to divide up the hours among the employees we have. Hopefully this will end soon – we’re hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.”
Barreiros said the hotel has enhanced its cleaning regimen during the pandemic.
“We have very strict guidelines in terms of cleaning and sanitization to start with, on a regular basis,” she said. “This is a very clean hotel, but now more than ever we’re taking extreme precautions…. We have special training for staff, we have hand sanitizer everywhere, and we have personal protective equipment for the staff, including masks, goggles and gloves.”