NewsPinellas County


Pinellas beachfront hotels reopen to new 'normal'

Posted at 10:19 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 23:19:52-04

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — As eager beach goers prepare to hit the shore on Monday, some Pinellas County hotels are welcoming a resurgence in demand.

With Pinellas beaches reopening Monday, owner Maggie Caruso is ending a six-week hotel hiatus at the Coconut Inn, a two-story boutique hotel steps from Pass-A-Grille Beach.

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"Never mind the money, we also just miss, those of us in this industry, really really love hospitality," said Caruso.

Caruso says operations moving forward will be different to better safeguard guests. She's renting only half the rooms at the inn to best maximize space between customers.

"We’re also allowing at least 24 hours, sometimes more, between reservations. So I’m not doing back to back reservations in any of my rooms," she said.

Caruso says she's using hospital-grade disinfectant and conduct no-contact check-ins and no-contact housekeeping.

Guests can request cleaning items or fresh towels via text and those items will be dropped off at their door.

"Our staff is not going into the rooms while the guests are staying," said Caruso. "And this is tough for us because we are so hands-on all the time so it’s just, it’s a new normal.”