Building and keeping connections in the age of COVID-19
It has been just about a month since we temporarily closed the Sun & Ski and Suites and Stowe Bowl in Stowe, Vermont. In the days that followed we were painfully forced to lay-off our staff and our family moved into the hotel temporarily to watch over the building. Despite these extraordinarily challenging times, we are grateful that we live where we live and we are healthy.
We often tell our team that the first questions we ask ourselves every day when we come into work are these: 1) What does our staff need from us today? 2) How can we better serve our guests 3) What are we doing to support our community. Even when there is no one in this building but us and our three children, we ask ourselves these same questions every day. The goal with these questions and our actions is always about fostering connection. This goal, especially in the currently disconnected world we find ourselves in, is more important than ever. Here is what we are working on in our relationship with our staff, our guests and our community.
As it quickly became clear that the spread of COVID-19 would have a dramatic impact on our business, our staff were a top priority. In the beginning we couldn’t tell them what was going to happen. Our focus was on providing whatever information we could through regular communication. We had daily meetings when our staff were on site and we have continued with regular weekly updates through email. We are also regularly reaching out to staff members by phone to check on their well-being. We are grateful that the state government has pulled through with unemployment compensation to support their financial needs.
As an additional show of support to our team members we are donating all gift card sales from April 1st – May 15th to our staff.
We are incredibly grateful for the show of support from our guests for our circumstances. We are thinking and praying for all of those among us who have become ill or lost loved ones. We also know that a number of our guests are essential workers, staying employed on the front lines of this epidemic in-order to allow the rest of us to stay home. With our business shut down, it has been very hard to keep the connection with our guests. Especially when this depends on the very thing we cannot do: provide physical vacation experiences!
With a little creativity there is always away to make connection. This is why we launched Getaways, for Front Liners. We are giving away 100 room nights at the Sun & Ski Inn to randomly selected essential workers to be used when it is again safe to travel.
Finally, we have also taken this time to share more about our family and the experience at the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. We are very aware of how lucky we are to enjoy this time with our children at the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites and for as long as we can be fortunate enough to be the stewards of this business. We hope you enjoy the “light” and fun videos we have created to share this experience.
Stowe Bowl and Stowe Golf Park are usually full with a flurry of activity not only from our out of town guests but also our local community. We appreciate their support over the years, whether it is for a fun afternoon with the kids, date night or special occasion party. We also recognize the contribution of our local essential workers and have extended our efforts by launching Fun and Games for Front Liners. We are giving away 100 free games at Stowe Bowl and Stowe Golf Park for use when we are able to open again.
Recently we realized how many people are celebrating birthdays at home without the traditional get-togethers and missing friends and family. We thought we could make a small contribution to making someone’s day a bit more special by posting a Happy Birthday shout out to our local community members. Would you like to give someone a special a special birthday message? We’ll post it on our sign, just e-mail us at info (at) stowebowl (dot) com with a couple days notice!
As the days and weeks go by we are getting ever more eager to return to doing what we love to do. We can’t wait to welcome you back when the time is right. In the meantime we are busy with projects around the hotel and preparing new procedures for cleaning and other operations to provide as safe as an environment as possible to our returning guests. See you soon!