PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are some encouraging economic signs as Philadelphia emerges from the pandemic. Among them is a new hotel that’s set to open this week in Rittenhouse Square.
Eyewitness News got an exclusive look at the Hyatt Centric.READ MORE: Trial Starts Monday For Gilbert Newton III, Philadelphia Teen Accused Of Killing Ex-Girlfriend Morgan McCaffrey
“Consumer confidence is the most important thing to recover the hospitality industry,” said Brian Lang, the hotel’s director of sales.
Opening in the midst of a pandemic, the Hyatt Centric hotel is set to open Thursday. Lang says, however, without making people feel safe, they won’t come.
“As soon as people feel comfortable to get out and travel again and feel safe in doing so, we’ll see our business come back,” Lang said.
As mandated by the city, the hotel is opening at 25% capacity. And per Hyatt’s own rule, rooms will be vacant for 24 hours in between guests, so they can be sanitized.
There are hand sanitizing stations in the lobby and glass shields at the check-in counter.READ MORE: Philadelphia Seniors Treated To Night Out, Musical At Walnut Street Theatre
And while they will eventually be opening their restaurant, they’re also encouraging people to leave the hotel to enjoy everything Philly has to offer.
“As a hotel, we’re actually encouraging guests to live like we would do. We have an incredible community. Philadelphia is probably one of the best cities in the world and we realize that as a guest you would miss out if you stayed in the hotel,” said Gilbert Santana, the hotel’s general manager.
The hotel is located at 17th and Chancellor Streets in Rittenhouse Square. The former Little Pete’s Diner was demolished to build it.
While the hotel has 332 rooms, they’re hoping guests don’t waste their time in Philadelphia from 13 stories above the street.
Guests will also learn a little about the city as a conference room is named after Charles Darrow, the Philadelphia native who created the Monopoly board game. And in a nod to Philly’s rowing history, oars are in each bathroom.
As the city’s tourism industry claws back from a $4 billion hit from COVID-19 lockdowns, they say they hope they can help the city recoup its losses.MORE NEWS: Police Searching For Gunmen After Shots Fired Near Chester High School Football Game
“To open this hotel now is certainly a challenge,” Lang said, “but it’s a challenge that we’re excited about and to be part of the recovery.”