At Gaylord Hotels, the health & safety of our guests remain of paramount importance to us.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required us to raise our demanding standards to an even higher level with new protocols for the current circumstances. We have elevated our cleanliness standards and changing hospitality norms. As a part of Marriott International's family, we have put in place a multi-pronged approach designed to meet the health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19 as outlined in Marriott's Commitment to Clean.
01 Health & Safety Expertise
Marriott's Global Cleanliness Council consists of in-house and outside experts in food and water safety, hygiene and infection prevention, and hotel operations.
Gaylord Rockies Resort, Aurora, CO.
This council is continually working to develop a new generation of global hospitality cleanliness standards, norms and behaviors for our more than 7,300 properties around the globe. The Council is chaired by Ray Bennett, Chief Global Officer, Global Operations, Marriott International, and will benefit from knowledge and input from both in-house and outside experts including senior leaders from across Marriott disciplines like housekeeping, engineering, food safety, occupational health and associate wellbeing.
The Council also includes advisory members Dr. Ruth L. Petran, Senior Corporate Scientist, Food Safety & Public Health for Ecolab, a global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services; Dr. Michael A. Sauri, Infectious Disease Specialist at Adventist Healthcare; Dr. Richard Ghiselli, Head of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Purdue University; and Dr. Randy Worobo, Professor of Food Microbiology in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) serves as the official wellness advisor for Gaylord Hotels.
A leader in medical research and one of the top-ranked academic medical centers in the United States, VUMC provides counsel for on-site operating procedures, advises on development of training and educational materials for associates (STARS), and provides expert guidance for standards and protocols relating to the unique, multi-faceted aspects of Gaylord Hotels' convention and resort business.
VUMC was selected both for its nationally recognized expertise in infectious disease control and because of its local ties to Nashville, which is home to Gaylord Opryland, the original Gaylord Hotels property. Both VUMC and Gaylord Opryland are beacons in the Nashville community, and both are dedicated to providing their clientele with distinctive services of the highest caliber.
We use disinfectant products that have been approved and certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other international government environmental agencies, as applicable, for use against emerging viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Our enhanced cleaning protocols adhere to the recommendations set forth in the EPA Emerging Pathogen Policy regarding cleaning and sanitization. We are also following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the guidance of our state and local health authorities regarding COVID-19.
In addition to all Gaylord Hotels associates (STARS) completing new and additional training to ensure a safe and clean environment, every hotel has identified dedicated hygiene specialists who are hyper-focused on the health and safety of our guests. In conjunction with this team, every hotel* has on-site medical personnel -- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and/or a Registered Nurse (RN) on-site.
*Attractions are supported by local EMT or the local resort's on-site medical personnel.
02 Our Commitment to Clean
At Gaylord Hotels, we have implemented a multi-pronged approach designed to meet the health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19.
Below is an overview of the key components of our plan:
Gaylord Palms Resort, Kissimmee, FL.
03 Gaylord Hotels Technology
We are utilizing the latest technology to ensure a sanitary environment.
Electrostatic Sprayers are being tested to apply hospital-grade disinfectant to hightouch surfaces including hotel lobbies, public spaces, meeting and convention areas, and heart-of-house. Using the highest classification of disinfectants recommended by the CDC and WHO to treat known pathogens, this technology is also used to sanitize areas such as public spaces, meeting spaces, restaurants, bars, the fitness center, and back-of-house.
Thermal Scanners are deployed at each STAR entry point to allow security officers to conduct non-invasive temperature checks of all STARS. Those with a temperature at or over 100.4°F (38°C) will be subject to secondary screening. Those confirmed to have a temperature at or over 100.4°F (38°C) will undergo further medical assessment and be directed to appropriate medical care.
Mobile Technology: Guests can choose to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact. These “touchless” services can all be done quickly via the Marriott Bonvoy mobile app. Note: mobile key is currently available for all Gaylord Hotels properties except Gaylord Opryland.
04 Other COVID-19 Protocols
We have been asked about our specific procedures should we be alerted to a case of COVID-19 at our resort.
All Gaylord Hotels have certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and/or a Registered Nurse (RN) on-site. If the hotel is alerted to a suspected case of COVID-19, the guest will be directed toward appropriate medical care through our staff, who follow the direction of local health authorities. We will then conduct additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols of all areas that the guest may have been in during their visit.
Guest Room Recovery Protocol
In the event there is a guest with a confirmed case of COVID-19, that guest room is removed from service. Similar protocols will be used to address offices and other back of house areas.
05 Specific Actions and Initiatives
Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, TN
The actions listed below are an overview of the specific protocols that have been implemented during this time. Each operating department has its own customized set of procedures and is built upon the guidance and consultation of infectious disease experts in the country. We will continue to refine and update our plan as our experts provide more information.
06 Public Spaces and Leisure Amenities
The frequency of cleaning and disinfecting by dedicated staff will be increased in all public spaces with an emphasis on high-touch surfaces.
Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine, TX
Electrostatic sprayers are being tested to sanitize areas such as public spaces, meeting
spaces, restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and back-of-the house. Additionally, hand
sanitizer stations are prominently placed throughout the resorts.
Front Desk/Arrival/Bell Services/Departure
- A lobby greeter will welcome guests and provide guidance on proper check-in procedures, encouraging guests to utilize the Marriott Bonvoy app for mobile check in and mobile key. They will also ensure social distancing measures are followed.
- Partitions have been installed at all front desks, concierge, and bell stands.
- Every other front desk station will be available in order to maintain distancing.
- Stanchions and floor decals will provide six-foot social distancing intervals and delineators to properly space guests for line management.
- Guests are encouraged to use their phones to check in, access their rooms, make special requests and order room service that will be specially packaged and delivered right to the door without contact. Digital Key Packets/resort information will be sent to guests' phones. Note: mobile key is currently available for all Gaylord Hotels properties except Gaylord Opryland
- Paper folios and shared items (for example, pens) have been eliminated.
- Electrostatic disinfecting sprayers are being tested to sanitize all areas in the public areas.
- Key cards are sanitized after each use.
- Signage is posted to explain elevator capacity to adhere to social distancing procedures.
- Bell service is on a request only basis. Attendants will wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the bell carts are sanitized after each use. When delivering luggage to the guest's room, it is delivered after the guest is in the room in order to ensure social distancing.
- Aquatic area attendants are dedicated to regular cycles of guest touch point sanitization.
- Lounge chairs are spaced out and/or removed from service to maintain social distance.
- Partitions have been installed at towel desk/kiosks.
- Cloth chair cushions have been removed.
- Chaise lounge chairs, cabanas, and lazy river tubes are sanitized prior to and after each use.
- Signage is being used throughout pool areas, slide entrances, and pool dining areas to remind guests to maintain social distancing protocols.
- Towel desk/kiosks and all other desks and counters are sanitized frequently by hospital-grade disinfectant.
- Face masks are required throughout the spa with the exception of facial treatments.
- Guests are required to complete a medical check list prior to any service.
- All guests and providers are required to participate in a hand washing ritual at the beginning of each treatment.
- Providers will wear appropriate personal protective equipment based on the service being performed.
- All treatments rooms are sanitized after each treatment.
- Public space attendants are dedicated to regular cycles of sanitization.
- Every other fitness machine is out of order to allow for social distancing between guests.
- There is signage on all equipment and throughout the facility to remind guests of the requirement to wipe down equipment after use.
- Electrostatic disinfecting sprayers are being tested to sanitize all areas in the fitness center.
- Drivers and parking booth attendants wear appropriate PPE.
- Seating arrangements and capacity adjustments have been implemented to limit capacity and allow for space between riders. For example, buses will be loaded from back to front and each guest will sit on the window seat on the left and right side skipping every other row. For town cars and SUVs, no more than four guests are permitted per SUV and no more than two guests are permitted per sedan (unless from same household). Guests will not be permitted in the front passenger seat.
- There is frequent sanitation of high-touch points before use and between each ride.
- Partitions have been installed at all valet stands.
- For self-parking, ticket dispensers and exit credit card payment machines are sanitized several times throughout the day.
07 Guest Rooms
Guest rooms are a place of respite for guests and they need to feel confident that the room is clean and a safe environment.
Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, TN
- Each room receives a hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Any additional amenity requests are left outside the guest room in a sealed container.
- Non-essential amenities, such as non-disposable glass wear, have been removed from the room.
- There will be an increased frequency of filter replacements and HVAC system cleaning to filter out air contaminants and maximize fresh air exchange.
- All surfaces are thoroughly cleaned with hospital-grade disinfectants.
- "Upon request only" housekeeping service
- STARS are not permitted into the guest's room while a guest is present unless for emergency reasons. Masks and gloves are made available to all STARS.
08 Meetings, Conventions & Events
Our meeting, convention and event attendees are of paramount importance to us and new, comprehensive cleaning and sanitizing protocols have been designed to keep attendees, and our STARS, healthy and safe.
Highlights include, but are not limited to, the following:
Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, MD
- Seating capacities and floor plans are reviewed on an event-by-event basis at this time. This ensures compliance with physical distancing recommendations from the state and CDC, as well as local fire department regulations. As an example, new guidelines will seat no more than six people at a 72-inch round banquet table versus the 10 in previous guidelines.
- All shared equipment and meeting amenities are sanitized before and after each use or will be single use if not able to be sanitized.
- All linen, including underlays, are replaced after each use.
- Buffets and coffee break stations are attended and served by an attendant to eliminate guest contact on serving utensils.
- Prepackaged food on coffee breaks and individually packaged beverages (no pitchers or carafes) are served.
- Partitions for food service lines have been installed.
- Disposable cups and glasses are used for all breaks.
- Flatware is provided as a roll-up.
- Butler passed food and beverage is suspended.
- Preset food and drinks is restricted.
Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine. TX
Meeting Space Protocol
- Seating capacities and floor plans are reviewed on an event-by-event basis at this time. This will ensure compliance with physical distancing recommendations from the state and CDC, as well as local fire department regulations. As an example, new guidelines will seat no more than six people at a 72-inch round banquet table versus the 10 in previous guidelines.
- Multiple general sessions/breakout tracks for groups to limit mass numbers together at one time have been implemented (when available).
- Use of electrostatic disinfecting sprayers are being tested to sanitize areas in the convention center including meeting rooms, exhibit halls, and public spaces.
- Convention public space attendants are dedicated to regular cycles of guest touch point sanitization. High-touch points such as conference room doors, light switches and other equipment will be sanitized after each group's use.
- Electrostatic disinfecting sprayers are being tested for deep sanitization of all meeting room hard surfaces and chairs overnight; completed before the start of the next day's sessions.
- Meeting sets on tables will be removed.
- Water carafes and water pitchers are not placed on meeting tables or water stations.
- Signage is posted outside of meeting and event rooms will remind guests of appropriate physical distancing guidelines.
- Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the meeting spaces, convention center, break-out spaces and corridors.
- Commitment to Clean summary document is made available online to give attendees information about health & safety protocols.
- Groups can choose to test attendees for COVID-19 and manage the process holistically.
09 Restaurants & Bars
In response to the current environment, Gaylord Hotels will follow enhanced sanitation guidelines and utilize food safe trainings for all hosts, servers, food runners, and chefs.
To minimize risk, we have modified access to menus to include digital menus and disposable printed menus.
Specific actions and protocols include, but are not limited to, the following:
Gaylord Rockies Resort, Aurora, CO
- Seating capacities, floor plans, and occupancy limits are limited to expand distance between diners and in compliance with state and local mandates.
- Hostess and managers manage physical distance and entries, waiting areas, and queues (in addition to signage). Peak period queuing procedures will be implemented when guests are not able to be immediately seated.
- Partitions have been installed at all host stands.
- Electrostatic sprayers are being tested to sanitize all restaurants and bars every night.
- High-touch points are sanitized throughout the day.
- Bars, tables and chairs are sanitized between each seating.
- Restaurant attendants are dedicated to regular cycles of guest touch point sanitization.
- Digital menu options are available via mobile device to limit printed menus.
- Outlets will offer take out menus, grab-and-go offerings, or counter service where appropriate.
- Check presenters, votives, pens, and all other reusable guest contact items are sanitized after each use.
- Hand sanitizer stations are placed at the entrance to each outlet.
- All food and beverage STARS are fully trained and compliant in food safety training and protocols.
10 STAR Initiatives
Our STARS - health, safety and knowledge - are essential for an effective cleaning program.
Here are ways we are supporting them:
New & Ongoing Training
In addition to training on housekeeping and hygiene protocols, STARS will also complete enhanced COVID-19 awareness training, with more comprehensive training for STARS with frequent guest contact including housekeeping, food & beverage, public area attendants, hotel operations and loss prevention.
All STARS will be required to have their temperature taken prior to entering their work area. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4°F or exhibiting any known symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed to work.
Frequent and proper handwashing practices and utilization of hand sanitizers are both vital to help combat the spread of viruses. In our daily meetings, our STARS will be reminded that cleanliness starts with this simple act.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Appropriate PPE - masks and gloves - will be provided and will be required to be worn by STARS based on their role and responsibility, as well as in adherence to state and local guidelines. STARS will also be trained on proper use and disposal of PPEs.
Real Time Information
Gaylord Hotels corporate and regional teams will be on standby 24/7 to support the hotels and coordinate with local and regional authorities.
11 Special Events at Gaylord Hotels
For over three decades, Gaylord Hotels has become legendary for providing magical holiday events and activities for winter visitors to experience, and this year is no exception. Our Christmas at Gaylord Hotels program has been redesigned to deliver the same, magical holiday experience while integrating new, enhanced health & safety measures. Specific protocols vary per attraction and include, but are not limited to, the following:
Wildlife Rescue at Gaylord Hotels
- Ticket sales are now contactless, with physical box offices being replaced with virtual box offices.
- Advance ticket purchases/reservations are required to limit event capacity.
- Mobile tickets are in use, along with ‘contactless' ticketing scanners at events.
- Social distancing is encouraged with floor decals and signage throughout the queue lines and attractions.
- Crowd sizes are limited with guest capacity set in accordance with local and regional regulations.
- Masks are required to be worn by all STARS and guests in all public indoor spaces throughout the resort, including events and attractions.
- More frequent cleaning using enhanced technologies and hospital grade disinfectants.
- High frequency cleaning rotation for surfaces, rope and stanchion poles, door handles and other applicable areas, following the hotel cleaning standards of high-touch areas.
- Sneeze guards are installed at point of sale stations. All pens and multi-use items are sanitized between uses.
- Hand sanitizing stations are installed throughout the resort and attractions.
- All STARS wear gloves and wash hands frequently.
- All STARS have completed enhanced COVID-19 training.
- All food and beverage operations within the attractions operate using specific protocols including table spacing, social distancing, enhanced cleaning protocols and other health and safety measures.
- Character meet & greets incorporate social separation with no direct physical contact.
- Additional space is provided for queue lines and floor decals and/or signage encourage social distancing while in line.
- All performers are masked and distanced from guests, according to local and state guidelines
- Any props or interactive spaces/elements (e.g. escape rooms, tubes, skates) are sanitized between every use.
Shows & Performances:
- Performers will be distanced from guests according to local and state guidelines.
- Mask guidelines will be followed.
- No contact between guests and performers.
- Socially distanced seating for attendees or, if standing room only, social distance floor decals spaced out according to state and federal guidelines.
- Seats sanitized between each show.
- Tables are staged at least 6 feet apart and guests are seated to avoid walking next to other occupied tables
- Private groups of up to 4 are seated on individual tables
- Booking and supplies tables have plexiglass shields between STARS and guests
- Access to the ticket/check-in area limited to one person at a time. All other family/group members will be escorted and seated at a table
- Access to the supplies table limited to one person at a time
- Tables are wrapped with disposable coverings, which are replaced after every use and all tables and chairs are sanitized between guests
- Maximum group sizes of 4-8 people allowed.
- Only tickets guests area allowed in the sterile environment. No spectators allowed.
- Escape Room is sanitized thoroughly with hospital grade disinfectant between each group. The room is also sanitized twice a day with our electrostatic sprayers.
- All paper clues have been removed and replaced with laminated alternatives that are sanitized between guests.
- Hand sanitizer is available for guest use before and after the experience.
- Private rides only available to one group/family
- Carriage cleaned after every ride
- Trained STARS throughout the attraction to stroll and monitor so that social distancing is observed between groups
- timed tickets sold in one-hour increments to control crowds and allow for proper social distancing
- Access-controlled environment to ensure compliance with occupancy guidelines
- Hand sanitizers placed around the attraction
- Additional space for queue lines to ensure social distancing