Canyon Ranch extends furloughs for 228 employees (copy)

Canyon Ranch Lenox, which closed in January amid a surge of COVID-19, will reopen March 30. It will continue to follow state health regulations affecting travelers.

LENOX — In a sign of the county’s hospitality industry revival, Canyon Ranch Lenox announced Friday that it will reopen to guests March 30, just ahead of Easter weekend, after a three-month shutdown because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

But, Managing Director Mindi Morin pointed out that the high-end resort will continue to follow state regulations affecting travelers, as well as health protocols developed in collaboration with an in-house medical team.

According to state requirements, guests from 49 higher-risk states must provide proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours ahead of arrival in order to be exempt from 10-day quarantine rules. The only lower-risk state is Hawaii, as well as the territory of Puerto Rico.

If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test can be obtained after arrival. But, such arriving travelers immediately must begin the 10-day quarantine, until a negative test result has been received.

The regulations at Canyon Ranch also call for continued use of masks, daily temperature checks, and capacity limits for group classes and programming.

Because of the shutdown that began Jan. 4, an undisclosed number of Canyon Ranch employees were furloughed, though they were offered continued medical, dental and vision benefits, Morin said.

Last year, after a 4½-month shutdown, the resort reopened July 23 and continued operating with reduced staffing until after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

As of mid-2019, it had employed 600 people. In late August 2020, the resort filed layoff notices with the state for 228 staffers.

Since Canyon Ranch will be reopening at 50 percent capacity, in line with state regulations, furloughed employees will be recalled on a rolling basis over the coming weeks, Morin said.

“While we are optimistic that demand will quickly return, we do not yet know how soon Canyon Ranch Lenox will return to a more typical occupancy for this time of year,” she said.

However, the resort plans to resume a wide array of services, classes and lectures, comparable to pre-pandemic days, Morin told The Eagle.

“With that said, we will be following social distancing and occupancy guidelines which may affect the number of participants in an activity,” she added. “All of the popular outdoor activities will be available: kayaking, hiking, mountain and road biking, paddleboarding, archery and the ropes course. In addition, the pool and fitness areas will be open.”

Daily talks, classes and events will resume, as will personal services.

“For these services (massage, skin care and salon), face masks will be required to the extent they are practical during the service,” Morin said.

In pre-pandemic times, the resort could accommodate 200 guests in its two-story inn with 126 rooms and suites. During the pandemic, lodging destinations had been restricted to reduced capacity.

According to the resort’s website, room rates starting March 30 range from $660 to $1,320 per night, plus a resort fee and taxes. There is a two-night minimum for weekends.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter

@BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.