canyon ranch

After a 4½-month shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Canyon Ranch in Lenox reopened its health and wellness destination to a limited number of guests July 23.

LENOX — With the state tightly restricting out-of-state visitors as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, Canyon Ranch Lenox is suspending operations from Jan. 4 until April 1, citing the inability of guests to travel to the high-end resort.

The “difficult decision” to close is temporary, Managing Director Mindi Morin told The Eagle on Tuesday. “The re-opening date may be adjusted based on changing conditions, and it is our hope that an earlier date can be planned,” she stated, adding that occupancy has been below normal in recent months.

“In addition to complying with all current Massachusetts state regulations, we want to ensure our level of business is sufficient to support all of the services, facilities and amenities guests expect from Canyon Ranch Lenox,” Morin said in a statement.

Because of the closure, an undisclosed number of Canyon Ranch employees are being furloughed.

“While it is our policy to not comment on specifics of personnel matters, any furloughed staff will be offered continued benefits, such as medical, dental and vision, and it is our hope to bring them back as soon as possible,” Morin said.

A relatively small number of guests with upcoming bookings during the three-month shutdown are being contacted individually, Morin noted, and are free to cancel their current reservation without penalty or charge.

“We are encouraging them to reschedule to ensure that when market demand returns they will not experience difficulty securing new reservations during peak season in 2021 and they can also retain their current reservation rate even if they book into peak season,” she said in an email interview.

“We look forward to welcoming our guests and staff back to Canyon Ranch Lenox at our earliest opportunity,” Morin said. “We fully anticipate that when travel restrictions can be removed, there will be more demand than ever for the health and wellness services Canyon Ranch provides.”

Under Gov. Charlie Baker’s travel order, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, have to complete a travel form if they are entering from a high-risk state. Currently, the only low-risk state is Hawaii, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The travel order, applying to everyone older than 18, as well as unaccompanied minors, requires a negative COVID-19 test result administered up to 72 hours before a visitor or resident arrives in the state.

Otherwise, a 10-day quarantine is mandatory until a negative test result is received. Failure to comply could result in a $500-per-day fine.

Canyon Ranch, opened in 1989 at 165 Kemble St., the site of the former Bellefontaine Estate, resumed operations July 23, after a 4½-month shutdown.

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

In pre-COVID times, the resort could accommodate 200 guests in its two-story inn with 126 rooms and suites. During the pandemic, lodging destinations have been restricted to reduced capacity, typically 40 percent.

“While we would not comment on company financials, our focus has been on providing a safe and healthy environment for guests and staff, while sustaining operations as long as viable to keep our colleagues working,” Morin said.

Canyon Ranch Tucson and Canyon Ranch Spa and Fitness at The Venetian in Las Vegas, will remain open for the foreseeable future, she added.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at, on Twitter

@BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.