Though COVID-19 has dealt a financial blow to the tourism industry, Paul Harms still helped bring a new hotel to Stoughton this summer.
Tru by Hilton, 2500 Jackson St., has been open to the public since Aug. 20. General manager Harms told the Hub Tru is working with the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce to host a grand opening within the next few weeks.
He said staff pushed to get Tru by Hilton up and running during the pandemic because the industry has seen a slight uptick in occupancy rates on weekends, so “there’s still a demand even though it is much lower than we expected.”
The public is welcome to stop by for a tour of Tru’s rooms and amenities, Harms said.
They would be greeted by a bright, simple and modern aesthetic — countering the weight they likely feel about the world amid the health crisis and the resulting economic fallout, he said. That simplicity encourages prospective guests to invest in Stoughton’s economy and explore the city’s parks, restaurants and shops.
The lobby’s colors include radiant yellows, reds, blues and teals, with orange light fixtures and other accents. Further inward is a lounge area with a foosball table and other games, with a back wall depicting “Stoughton” written across the top in black graphic lettering. The front desk is equipped with sweet treats and snacks.
The overall hotel has 88 rooms – 33 with a king-sized bed and 55 with two queen beds, which feature the same color palette as the lobby.
Tru by Hilton also has a fitness center and a pool, where guests are instructed and trusted to wear masks and remain six feet apart. If a visitor doesn’t have a mask, hotel staff will provide them.
Tru by Hilton has implemented other health policies to keep the public and its 25 employees safe, Harms said.
Hilton “rolled out” an initiative with Lysol when COVID-19 ravaged through China last winter, Harms said, and has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to “enhance disinfection protocols.”
For example, guests can use their phone as a room key without coming in contact with an employee at the front desk, and when they stay in their room, housekeeping service is by request only.
Staff use Lysol products to sanitize disinfect “high touch points,” Harms said, which are surfaces visitors frequently come into contact with.
“We wanted to be ready (to open),” Harms said. “We want to be here so when travel comes back we can again welcome people to Stoughton.”