Plum Point reopens

Tables at Plum Point Lodge have been set up at acceptable social distances to allow for outdoor eating if preferred.

HIMROD — Plum Point Lodge on Seneca will be among the first Finger Lakes hospitality businesses to begin welcoming guests for this summer season when the resort and its restaurant open today for the first of three short weekend engagements.

Like all adjustments to the coronavirus crisis, the opening will come in small steps with the hope of eventually returning to a more normal schedule later in June.

New restaurant hours and services, new cleaning protocols, and a complete re-arrangement of hotel furnishings to meet “social distancing” regulations give a sense of what it is going to take to operate hospitality businesses in this environment.

“In some ways, we have it easier than a lot of places,’’ said Natalie Travis, general manager of the 31-room lakeside establishment. “We really have always sold social distancing as our product. We describe ourselves as a ‘hideaway’ and have built the place to assure as much privacy as possible.”

While the restaurant serves takeout-only meals, tables have been arranged across the property to allow for outdoor eating. Adirondack chairs once clustered along the waterfront are now dispersed. Even the popular evening fire pit gathering place has been rearranged to promote less “gathering.”

Brud Holland, chef at the resort’s restaurant Sapalta, has shifted for now to a menu for breakfasts, lunches and dinners that features selections that hold up best for takeout.

“You will be able to order and takeout or receive room service,” Travis said. “And you can eat in your room or at tables around the property.’’

She said the housekeeping staff is trained to meet health department standards.

“For the first three weeks, we will only be open for three nights per week,’’ Travis said, “so the staff will have 72 hours between guests to completely assure each room has been thoroughly cleaned.’’

In a good sign for Finger Lakes hotels, Travis said many guests who had planned early May stays have re-booked for later in the summer.

“It’s clear they are starting to feel more confident but want to give it a little more time,’’ she said.

Chris Lavin is a former Finger Lakes Times reporter. He writes occasionally for the Times of various community topics.

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