3 Experts Dish on Business During the Pandemic
A conversation with small business experts as Eagle County enters Safer-in-Place phase
As of April 27, 2020, Governor of Colorado Jared Polis announced that Eagle County is the first county within the state granted permission to back off from stay-at-home orders and enter the “Safer in Place” phase. In layman’s terms, it’s received the green light to open back up some small businesses including retail, as well as permit second homeowners to visit their properties.
Although social distancing policies and precautions are still in place (six feet of distance, staying home when sick, covering face in public, etc.), the district is now allowing gatherings up to 10 people and allowing for more businesses to open back up given that they follow sanitizing requirements. It also means you can travel ten miles from home, so lucky people living in mountain communities can utilize outdoor recreation like hiking.
Tourism from out of state is still prohibited, but Governor Polis and Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry feel as though the right steps were made in order to phase back in the opening of small businesses.
Mountain Living chatted with a few local business owners to see what their next steps are moving forward.
Shaeffer Hyde Construction
Describe how you and your business have handled COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders.
On March 13th, we decided that it would be best to send everyone home and shut down for a week while our executives formed a task force and got their ducks in a row. Our President, David Hyde, presented the new Jobsite rules that he had methodically created and appointed a COVID Safety Officer. The Safety Officer makes rounds to all of our projects, ensuring full compliance and providing PPE, industrial-grade cleaners and sanitizers, and more. Although we are all social distancing, we have continued to work together as an unwavering circuit.
Shaeffer Hyde Construction has a powerful values system. I have been with the company for seven years. I have heard over and over again the quote from our president, “Family is our Why.” Our executives go above and beyond to support their team. In this current environment, I have felt the fortitude of our core values and the heart that my company truly has.
With Vail easing up on these regulations, what are your next steps moving forward on projects?
We will continue to operate with caution and due diligence. I think that everyone has utilized the past month and a half to train our brains for improved safety. Now that we have learned to do all that we can do to be immaculate, these practices will be second nature. As we proceed, we will be more thankful for what we have. We will appreciate our relationships even more. I see our industry professionals coming out of this stronger, kinder people.
Antlers at Vail
Now that Eagle County is lifting some of the precautionary measures due to COVID-19, how is Antlers at Vail adjusting their lodging policies?
For now, it allows us to house guests who are Eagle County residents or are traveling for essential or medical reasons.
We are greatly looking forward to welcoming back our family members to the Antlers and our beautiful mountains for summer. The Antlers is working with the local lodging community to implement best practices to keep our team and guests safe across the board.
How are you slowly moving back towards opening up lodging?
We are having what you could call a soft opening starting April 27, welcoming Eagle County guests, as well as those traveling for essential or medical purposes. We are looking forward to welcoming back other guests sometime between four to eight weeks from now.
Also, during this unexpected down time, we have put our team to work deep cleaning condominiums, and making improvements to the building. We are working hard to be ready to welcome guests back to a safe and improved experience.
Antlers recently underwent some remodeling. What can guests expect upon returning to Antlers at Vail?
Our recent major construction project created a spacious new lobby and front desk area flooded with natural light through new large windows and vaulted ceilings and warmed with lush textures and pops of color. The project also replaced and more conveniently located one of the property’s elevators, whisking guests efficiently to their suites.
Be sure to check back here in the next week or so for details.
How are you going to operate business now that things are slowly opening back up?
I am cautiously optimistic that things will return to some sense of normal within a month or two, and I am giving my clients time to feel comfortable with this new world before I suggest to them that we re-engage. But as a small firm with a lot of out of town clients, we have lots of virtual meetings already—I don’t foresee too many significant changes coming into how we operate.
Have you been working on any other small projects since the stay-at-home orders have been in place?
Basically I have really improved my slide guitar playing—I have been practicing a lot and riding my bicycle.