Galt House offering COVID testing to attract group bookings

Galt House offering COVID testing to attract group bookings
One of the renovated double rooms in the 1,239 room hotel
One of the renovated double rooms in the 1,239 room hotel (Source: Phylicia Ashley)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - To overcome any worries travelers might have about their health, the Galt House Hotel is now offering COVID-19 tests for its guests.

The idea is to jump start the city’s near-frozen convention business and bring hotel employees, who were laid off because of COVID-19, back to work.

By providing testing services, in addition to disinfecting protocols, the intention is to give group and meeting planners confidence that they will be able to safely gather face to face.

”What that allows us to do is to have people travel and feel safe,” AJS Hotels Galt Sales and Marketing Vice President Skip James said. “People may not have symptoms, but they’re just not sure. They are riding on an airplane, they’re driving in their car, they make multiple touch points on the way here and this allows them to have confidence and feel safe when they arrive.”

The service has big implications as the Louisville hospitality industry attempts to rebound from a year of COVID-induced cancellations and cutbacks.

The Galt House is the first to make testing available as a regular service instead of having visitors set up their own testing.

”We have groups coming in where they have contracted companies to provide testing for their attendees,” Louisville Hotel Association President David Greene said. “Most all of the sports teams are doing that.”

Testing at the Galt House is aimed at luring back group meetings, giving organizers confidence to schedule face to face gatherings.

There have already been bookings for two large meetings with the hotel for later in the year, which require attendees to be tested.

The way the program is set up, an arriving guest will be able to take a COVID-19 test at the hotel and have results in as little as 15 minutes.

“It’s more of a concierge type of service here for the guest,” Dave Berkemeier, the Galt House Hotel Onsite Health Solutions president, said. “They thought it was quick and easy, relatively painless. Just walk right down, go right in, and got their test back in 15 minutes and went on about their day.”

According to management, two large groups have booked the Galt House for later in the year requiring participants to get tested on arrival.

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