Statement from Scott Shoenberger, President & CEO, AJS Hotels

At the Al J. Schneider Company and AJS Hotels, we are committed to our family of associates and our community. When we first became aware of the infections that started in Seattle, WA, we began developing plans and protocols based on what we knew at the time, which were amended as the state and federal agencies provided guidelines and regulations. Our first priority, always, is for the safety and security of our associates, guests and tenants and we will continue to work as diligently as possible to insure we keep our #1 priority top of mind.

I commend our Governor, Andy Beshear, for taking early and aggressive decisions in the fight against COVID-19. His decisions have saved lives as we were facing unknown conditions with limited resources and was done with the public’s interest at heart. Clearly, as the amount of testing increases, we will see an increase in the infection rate, which in some of the new testing, many people are asymptomatic.

Recently, Governor Beshear has stated that the curve in Kentucky could have plateaued and I remain optimistic that we will begin to see a downward trend in the demand for hospitalizations. As we all know, this has been devastating to our economy and in Kentucky, where we rely heavily on the hospitality industry, the impact has been even more significant.

The Governor has created “Healthy at Work” based on a phased approach to reopen Kentucky’s economy. Healthy at Work is based on criteria set by public health experts and advice from industry experts. This phased approach will ensure the Commonwealth’s citizens can safely return to work while still protecting the most vulnerable Kentuckians.

Our plan represents what we will do to keep our guests, associates and our community safe. Each operating department has its own customized set of procedures that are more detailed than the summary that is presented here. The plans also take the three phased state plan into consideration with the caveat that we will adjust our plan based any changes in the guidance and regulations provided by state and federal health organizations as well as additional guidance provided by the brands of hotels we operate and any industry experts.

We will continue to monitor government policy changes, Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, government mandates and public health advancements. This may result in making changes to our protocols and procedures.

A key to our collective success in mitigating any COVID-19 related incidents in our facilities and within our community will require that our guests and tenants take an active role in following the established guidelines for their own personal hygiene habits and practicing the social distancing requirements.

We Can Do This Together!

Scott T. Shoenberger
President & CEO
The Al J. Schneider Company and AJS Hotels

Associate and Guest Health

The health and safety of our guests and associates is our number one priority.

Associate Temperatures: All associates will be required to have their temperature taken PRIOR to clocking in to begin work. Any associate confirmed to have a temperature in excess of 100.3 degrees will not be allowed entry into the property and will be directed towards appropriate medical care.

Social Distancing: Guests will be advised to practice social distancing by standing at least six feet away from other groups of people not traveling with them while standing in lines, using elevators or moving around the property. Restaurant tables and other physical layouts will be arranged to ensure appropriate distancing. Associates will be reminded not to touch their faces and to practice social distancing by standing at least six feet away from guests and other associates whenever possible. All property outlets will comply with, or exceed, local or state mandated occupancy limits.

Hand Sanitizer: Hand sanitizer dispensers, touchless whenever possible, will be placed in key guest and associate entrances and contact areas such as driveways, reception areas, hotel lobbies, restaurant entrances, meeting and convention space, elevator and escalator landings. Hand lotion will be provided in guestrooms.

Front of the House Signage: There will be health and hygiene reminders through the property as determined by the state health department guidelines.

Back of the House Signage: Signage will be posted throughout the property reminding associates of the proper way to wear, handle and dispose of masks, use of gloves, hand washing practices, sneeze protocols and to avoid touching their face.

Associate and Guest Health Concerns: Our associates have been given clear instruction on how to respond swiftly and report all presumed cases of COVID-19 to the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH). We will be ready to provide support to our guests. Associates have been instructed to stay home if they do not feel well and have been instructed to contact a manager if they notice a coworker or guest with a cough, shortness of breath, or other known symptoms of COVID-19. Associates and guests who are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19 while at the property are instructed to immediately notify their manager (associates) or hotel security (guests).

Case Notification: If we are alerted to a presumptive case of COVID-19 at the hotel, we will remove and quarantine the room from service. In the event of a positive case, the room will only be returned to service after undergoing an enhanced sanitation from a licensed third-party expert.

Associate Responsibilities

Our Associates are vital for effective sanitation, hygiene and health programs.

Hand Washing: Correct hygiene and frequent hand-washing with soap is vital to help combat the spread of virus. All AJS Hotels associates have been instructed to wash their hands, or use sanitizer when a sink is not available, every 60 minutes (for 20 seconds) and after any of the following activities: using the restroom, sneezing, touching the face, blowing the nose, cleaning, sweeping, mopping, smoking, eating, drinking, touching the face, going on break and before or after starting a shift.

COVID-19 Training: All associates will receive training on COVID-19 safety and sanitation protocols with more comprehensive training for our teams with frequent guest contact including Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Public Area Department, Hotels Operations and Security.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Appropriate PPE will be worn by all associates based on their role and responsibilities and in adherence to state or local regulations and guidance. Training on how to properly use and dispose of all PPE will be mandatory. Every associate entering the hotel will be provided with a mask and required to wear that mask while on property. Gloves will be provided to associates whose responsibilities bring them in direct contact with guests or guest related areas including Housekeeping, Public Area Attendants, Security, Front Office Associates.

Daily Pre-Shift & Timekeeping: Associate pre-shift meetings will be conducted virtually or in areas that allow for social distancing between associates. Larger departments will stagger associate arrival times to minimize traffic volume in the back of house corridors and service elevators (please note, we will make every effort that staggered arrivals will have minimal impact on service time for guestrooms, but please be patient if service is delayed). Hand sanitizer will be available at each timeclock location and associates will be required to sanitize their hands before and after clocking in. Our management team will ensure that constant communication, proper PPE and sanitation procedures are followed and updated per the latest state and local guidance.

The Guest Experience

Our Associates are vital for effective sanitation, hygiene and health programs.

Guest Arrival: A lobby ambassador will be present to greet our guests arriving at the hotel. All visitors will be asked to use hand sanitizer and to wear a mask (which will be available from the hotel). Appropriate signage will also be prominently displayed outlining mask usage and current social distancing practices throughout the hotel.

  • Guests will enter the hotel through doors that are either propped open, are automated or opened by one of our associates.
  • Associates will not be opening any car doors for any arriving vehicles.
  • Guests requesting bell service will be assisted and the bell cart will be sanitized after each guest is assisted.
  • Our front desk agents will have face masks, gloves and a COVID-19 awareness card upon request.
  • Valet Services will be suspended until further notice.

Hotel Guest Elevators:

  • Associates will be present to sanitize the button panels on regular intervals, at least once per hour.
  • Hand Sanitizer will be located on each elevator landing.
  • Signage will be posted to explain the current procedures.
  • No more than four (4) guests will be allowed per elevator. Please be patient with the
    elevator service, we realize this is inconvenient, but it is necessary given the current social distancing requirements.

Cleaning Products and Protocols

Our hotels use cleaning products and protocols that meet EPA guidelines and are approved for use and effective against viruses, bacteria and other airborne and bloodborne pathogens. We are working with our distribution partners and suppliers to ensure an interrupted supply of these cleaning supplies and necessary PPE.

Public Spaces and Common Areas: The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing has been increased in all public areas with an emphasis on frequent contact surfaces including, but not limited to, front desk check-in counters, bell desks, elevators and elevator buttons, door handles, bathrooms, room keys and locks, ATM’s, escalator and stair handrails, dining surfaces and seating areas.

Guest Rooms: Industry leading cleaning and sanitizing protocols are used to clean guest rooms with particular attention paid to high tough contact surfaces including television remote controls, toilet seats and handles, door and furniture handles, water fixtures, night stands, desks, telephones, light switches, thermostats, alarm clocks, in-room safes, hangers and luggage racks.

Laundry: All bed linen and bathroom terry will be serviced on the third day (or every three days for longer term guests) and will continue to be washed in high temperature in accordance with state health guidelines.

  • Housekeeping will provide bathroom terry and amenities upon request through touchless service.
  • Guests will be asked to bag the bathroom terry in bags supplied by the hotel and place it in the guest corridor.
  • The fresh towels will be delivered in a sealed bag and placed outside of the occupied guestroom.
  • Bath amenities will be delivered in a sealed bag and placed outside the guestroom.
  • Guests will need to be physically in their guestroom at the time of delivery to ensure that the items will be retrieved at the time of delivery.

Back of the House: The frequency of cleaning and sanitizing will also increase in high traffic back of the house areas with an emphasis on associate dining areas, associate entrances, associate restrooms, offices, kitchens, service elevators and associate relations areas.

Shared Equipment: Shared tools and equipment will be sanitized before, during and after each shift, or anytime the equipment is transferred to a new associate. This includes phones, radios, computers, engineering tools, cleaning equipment, time clocks, and all other direct contact equipment.

Room Recovery Protocol: In the event of a presumptive case of COVID-19, the guest’s room will be removed from service and quarantined. The guestroom will not be returned to service until the case has been confirmed or cleared. In the event of a positive case, the room will only be returned to service after undergoing an enhanced sanitization protocol by a licensed third- party expert.

Social Distancing

Throughout the hotels we will meet or exceed state and local health authority guidelines on appropriate social distancing.

Queuing: Any area where guests or associates queue will be clearly marked for appropriate social distancing. These areas will include front desk, elevator lobbies, restaurants, lounges, bars and group registration desks.

Elevators: Only four guests will be allowed per elevator with each elevator cab being clearly marked for appropriate positioning. Again, please be patient with elevator access.

Restaurants and Bars: Restaurants and bars will reduce seating capacities to allow for a minimum of six feet between each seated group/party of guests.

Meeting and Convention Space: Meeting and banquet set-up arrangements will allow for physical distancing between guests in all meetings and evens based on CDC and state recommendations. Self-serve buffet style food will be suspended and menu options and alternative service styles will be available.

Retail Spaces: In coordination with our retail tenants, guest occupancy limits, based on state guidelines, will be enforced to all for appropriate distancing.

Pools: All indoor and outdoor pools operations will be suspended until further notice. We plan on considering opening these amenities when the Governor as declared we are at Phase 3 of his plan.

Fitness Centers: All Fitness Centers operations will be suspended until further notice. We plan on considering opening these amenities when the Governor as declared we are at Phase 3 of his plan.

Back of the House: Social distancing protocols will be used in the associate dining rooms, training facilities, shared office spaces, associate entrances and other high-density areas in order to ensure appropriate distancing between associates.

Hotel Operations

Front Office & Transportation

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing Protocol
    • Sanitize high touch Front Office services spaces and equipment including bell desks, luggage storerooms, bell carts and concierge desk.
    • Offices, desks, counters, workspaces and related equipment (including radios, keyboards and touch pads) to be sanitized at least every four hours or upon a new associate using the equipment.
    • Sanitize all guest touch points after each transaction including EMV Credit Card Devices, pens and countertops.
    • Room keys to be sanitized before stocking.
    • Offices, Call Centers, Registration Desks to be deep cleaned and sanitized upon a shift change.
    • Wheelchairs and other guest amenities to be sanitized after each use.
    • Bell cart carpet to be covered with a cleanable, non-porous or disposable surface.
    • BOH elevator buttons to be sanitized at least once per hour.
  • Social Distancing Protocol
    • Staff every other work station at front desk stations with plexi-glass shields to provide appropriate protection.
    • Lobby floors will be marked appropriately for social distancing with a minimum of six feet per guest or group traveling together.
    • Lobby Ambassador to provide guidance to arriving and departing guests to ensure physical distancing measures are being followed.
    • Guest laundry and dry-cleaning services available using contactless pick-up and delivery protocols.
    • Guest amenity deliveries will be available using contactless delivery procedures whenever possible.
  • Guest Considerations
    • Valet Parking Suspended at the Galt House
    • Valet Parking will be available at the Embassy Suites Downtown Louisville. Procedures to be forthcoming.
    • Self-service ice machines to be suspended and signage posted that ice is available through In Room Dining.
    • Vending machines located on guest floors will be suspended and signage posted that bottled soft beverages and waters are available at Grab & Go locations or through In Room Dining.

Housekeeping

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing Protocol
    • Carts, trolleys and equipment to be sanitized at the start and end of each shift.
    • Guest linens will be removed from guestrooms in single use sealed bags.
    • Pillow protectors will be changed with cleaning of each guestroom during the stay and/or upon departure.
    • Back of house restrooms will be sanitized at least every four hours. o House phones, in unsupervised/controlled areas will be removed.
  • Social Distancing Protocol
    • Minimize contact with guests while cleaning hotel rooms; guestroom attendants will offer to return at an alternative time for occupied rooms.
  • Guest Considerations
    • All reusable collateral to be removed from rooms. Critical information to be placed on single use collateral and/or electronically posted.
    • Disposable collateral to be disposed and changed after each guest.
    • Newspaper service available at the Front Desk or Concierge areas will be suspended. We are working on electronic options for our guests.
    • Extra pillows and blankets stored in the guestroom closets will be removed and available upon guest request.
    • Specific sanitation consideration will be paid to the following guestroom areas:
      • Desk, counter tops, tables and chairs
      • Phones and remotes
      • Thermostats
      • Cabinetry, pulls and hardware
      • Doors and doorknobs
      • Bathroom vanities and accessories
      • Bathroom fixtures and hardware
      • Windows, mirrors and frames
      • Lights and lighting controls
      • Closets, hangers and other amenities

Spa & Salon

  • Pending guidance from local authorities
  • Please note that Xhale is tenant, so please contact them directly to receive their plan.

Fitness Centers & Pools

  • Fitness Center and Pool operations will be suspended and reviewed once Kentucky state government has established we are in Phase 3 of the plan.

Restaurants, Bars & Lounges

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing Protocol
    • Podiums including all associated equipment to be sanitized at least once per hour.
    • Service stations, service carts, beverage stations, counters, handrails, trays to be sanitized at least once per hour and logged by a manager.
    • POS terminals to be assigned to single server (where possible) and sanitized between each user and before and after each shift. If multiple servers are assigned to a POS terminal, servers will sanitize their hands after each use.
    • Dining tables, bar tops, stools and chairs to be sanitized after each use.
    • Condiments to be served in single use containers, either disposable or washed after every use.
    • Check presenters, pens and all other reusable guest contact items to be either sanitized after each use or single use.
    • Menus to be either single use and/or disposable.
    • Trays (all types) and tray stands to be sanitized after each use.
    • Storage containers to be sanitized before and after each use.
    • Food sanitation stations to be sanitized at least once per hour.
    • Kitchens to be deep cleaned and sanitized at least once per day.
  • Social Distancing
    • Door attendants and managers to manage social distancing at entries, waiting areas and queues (in addition to floor markings and signage)
    • Peak period queuing procedures to be implemented when guests are not able to be immediately seated.
    • All bar stools are to be removed until state agencies allow for seating to be reinstated.
    • Tables, booths and banquette seating patterns to be utilized with appropriate social distancing between each family or traveling party (six feet or as otherwise advised by state and local authorities)
    • Quick serve outlets (Grab & Go) social distancing requirements will be appropriately marked and maintained.
  • Guest Considerations
    • All self-serve condiments and utensils to be removed from tables and cashier areas.
    • All straws will be wrapped and supplied only upon request.
    • Cloth napkin service on the tables to be suspended until further notice.
    • Flatware and napkins will be supplied either in a roll-up fashion or utilizing high quality single service disposable products that are pre-wrapped. o Bar snack service will be suspended.

In Room Dining

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing Protocol
    • All equipment to be sanitized prior to assigning a shift.
    • Associates will sanitize the work area and stations at least once per hour and at the change of the shift.
    • All doors, handles and high contact areas will be sanitized at least once per hour.
  • Social Distancing Protocol
    • Set food (bagged and in disposable product) in the hallway notifying the guest that the food is outside of the room. Guest will retrieve their own order.
    • Request that the guests notify IRD when finished with their meal and place the trash inside of the bag in the hallway outside of their guestroom.
  • Guest Considerations
    • Either printed disposable IRD menus will be located in the guestroom (disposed of upon departure and replaced) or via online app depending on the hotel.
      • We are exploring menu and ordering options at this time.
    • All orders will be delivered in disposable single service containers in a paper bag with handles.
    • All associates will wear appropriate PPE, including gloves (changed with every delivery).

Catering & Banquets

  • Cleaning & Sanitation Protocol
    • All shared equipment and meeting amenities to be sanitized before and after each use.
    • All linen to be replaced after each use.
    • Soiled linen to be transported in sealed single use plastic bags out of the meeting rooms.
  • Social Distancing
    • All buffet and self-serve style events to be suspended until further notice.
    • All food and beverage items to be individually plated and served.
    • Coffee and other break items to be attended and served by a server.
    • Flatware and napkins will be supplied either in a roll-up fashion or utilizing high quality single service disposable products that are pre-wrapped.
    • Condiments to be served in individual PC’s or sanitized individual containers.
    • Seating capacities and floor plans to be reviewed on an event by event basis to ensure appropriate social distancing following state and local guidelines.
  • Guest Considerations
    • Individual bottled water will be provided in lieu of water carafes on meeting tables and water stations.
    • Develop examples of socially distanced floor plans for Hotel Sales & Event Services use.