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A Ray of Sunshine

I just got back home from taking John Shell, Lainey’s dad and my father-in-law, to get his first corona virus vaccine shot. It was a ray of sunshine in what has been a challenging year.  It  boosted our spirits and for the first time in a long time and we feel encouraged and hopeful about the future.  A new day is dawning.

To say that 2020 was an aberration is an understatement.  Soon after the virus began to rapidly spread last winter and spring, we knew our year would be different.  We set three goal for Hemlock Inn:

                First was to provide a safe environment our guests and staff. Before we were allowed to open, we established guidelines for sanitizing, overall cleaning, contact spacing, mask and all the other protocols we  know so well.  Our real challenge centered on our family style meals.  Knowing we could no longer place large groups around our lazy susan tables, we followed the restrictions mandated by North Carolina and reduced the number of guests we could serve at 50%. Once we reached that level, we stopped renting rooms.  We also stopped accepting outside guests for dinner only.    We did what was reasonable and safe

                Secondly, we chose not to panic when cancelations came.  We realized some of our guests would be cautious and not travel until things stabilized. We needed to be understanding of their concerns.  Our numbers were down, but we never tried to talk anyone out of canceling their reservation.  We wanted the guests to return when the time was right for them.  Only they could decide.

                Thirdly, we just wanted to survive.   

We met our goals.  I am thrilled to report we had no Covid cases at the inn.   We have not received reports of illness from any guest and none of our staff was infected either.  We were blessed beyond measure!  Secondly, while we did have many cancelations, we still had a good number of our regular guests visit ( and we are so appreciative of each one of them) AND a fair number of new guests as well.  They were looking for a safe and remote place to vacation and Hemlock Inn fit the bill . We made many new friends as a result.  We were even able to host a small, reduced wedding, held completely outdoors; meals and all.  And we have survived. With the help of a PPP loan and some creative budgeting,  we made it through a tumultuous  year.

We now turn our attention to our next season

2021 is our year of HOPE!  Covid still rages for now, but we are closed for a few months and are enjoying our quiet isolation.  The availability of a vaccine provides light at the end of a time of darkness.  The vaccination process will take some time, but we expect to safely reopen on April 21; our usual time.   

Like many of you, Lainey and I are waiting for our turn to get the vaccine. We are also smiling as we wait in anticipation for our new season.   

We look forward to seeing you. Blessings on each of you

Mort

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