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DoubleTree offers isolated workers affordable working holiday

UPDATED: Fri., April 17, 2020

DoubleTree Hotel general manager Dean Feldmeier looks out the window of an upper floor premium room that the hotel is now offering as a day-use business space to local people who want to get out of the home for $39 a day. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
DoubleTree Hotel general manager Dean Feldmeier looks out the window of an upper floor premium room that the hotel is now offering as a day-use business space to local people who want to get out of the home for $39 a day. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)

If working remotely has become too remote during the coronavirus pandemic, the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Spokane has a solution.

DoubleTree by Hilton announced this week a new “Work (Away) From Home” package for Spokane residents, which includes day-use rooms, internet access and nearby parking for $39 per day through May 31.

“We just figured it would give people an opportunity to be able to stay close to home but also have a more quiet, private work environment and be able to get things done,” DoubleTree general manager Dean Feldmeier said.

The booking offer is aimed at providing professionals a work getaway or a respite for people who need a few hours away from the distractions that come with working from home, he said.

“You get on some of these conference calls, or Zoom calls, and you can hear the dog in the background and the baby crying in the background,” Feldmeier said. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to invite people who are in the local area that want to shelter in place, don’t want to travel but also need a little bit more professional environment to work from.”

The “Work (Away) From Home” initiative was spurred by a larger collaboration between Hilton and American Express, where health care workers have access to the 1 million rooms on any Hilton property, including those at the DoubleTree, for free.

“It’s another way for us to reach out and try to provide a solution,” he said. “It’s just an opportunity to try to provide a solution and prompt people to stretch their legs and get a little bit of fresh air.”

The booking offer has also forced the staff at DoubleTree to consider new challenges, like distributing room keys while minimizing contact and raising awareness about the new deal.

For those who download the Hilton Honors app, guests now can receive their room key digitally through their mobile phones.

“It saves extra contact, and we want to be respectful of people’s health and safety,” Feldmeier said. “Our team here is sanitizing the hotel on a regular basis, but this just gives people the opportunity to work somewhere else.”

As preventive measures like digital keys and routine room sanitization provide the safety, the premium Wi-Fi offers a social-distance retreat away from the confines of home.

“Most of the people that we market to for rooms are not local. They may be regional, but they could be over in Seattle or Portland,” Feldmeier said. “We don’t typically market to the local audience, and so we’re just looking at different ways to get the word out.”

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