As the world adjusts to new travel norms and expectations, we have been working to enhance the experience for meeting attendees and hotel guests by redefining cleanliness and supporting wellbeing during future meetings, events, and overnight stays. This began March 21st, 2020 when the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North closed its doors and temporarily discontinued business to protect the health and safety of our guests, artists (employees), and community. By temporarily discontinuing business, we knew this decision would not only protect our guests and artists but would allow us the opportunity for a fresh start when we re-opened on July 1st, 2020.
The Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North has had a long-standing commitment to rigorous cleaning procedures with the IHG Way of Clean program in our meeting and event spaces, public spaces, and guest rooms – which was developed in partnership with Ecolab and Diversey – both world leaders in hygiene and cleaning technologies and services. This program is now being expanded with additional COVID-19 protocols and best practices to reflect the advice of the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and local public health authorities in markets around the world. IHG Way of Clean already includes deep cleaning with hospital-grade disinfectants, and going forward, attendees and guests can expect to see evolved procedures in every area of the hotel. For meetings and events, the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North artists have already developed the following measures to ensure a safe, healthy, and productive meeting:
- Social distancing meeting setups to allow for additional space between attendees
- All shared equipment and meeting amenities will be sanitized before and after each use or will be single use if not able to be sanitized
- Sanitizing stations in every meeting room
- Removing paper amenities including paper pads and pens (but available upon request)
- Bottled water will be provided or served by an attendant
- Coffee and other break items will be served by an attendant
- Cleaning and disinfection of meeting rooms during breaks
- Staggered timing of mealtimes to avoid congestion around pick up and serving stations
- All food and beverage items will be individually plated and served
- Flatware will be provided as a roll-up or individually wrapped
- Condiments served in individual PCs or sanitized individual containers
- Additional bottled beverages and prepackaged meal options available
- All table linen and underlays replaced after each use
- All linens are transported in sealed single use plastic bags into and out of the meeting rooms
- Increased cleaning and disinfection frequency of public areas
- Enhanced employee safety and well-being with personal protective equipment and enhanced training and protocols
Before the IHG Way of Clean program was introduced in 2015, the Holiday Inn Chicago-Mart Plaza River North was ahead of the curve and practicing enhanced sanitation and hygiene protocols in meetings and event spaces since 2009. Hospital grade air filters were installed in every one of the hotel’s meeting rooms capturing 90% of bacteria. At that same time, UV lighting was installed in the air handling HVAC systems of our Wolf Point and Sauganash Ballrooms which effectively kills 99.9% of viruses, germs, and airborne bacteria within 60 seconds.
Our guest’s safety has and always will be our top priority and concern and we are further expanding our commitment to cleanliness by using new science-led protocols and service measures, partnering with industry leading experts Cleveland Clinic, and are part of the global IHG Clean Promise program which rolled out June 1st, 2020. These strengthened procedures are designed to give our meeting attendees and guests greater confidence and the protection now required. We appreciate the loyalty and trust you place in us as a meeting, event, and travel partner and when you are ready to meet again, we will be ready to welcome you.