Will COVID-killing UV Lights Bring Guests Back to Resorts?

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However you want to define various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic that’s spread across the globe, we’re beyond the initial spread.  But, even as businesses start to re-open, governments start relaxing restrictions, and people generally ease back towards many of the activities they have not been able to enjoy for the better part of three months, the crisis isn’t over by any means. 

There is still a very real need to continue reducing the virus’ spread, to increase testing capabilities, and to develop new strategies around sanitation and cleanliness.  It’s all about trying to define a “new normal.” 

For some industries, that new normal is even more critical and public-facing than others – like hospitality and travel.  Airline travel, hotel stays, cruises, and other normally popular summer activities face a major challenge as people remain cautious about them given the amount of uncertainty that remains about the virus.

While many have already announced new safety measures – Norwegian Cruise Line announced a long list of new standards – tech is going to have a major role in as hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and airlines look to invite guests back.  Various technologies that support distancing, occupancy limits, traffic flows, temperature monitoring, and cleanliness are being developed and installed. 

Among them is UV lighting, which has long been used to sterilize medical equipment.  More recently, the technology is being leveraged for surface cleaning to kill coronavirus cells.  While precautions have to be taken due to the harm UV rays can cause, they also have proven effective in killing bacteria and have the potential to be effective in cleaning many spaces – elevators, guest residences, meeting spaces, classrooms, and more.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations, which operates a family of resorts with 800 units in Colorado, realized that it would need to complement its traditional cleaning protocols with additional technology in order to convince customers its facilities are safe.  While Colorado resorts are a year-long vacation spot for many, as we head into the second half of the year and people start planning winter ski vacations, having a reliable disinfecting protocol in place will be critical.

“When our team started to contemplate the future COVID-19 new normal for hospitality, we realized immediately that we needed safety protocols that rely on technology to assist our housekeepers.”

Mike Dudick, CEO, Breckenridge Grand Vacations

With co-owner Mike Millison, Dudick embarked on a mission to find a solution that would let BGV provide a safe environment for its guests.  It found another Colorado business that has been providing UV lighting solutions for industries like manufacturing and healthcare.  Puro Lighting It says its full-spectrum fixtures kill up to 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, significantly reducing the risk associated with a variety of bacteria and diseases.  That includes COVID-19, though its solution needed some modification to support the hospitality space – it needed a mobility component.

“Hospitality is in a unique position coming out of this crisis.  There’s a renewed sense of a need for disinfection equipment and for the levels of cleanliness throughout hotels and resorts.

Brian Stern, Co-founder, Puro

Puro’s UV lights have been installed at each of BGV’s resorts, allowing staff to thoroughly disinfect any room of any size.  The units will be used in guest rooms between all guest stays as the final stage of every room clean, as well as for frequently disinfecting all common areas, including lobbies, spas and gyms.

PURO has conducted third-party testing to prove its system’s efficacy against bacteria and class 1-3 viruses.  While not yet published, it says COVID-19 is among the list of destroyed pathogens from its most recent testing.

The same kinds of units could prove effective in many other travel and leisure markets, from gyms to cruise lines and many others, all of which will need to prove their ability to provide a safe environment for guests.