While California remains the only state that doesn’t allow group meetings in any form, the San Diego Tourism Authority has been determined in its advocacy with local and state officials asking them to pave a way to responsibly reopen these meetings.
As part of those efforts, the SDTA joined with the California Hotel Lodging Association to demonstrate to local elected officials, county health representatives and local media how group meetings can safely resume in San Diego with a walk-through of proposed new health and safety protocols at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The tour also included a brief presentation featuring Julie Coker, the SDTA’s president and CEO, and Daniel Kuperschmid, area vice president and general manager at the Grand Hyatt, as well as a video showcasing the Hyatt’s new safety protocols for meetings.
Among those who attended were San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer, representatives from California Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins’ office as well as Assemblymember Todd Gloria, San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry, Councilmember Monica Montgomery Steppe, Councilmember Mark Kersey, Councilmember Scott Sherman, Gary Johnson, the chief resiliency officer for the County of San Diego’s safe reopening efforts, as well as staff representing a variety of county supervisors and city councilmembers.
These safety protocols, based on CHLA’s newest guidelines, detailed at the event included:
- Mask requirements
- Increased sanitation and cleaning procedures
- Socially distanced seating
- Avoidance of communal food and beverage service
- Staggered registration and meeting times
- Dedicated entries and exits to meeting rooms
- Increased pre-event communications to inform and set expectations
- Focus on outdoor meetings whenever possible
The participants all expressed how impressed they were with the thought and care that the hotel industry had put in place and offered to advocate on behalf of the hotel industry to reopen group meetings. Councilmember Kersey followed up by introducing a resolution in support of restarting group meetings in a safe and responsible manner, which a council committee approved on Oct. 28. The full San Diego City Council should hear the resolution sometime in November.