Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel reopens for first time since March

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 7:45 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel has been closed for nearly five months. In that time, 180 employees were laid off and all 300 rooms sat empty.

As of Thursday at 4 p.m., the hotel is back open, with a special message for the community.

When the Cornhusker Hotel closed in March, staff lit up the side of the building in the outline of a heart. Thursday, they did it again, but this time the heart is full, symbolizing the hotel’s gratitude to be back open and serving Lincoln again.

“We’ve cleaned the hotel for safety, and we’re ready to welcome our guests back and give our great service again,” said Susan Madsen, the general manager.

Thursday marks the first night guests can stay in the hotel since March 27.

“We knew it was the right thing to do to close, but we’re very excited to open up and rehire our great staff and put them back to work,” Madsen said.

Right now, only 40 employees are back at work, as the hotel doesn’t expect to be booked up right away, but staff are staying busy by cleaning and sanitizing the hotel from top to bottom.

“I think we’ll have a slow start, because we’ve been closed for so long and with football being delayed until maybe next year,” Madsen said. “That was really a disappointment, but we’re rallying the troops.”

At least one room is occupied. The Thielen family is in town visiting their son, who attends the University of Nebraska.

“Even in our travels up here, we’re always putting the sanitizer on our hands and keeping our distance, but we still want to live our lives,” said Scott Thielen.

Thielen said he feels safe staying at hotels, and has throughout the pandemic.

Several hotels across Lincoln had to close during the pandemic, but the Cornhusker Hotel said it was the very last to reopen.

Copyright 2020 KOLN. All rights reserved.

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