Virus temporarily closes Mohonk Mountain House

February 7, 2014 10:45:10 AM PST
The Mohonk Mountain House is closing for a week after a virus sickened hundreds at the New Paltz resort.

Guests and employees started getting sick last Friday, with many reporting stomach viruses on Saturday.

The hotel started sanitizing on their own, but then realized they needed help. They hired a private company to do a thorough cleaning of the resort, and will now close Friday for a week to complete the process.

The hotel will close Friday at check-out and reopen at check-in on Friday February 14th. Guests who were scheduled to stay at the hotel that week have been notified and will be rebooked.


A hotel spokeswoman says they are taking this very seriously and are working closely with guests and the Ulster County and NY State Departments of Health.

Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark resort and Historic Hotel of America located 90 miles north of New York City. It's been owned and operated by the Smiley Family since it opened in 1869.

Below is a letter sent to hotel employees:

Dear Mohonk Employees,

Over the course of the last few days, it has become increasingly clear to us that the virus that has caused illness among staff and guests is very persistent.

Working with the Ulster County and New York State Departments of Health, we have already implemented many recommended measures to address this issue and have determined that further action needs to be taken.

After careful consideration of our options, we have decided that the best course of action is to close for a week and hire a contractor that specializes in this type of work to sanitize the property.

This process will include sanitization of all guest and staff areas, including the entire Mountain House, Oak Cottage, dormitories, Pavilion, Conference House, and Council House.

Starting with check-out on Friday, February 7, at 1:00 p.m., we will not be accepting new guests until check-in on Friday, February 14.

In order to conduct this sanitization process and to reduce the possibility of re-contamination, we will need to limit the number of people on site. Regular staffing schedules will be in place until Friday and your supervisor will let you know if your schedule will be affected during the coming week, once that has been decided.

We know you will have questions and while we don't have all the answers tonight, we wanted to inform you immediately about our plan. We are still working on the details of the plan and will provide more information on Thursday.

The decision to close for a week was not made lightly. It was based on the need to conduct an intense and thorough cleaning operation. We are very sorry to have to take this extreme measure, but the well-being of our staff and guests is paramount.

We recognize that this will present many challenges, and that the support of you, our Mohonk family, will be essential to our success.

Thank you,

Bert Smiley