With local events, conferences and other public gathering being cancelled in the Wood River Valley due to the spread of coronavirus, hotels are beginning to feel the brunt of cancellations.

An employee at the Best Western Plus Kentwood Lodge in Ketchum who chose not to give their name, said business has dropped off sharply.

“People are cancelling right and left,” they said. “Occupancy is way, way down. We had a 7-day cancellation period, but now we are cancelling reservations without hesitation even on the day of their planned arrival. We are trying to do your part.”

At least one annual conference planned for March in Sun Valley was cancelled, the employee said.

“Slack came early this year.”

A call to Sun Valley Resort on Tuesday elicited the following response form a front desk employee: “All group events are cancelled until further notice.”

An employee at the Silver Creek Hotel in Bellevue said no apparent changes in occupancy had been noticed as of Tuesday.

“I haven’t seen any big changes yet, but we think it’s coming. People would mostly be cancelling through Expedia and Bookings.com, so I wouldn’t know right away,” the employee said. “Right now, we are hiring for a breakfast chef and a two-night per week night auditor.”

The parking lot was nearly full on Monday night at the Best Western Tyrolean Lodge in Ketchum.

“Some reservations have been cancelled,” said front desk worker Will Pullin. “But the main part of our business has been construction workers. They are pretty consistent, especially this time of year. But the longest they usually stay is about one week.”

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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