It has been over a year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the last year we have all faced challenges, and have endured a myriad of changes in our daily lives. In early March of last year, as the pandemic began ramping up, I wrote a series of COVID related updates. Looking back at what I wrote then, it is clear that I had absolutely no concept that we would still be dealing with these issues a year later.
I wanted to take a moment on this week’s Quoth the Raven to give you all an update on what’s been happening at the castle and what we expect for the future, and to answer some common questions we’ve been receiving in the last few weeks.
How is the castle doing? Has the pandemic hurt operations?
The short answer to this one is that the castle is doing just fine.
While many businesses in the hospitality and travel industry have suffered significant business reductions throughout the pandemic, that has not really been the case for Ravenwood Castle. With 21 separate accommodations spread over a 57 acre property we are ideally situated to promote social distancing, and have seen a steady stream of guests throughout the pandemic. As a business we are as strong as we have ever been.
That’s not to say that the last year has been easy. The pandemic has certainly presented us with a variety of operational challenges. For us these have primarily come in the form of how best to modify our practices and procedures to ensure the safety of our guests and staff, all while continuing to deliver the excellent guest experience and service for which we’ve become known. I may be biased, but I believe that our team has done an outstanding job meeting these new challenges.
Speaking of the pandemic, are you still requiring masks?
While the pandemic isn’t over, by all accounts we are moving into a new phase. If we are not yet at the end, we are hopefully at least within sight of it. With the widespread availability of the vaccines and the arrival of warmer weather, many states are beginning to relax restrictions and requirements. At the same time, infections are ticking upwards state- and nationwide, and healthcare agencies are continuing to urge caution.
At Ravenwood Castle, we will continue exercising all reasonable safety precautions, and will continue to take our direction from the CDC and other appropriate healthcare agencies. Please be aware that it is entirely possible that at times our policies may be stricter than those required as a minimum by the state. As always, we will keep you updated as to our current policies, precautions and requirements. Be sure to check out the Covid-19 Precautions page on our website, as well as the details provided in your reservation confirmation and pre-arrival emails. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (740) 596-2606.
What about events? Are murder mysteries coming back? Is Con in the Castle happening?
We are as excited about the return of our events as we know you are. That being said, we have chosen to err on the side of caution when it comes to events. At this phase of the pandemic, that means we are cautiously beginning to schedule some events. These events will primarily be those that can largely be held outdoors, and/or lend themselves to activities which can be conducted in a largely socially distanced manner. Conversely events that center around meals, or involve groups of guests spending extended periods of time around indoor tables, will be on hold a bit longer. Unfortunately, that means that Con in the Castle with its marathon role playing and board gaming sessions will not be on the schedule for 2021.
Wait, you didn’t mention murder mysteries…
As those of you who have followed our mysteries know, the current suspension of our mystery events is not solely due to the pandemic. Our long time mystery partner, Denham from the Shadow Stalkers, was scheduled to retire during the 2020/2021 season. That season was in fact intended to be a short one, and would only have featured a small handful of mysteries. Knowing that this retirement was coming, we were in the process of developing a replacement lineup of mysteries. Unfortunately, meeting the pandemic related operational challenges I mentioned above required us to put those efforts on the back burner. The result is that the Ravenwood Detective Agency will be on a slightly extended hiatus. But never fear, our intrepid detectives will be back at it in an upcoming season, just a bit later than originally planned.
What else have you guys been up to?
Pandemic aside, the team has been extremely busy over the last year. We’ve developed a new line of events which we’re extremely excited to announce (they’re dining related, so will be on hold a little bit longer). We’ve expanded the size of our team, and are continuing to grow. We’ve also been keeping the contractors busy, with the complete renovation of Rapunzel’s Suite, an overhaul for Cinderella’s Coach House, and the upgrade of bathrooms in many of our suites – including the addition of a full size shower in Clock Tower! In the coming weeks we’ll also be tearing down two unused buildings and replacing them with something way cooler.
Stay tuned for more details!