EL PASO, TEXAS—In El Paso, Texas, a historic hotel built in 1912, Hotel Paso del Norte (Marriott Autograph Collection), has been undergoing a multi-million-dollar, multi-year renovation to bring it to the grandeur of yesteryear with a wide array of modern amenities. As part of the final touches before re-opening later this year, the hotel will be among the world’s first Marriott Autograph Collection Hotels to install a state-of-the-art air filtration system throughout the hotel’s entire HVAC system. The Plasma Air system has been shown to remove 99 percent of bacteriophage in the air after 10 minutes of use. Common areas, bars, restaurants, hallways, ballrooms, meeting rooms, spa and fitness rooms, and all guestrooms will utilize the filtration system shown to remove pathogens through ionization.
This is a much-needed asset for locals and travelers in search of safe options rich with history and culture. Nestled aside the Franklin mountains of El Paso, Hotel Paso del Norte brings a distinct sense of luxury to this cultured cowboy destination where Texas and the Southwest converge. The property is noted on the National Register of Historic Places and captures the soul of El Paso with art, history, and numerous culinary offerings that offer the distinct flavors of the region. Native American carvings, a bronze statue of Mexican General Pancho Villa and a 25-foot Tiffany-style stained glass dome ceiling are among the hotel’s architectural treasures.
“We are among the First Marriott Autograph hotels in the world to install a system that cleans air to this level,” said Carlos Sarmiento, General Manager of Hotel Paso del Norte. “Being in the renovation process when this crisis occurred gave us the unique opportunity to implement additional safety features before opening our doors. When we undertook this project, we were prepared to restore the 108-year-old property’s architectural elements, create stunning event spaces and amenities, and curate a distinct culinary destination—but Covid-19 gave us the need to enhance air quality in all areas of the hotel.”
Made by Plasma Air, the system being installed at Hotel Paso del Norte features HVAC-mounted ionizers which use proactive air purification technologies to deactivate airborne pathogens safely. The system incorporates bipolar ionization, which creates millions of positive and negative ions, a proven method for virus destruction. Tested in simulated hospital ICUs and hotels used to house medical personnel in isolation during the pandemic, the Plasma Air system was shown to reduce 99 percent of bacteriophage after only 10 minutes of exposure to ionization.
“In 2020, there is no amenity greater than safety,” added Sarmiento. “Reopening during a pandemic means that offering an authentic destination experience is not enough. It’s imperative that we employ advanced safety precautions to promote health and peace of mind. Then guests will truly be able to enjoy this beautiful hotel.”
Other safety measures at the highly anticipated Hotel Paso del Norte include but are not limited to:
- A Commitment to Clean Plan that ensures hygiene and cleanliness throughout the hotel;
- A dedicated position committed to the oversight of hotel safety efforts;
- Training for all associates;
- Sanitizing stations throughout hotel;
- Sanitizing of high-touch areas at a minimum of every two hours;
- Associates wear personal protective equipment, receive temperature checks prior to each shift, and complete wellness questionnaires;
- Vendors wear masks and have their temperature checked;
- All guests required to wear masks in public areas as mandated by local and state laws as well as Marriott;
- Safety signage and protocols posted throughout hotel;
- Implementation of social distancing;
- Floor signage to encourage guests stay six feet apart;
- Plexiglass barriers at the front desk, bell desk, concierge, and all restaurant host podiums;
- Hotel shuttle cleaned and sanitized after each trip;
- Valet services temporarily suspended; self-parking encouraged;
- Bell carts sanitized after each use;
- Mobile check-in promoted via the Marriott Bonvoy app, including the request of items, chat features, etc.;
- Hotel room keys sanitized between stays and prior to distributing to guests;
- Use of trays to hand items to guests;
- Credit card machines positioned for easy guest access, reducing associates handling of guest credit cards;
- Disinfecting wipes provided to all guests upon check-in;
- Thorough cleaning of all guestrooms with 24-hour window between guests for each room; and
Rooftop pool use is available through a reservations system to ensure there is no overcrowding.