The San Martin, Calif. property has “pushed the reset button,” reports Managing Director Luca Rutigliano, after being forced to lay off 345 workers as its international and business-travel revenue disappeared. It is now shifting to “bring a five-star resort experience to the local market,” Rutigliano says, emphasizing how its 1,200-acre property offers ample opportunity “to give people all the space they want, but also all the attention they want.”
Executives of the CordeValle golf resort in San Martin, Calif. are taking aim at success in the coronavirus era with strategies to fine-tune their target markets and to use the spacious grounds of the properties as ready-made venues for social distancing, The Mercury News of San Jose, Calif. reported.
Nestled into the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, CordeValle has enjoyed many periods of success, The Mercury News reported, including hosting the U.S. Women’s Open in 2016 and being a stop for the PGA men’s Tour on multiple occasions.
But the arrival of coronavirus-imposed restrictions quickly eroded CordeValle’s business, The Mercury Newsreported. The resort was forced to lay off, at least temporarily, 345 workers. The cutbacks included layoffs of 263 workers in March 2020 and 82 in August 2020, according to official notices that the company filed with the state Employment Development Department.
“We have all been tested by COVID,” said Luca Rutigliano, the resort’s Managing Director. “COVID is a real challenge. But we took the challenges very seriously.”
During months of shutdowns, executives at CordeValle used the opportunity to tweak its strategies for a coronavirus world, The Mercury News reported.
“COVID-19 has been extremely bad, but taking a break gives us the opportunity to step back and see what we are good at, what we are not good at, and what do we want to be,” Rutigliano said. “We have the opportunity to push the reset button.”
One of the natural advantages that CordeValle can wield is the size of the facility, The Mercury News reported. Roughly 1,200 acres in size, the property can offer plenty of elbow room, even for visitors who might be nervous about the coronavirus.
“We have a golf business and a high-end resort,” Rutigliano said. “We have a proven product.”
People can golf, play tennis, wander through the winery and vineyards on-site, visit the dining halls, use the pool, trek on the mountain, or lounge on public or private patios, The Mercury News reported.
“We have tons of space for individuals to choose where they want to be,” Rutigliano said. “We have plenty of space to allow for social distancing. You can be indoors, outdoors, and still have a lot of space to do what you want.”
CordeValle is also attempting to cope with the reality of the type of traveler the resort is likely to attract for the foreseeable future, The Mercury News reported. For years, it did well with attracting international and business travelers. But due to the coronavirus and work-from-home protocols, international trips and corporate journeys have waned.
“We are changing to a locally oriented California market, with a heavy emphasis on a five-star resort experience,” Rutigliano said. “We are going to bring that resort experience to the local market.”
CordeValle has also instituted operational changes related to the new concerns of the COVID era, The Mercury Newsreported. These include:
— The hotel offers luggage carts that guests can take up to the rooms themselves, in contrast to the pre-coronavirus approach of hotel staff taking the carts to the room.
— Room service is now a dropoff and takeout service designed to minimize contacts with guests in the rooms.
“It will give our guests the peace of mind that they can stay safely on the property with limited contact with the staff but still have a memorable experience,” Rutigliano said. “This process will be evolving.”
The resort has also upgraded its golf course and will renovate all of the rooms.
“People will have all of the space they want, but also all the attention they want,” Rutigliano said.