With travel and tourism hobbled by coronavirus fears, some luxury and marquee hotels across the county began temporarily closing or announcing plans to close to guests this weekend as they worked to absorb an unprecedented blow to an industry that relies on tourism and business travel.
The closures leave hundreds of people without jobs, but hoteliers said they had few other options.
Moody Gardens Hotel Spa & Conference Center will close its 428-room hotel to guests Sunday and won't take any reservations until June 1, marking the first property on the island to do so, but likely not the last, industry observers warned.
The 237-room South Shore Harbour Resort in League City would temporarily close to guests beginning March 28, about a week from now, managers said.
John Zendt, the president and CEO of Moody Gardens, in a statement confirmed the hotel's plans to temporarily close.
“We’ve all been through 9/11, hurricanes and other disasters," Zendt said. "We’ll get through this, too, and in the end be stronger as a community.”
Roy Green, general manager of South Shore Harbour Resort, said in written statement to guests: "It is unfortunate that due to the coronavirus, which has instilled some limitations including travel, South Shore Harbour Resort has made the difficult decision to temporarily close their doors for business.
"We want both our clients and employees to stay safe during this trying time and we do not take this lightly."