Lethbridge hotels introduce themed rooms for photoshoots as tourism suffers amid COVID-19

The Lethbridge Lodging Association has started a unique project in the hopes of attracting attention to the struggling tourism industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five of the city’s hotels have each transformed one room into a themed  Spotlight Room”, which allows groups of up to six people 20-minute private sessions to take their own photos.

Bruce Primeau, a past president of the Lethbridge Lodging Association, says hotels needed to do something help them stay afloat during pandemic.

Read more: B.C. tourism industry worries new health orders will further hurt business

“Our industry has been hit exceptionally hard,” he said. “The hotel industry as a whole, [we] rely on tourism travel, sport travel, we rely on corporate travel.”

The idea for the project began with the idea for a ‘Put 2020 in the Dumpster’ room, but the idea expanded and several options for rooms were created at the following hotels:

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  • Best Western Service Plus Inn & Suites: Rub a Dub Dub in the Tub
  • Holiday Inn Express SE: Under the Sea
  • Holiday Inn Lethbridge: I’m Dreaming of a Beach Vacation
  • Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge: Put 2020 in the Dumpster
  • Wingate by Wyndham: That 70’s Room

An $89 stay at participating hotels allows guest to visit each room for free, while a $5 per room cost for non-guests goes toward supporting the Lethbridge Food Bank.

‘Put 2020 in a Dumpster’ photoshoot theme room at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge.
‘Put 2020 in a Dumpster’ photoshoot theme room at the Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge. Courtesy / visitlethbridge.com

The Mennie family visited all five rooms on Saturday for a birthday celebration, and says they were very happy with the cleaning procedure and overall experience.

Read more: Saskatchewan restaurants, hotels prepare for pandemic winter

“It gets you out of the house, it’s safe, and it’s completely out of the norm of what we would even do in a normal year,” Ryan Mennie said.

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“It’s a great activity and a great way to shake off the regular routine of being inside.”

While the project is a fun experience now, the ultimate goal is that it will earn attention for the hotels once the pandemic is over.

“People are going to be looking for things to do and maybe they’ll remember, ‘Hey, I saw that rubber duck room in Lethbridge, let’s go down to Lethbridge,’” Primeau said. “Then they’re staying in our hotels, they’re eating in our restaurants, they’re eating in our stores.”

The rooms are available for booking until Jan. 8, and by posting to social media with the hashtag #VisitLethbridge, participants are entered to win a prize.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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