Tucked away in the foothills between Rome, Adairsville and Kingston, the Barnsley Resort has reopened to overnight visitors.
The historic resort was shut down from March 22 to June 12 by the COVID-19 pandemic
“While we closed the main portion of the resort from an accommodations and restaurant perspective we did keep the golf course open which was within the guidelines,” said David Friederich.
The golf course actually closed for a two week period to give make sure there were no outside influences on the grounds and staff.
Friederich said when the decision was revealed to resume overnight visits that the resort quickly filled to the max capacity management was comfortable with and still meet all safety and health guidelines for guests.
“It takes time to bring back all of your employees under the safe guidelines,” Friederich said. “The cottages were the most popular and sold out first.”
At this point, the client base at Barnsley has shifted to about 90% leisure travelers who Friederich said have been yearning to escape the shelter at home environment of the last three months.
“Many corporations have either still got travel restrictions on their team,” Friederich said. “We still have some corporate business coming to us but it’s all from a drive market.”
He said there was a small business group of about 25 that came to Barnsley on the reopening weekend to take advantage of Georgia’s reopening.
The resort is checking the temperature of all employees as they report for work and offering the same to corporate clients as a an extra precautionary tool to make them feel more comfortable with holding an event
During the nearly three month period the resort was closed Friederich estimated that Barnsley may have lost as much as 60% of its anticipated business.
“Everything that we have offered in the past is not fully available right now,” Friederich said. The Woodlands Grill restaurant is limiting seating to create appropriate distancing and will function under a reservations only system for the time being. The Rice House restaurant will remain closed until it becomes both necessary and able to able to meet safety guideline
The sporting clays course re-opened on June 12 with a National Skeet & Trap Association shoot last weekend.
The wedding business has always been a big part of the mix at the resort, During the three month shutdown, some of the weddings were rescheduled.
Friederich said he just can’t predict when business will return to pre-COVID-19 levels. He explained that a lot of corporate events were moved from the spring to the fall or first quarter of 2021.
“Our weekend business I think will remain excellent through the summer as people want to get away,” Friederich said but expects the Sunday through Thursday dates will likely be available for a while.