HI USA To Reopen Select Hostels

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Country’s Largest Hostel Network Opens its Doors with Reduced Capacity, new “Let’s Stay Safe, Together” Health and Safety Program, and Special Savings for Guests

HI Boston will be one of HI USA's first hostels to reopen

"We are excited to begin welcoming guests again to several of our hostels," said Russ Hedge, CEO of HI USA.

Hostelling International USA (HI USA), the nation’s largest hostel network, has announced the reopening of ten of its hostels beginning September 2, 2020. In April, it closed most of its U.S. hostels as a result of the pandemic and in accordance with state and local mandates. Hostels have since reconfigured their guest rooms and public spaces to allow for more distancing, and HI USA has created new health and safety procedures—its “Let’s Stay Safe, Together” program—in order to welcome guests back to its hostels.

The first hostels to reopen are:

  •     HI San Diego Downtown Hostel on September 2
  •     HI San Diego Point Loma Hostel on September 3
  •     HI Point Montara Lighthouse Hostel on September 3
  •     HI Boston Hostel on September 10
  •     HI LA Santa Monica Hostel on September 10
  •     HI Chicago Hostel on September 18
  •     HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse Hostel on September 18
  •     HI New York City Hostel on September 25
  •     HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel and HI Point Reyes Hostel are also reopening, but will remain closed until local conditions & regulations allow them to host guests

Guests at the larger gateway hostels can enjoy great savings and flexibility with a reopening “Let’s Go” special, which offers 15% off the Best Flexible Rate, plus no pre-payment and free cancellation up to 24 hours prior to stay, through January 4, 2021.

In a first for HI USA, the coastal HI Point Montara Lighthouse, HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse and HI Point Reyes hostels will reopen as vacation rentals, so a group or family can rent private units on the properties, two of which are in restored lighthouses. Groups may also rent the entire hostel facilities including their kitchens and indoor and outdoor public areas, for a completely private and expansive stay.

“Let’s Stay Safe, Together”
To give guests and staff added comfort upon reopening, HI USA has introduced its “Let’s Stay Safe, Together” program, which includes safe distancing guidelines, mask requirements for all staff and guests, temperature checks at check-in and for all staff daily, enhanced cleaning, and contact tracing. Initially, hostel kitchens will have limited services, cafes will be closed, and kitchens, lounges and public areas will have reduced capacity. Hostels’ dorm rooms will be sold at very reduced occupancy, so individual guests and small travel parties will have exclusive use of their dorm rooms. Organized group social activities remain suspended until further notice.

“We are excited to begin welcoming guests again to several of our hostels,” said Russ Hedge, CEO of HI USA. “While closed, we’ve been working to reconfigure spaces, create a comprehensive health and safety program and ensure that we can welcome guests in a safe way while still providing a fun experience that allows them to connect—while at a safe distance —and experience new people, places and cultures.”

Hostel Closings
However, the coronavirus pandemic and travel restrictions have created serious financial challenges for the organization, similar to what many other lodging, restaurant and venue operators have experienced. Some smaller and seasonal hostels could not be readily adapted to the new rigorous health and safety program. After an extensive review, HI USA determined that several were no longer feasible to continue operating and made the difficult decision to close select properties including HI Austin Hostel (in TX); HI Eastham Hostel (in Cape Cod, MA); HI Houston Hostel (in TX); HI LA South Bay Hostel (in CA); HI Madison Hostel (in WI); HI Monterey Hostel (in CA); HI Nantucket Hostel (in MA); and HI Portland Hawthorne Hostel (in OR).

“The decision to close any of our hostels is not one we take lightly,” said Hedge. “With most of our hostels closed for the past several months and the continued uncertainty surrounding the economy and coronavirus pandemic, it was not financially viable to reopen these hostels. HI USA is committed to our mission of fostering understanding and cultural exchange through hostelling, and we will emerge stronger, albeit as a smaller network, from this crisis period.”

For more information about HI USA or to make a reservation at one of its hostels that are reopening, stay updated on the openings of additional hostels or learn about their new vacation rental units, visit http://www.hiusa.org or @hiusa.

About HI USA
Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is a nonprofit, member organization founded on an enduring belief in the power of travel to foster a deeper understanding of people, places, and the world. HI USA promotes a dynamic community of global citizens who have the wisdom and humanity to actively make the world a better place. As the nation’s leading hostel brand, HI USA hosted more than 1 million overnight stays in 2019, with guests from more than 100 countries. For over 80 years, HI USA has provided a network of affordable hostels in converted mansions, reinvented lighthouses, and historic urban buildings across the country. Visit http://www.hiusa.org for more information. HI USA is part of Hostelling International (HI), a collection of hostels in nearly 90 countries, whose roots stretch back to the beginning of the hostelling movement more than 100 years ago. The HI brand is a seal of approval recognized around the world.

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Media contact: Gabby McNamara, GMAC Communications, (908) 461-5260, gabbymac.gmac@gmail.com

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Gabriella McNamara
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