The Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas has reopened with social distancing practices in place

The Adolphus Hotel in Downtown Dallas reopened its doors Thursday.

The iconic hotel, which has been in business since 1912, closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Hotel occupancy had dropped to just 5 percent.

Enhanced safety measures are now in place to help ease visitors' concerns.

The only time the Adolphus had ever closed was in 1980, when the hotel underwent a major renovation.

A few guests checked in Thursday, and dozens more are booked for the weekend.

The decision to reopen comes at a time when the tourism industry is looking for innovative ways to regain consumer confidence.

From the outside, the Adolphus looks exactly as it did before the pandemic, but walk inside it's re-opened doors, and it's clear the hospitality industry has changed.

That includes employees wearing face masks, social distancing signs, and sanitizer stations.

“It was just a strange thing to be closed for two months, but we're happy to be back,” said Sam Tucker, area director of sales and marketing for Adolphus Hotel.

Tucker said about 80 percent of the hotel staff was furloughed. Now, that staff is being brought back in phases.

“We've got the hotel glitz and cleaned, and we have a whole new set of processes in play that will clean every hour public spaces,” he said.

Another sign of the slow comeback is that only 75 rooms out of more than 400 are in use, for now.

Rooms are deep cleaned and sealed for 24 hours between each guest checkout.

The hotel had to reschedule 20 weddings due to the temporary closure.

June 27 is the next one.

Things like open bar and carving stations have been changed to table service.

Larger dance floors will also be in place for social distancing.

“We're going to do a trial run how long it takes to set up a wedding using elevators, without cross contamination, and then how long it takes to tear them down,” explained Paula Fenner, the hotel’s director of catering.

Overall, the local tourism industry has taken a big financial hit.

On Wednesday, the new CEO of Visit Dallas briefed the City Council about their new campaign "Visit Dallas...Soon."

But he made the bold prediction that Dallas will be positioned for a rebound better than other tourism hot spots.

Hotels like the Adolphus are counting on it.

“I don't think you can see me smiling behind my mask, but I am,” Tucker said.

“We're excited to be part of this and create memories of a lifetime,” Fenner said.

The first real test will be Memorial Day weekend.

The Adolphus is opening up its roof-top pool with social distancing guidelines in place.

The hope is people will feel safe enough to venture out.

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