When The Hacienda at Warm Sands General Manager, Steve Siehl, shows up these days to check on the Palm Springs resort, it’s a bit like entering the twilight zone.
“It’s unnerving, it’s uncomfortable, it’s just generally odd,” said Siehl
The Hacienda would normally have rooms booked and pools packed this time of year, but this year it’s quiet.
Since the coronavirus pandemic closed the Palm Springs resort on March 13, the phones stopped ringing, the booking calendar emptied, and like so many others, seven employees suddenly had nowhere to work.
“They were scared. You could see it in their faces. Just not knowing what was going to happen,” said Siehl.
That deeply troubled the owners of The Hacienda, Jim Moje and Maurice Minno who thought that just wasn’t right.
“Our staff is truly exceptional and they should not suffer during this time,” said Minno.
The owners contacted every member of the staff from house keepers to service staff and told them they were still needed, but their new job was to stay home, stay safe, and be ready to come back to work when this is all over with all while still getting full pay, health insurance and the tips they could have been making.
“We felt it absolutely critical that we maintain the welfare of each of the seven of our employees as we had to close our business,” said the owners.
The staff was left thankful and in disbelief.
“It was wonderful. The notes, the phone calls, it almost brought tears to my eyes,” said Moje.
“I’m able to sleep better knowing that I’ll be able to pay my rent and pay my mortgage, so it’ll be a peace of mind for them,” said Siehl.
The Hacienda is preparing to reopen in late June.