The Doubletree Hotel in downtown Cedar Rapids closed its doors on March 26. We were just getting used to hearing the words "coronavirus" and "Covid-19" in nearly every conversation. At the time no one knew for sure when they might open again.

On Thursday, July 9 the Doubletree reopened, bringing the city's business guests and fellow travelers back downtown.

During its downtime, the hotel room windows were arranged to bring a message of "HOPE."

Mike Ferris
Mike Ferris

Today those rooms are beginning to fill, and the shades drawn against the summer's rays.

“We are happy to reopen our doors and be welcoming both our guests and Team Members back to our hotel. This is a very exciting day and we are looking forward to getting back to the “business of hospitality”- hosting our guests as well as the upcoming weddings and events taking place this summer.” - Jay Anderkin, DoubleTree by Hilton Cedar Rapids Convention Complex General Manager.

Iowa's News Now reported that Hilton has begun a new protocol "Hilton CleanStay" that provides Lysol protection to deliver an "industry-leading standard of cleanliness and disinfection" in properties across the world.

The downtown Cedar Rapids structure also includes the US Cellular Center, formerly known as the "Five Seasons Center".

The Cedar Rapids Beer Summit was one of the last major events to be held prior to the Covid-19 lockdown at the Doubletree Convention Complex on Saturday, March 7.

There still is no consensus on when major concerts and events may return to those venues, but with virus-positive cases still rising, the likely answer is not anytime soon.

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