Drury Inn’s bid to provide isolation and quarantine rooms rejected

The only bid the city received from hotels and motels interested in providing housing for people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic came from Drury Inn & Suites on Stadium Boulevard.

Columbia rejected it.

The city had hoped to contract with a hotel to provide rooms for those who could not safely quarantine or self-isolate at home, but the Drury Inn proposal was deemed “unresponsive” because it didn’t meet the requirements of the city’s request.

“Please cancel the RFP,” Scott Clardy, assistant director of public health and human services, wrote in an email to Sophie Heidenreich, the city’s senior procurement officer.

The city sought up to 10 isolation rooms and up to 15 quarantine rooms, according to the request for proposals. The Drury Inn said it would not offer isolation rooms, but it would offer rooms for guests being quarantined at $65 per night.

The city had offered to pay for rooms as needed or to book blocks of 10 rooms or 25 rooms and to pay for them regardless of whether they were occupied.

During telephone negotiations with the Drury staff, the hotel agreed to provide isolation rooms only if the city would lease the entire hotel for at least two weeks, with any renewals also being for the entire hotel for another two weeks, according to Clardy’s email.

The hotel also asked that a city liaison be present whenever isolated or quarantined guests were present.

“This is not only non-responsive to the RFP but is cost prohibitive,” Clardy wrote in the email.

The Drury Inn on Stadium has 122 rooms.

In its request for proposals, the city also asked that hotels or motels provide rooms with individual heating and air-conditioning systems, thermostats, towels, sheets, pillows, telephones, refrigerators, microwaves, linens and trash bags.

It asked that fresh linens be delivered outside guests doors every three days, that guests be allowed to double bag their dirty laundry for pickup and that trash be collected twice per day.

The city offered to pay an extra fee if the hotel would wash the guests’ laundry, but the Drury Inn declined to offer that optional service.

Bidding hotels or motels also were asked to provide increased internet capacity to guests who required it and to deliver meals outside the guests’ doors. Clardy said in his email that the Drury Inn declined to do the latter.

Jovita Foster, vice president and general counsel at Drury Hotels, said in the proposal that Drury would only provide housekeeping services inside the rooms before and after a guest’s stay.

“Drury’s employees will deliver cleaned linens and terry goods to each hotel room by placing these items in a mutually agreeable location outside of the occupied guest room once a week or more frequently upon the request of the hotel room guest or the city and these items will be taken into the guest room by the occupant of the guest room.”

Drury Hotels sent an email statement to the Missourian after its bid was rejected.

“The Drury Inn & Suites Columbia Stadium Boulevard continues to operate and welcome guests as normal. There have been no agreements to utilize the property for other purposes.”

Drury Inn & Suites is a hotel chain with two locations in Columbia. The other is the Drury Plaza Hotel on I-70 Drive Southeast.

The city has two alternatives, Clardy said. It inquired with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services about the possibility of establishing statewide or regional isolation or quarantine facilities, but it received no response.

The other option would be to use a city-owned building, a possibility the city continues to explore.

Source: https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/covid19/drury-inns-bid-to-provide-isolation-and-quarantine-rooms-rejected/article_d2cf4d62-866d-11ea-b351-6f16df89794f.html

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