River Walk hotels 'consolidate’ due to coronavirus; other SA hotels still operating

Two River Walk Omni hotels will consolidate amid the pandemic

Mokara Hotel & Spa (Google Maps)

SAN ANTONIO – A luxury San Antonio hotel has decided to temporarily shut its doors to guests due to the coronavirus, as others in the area have yet to announce closures.

Mokara Hotel & Spa, located on the San Antonio River Walk, will be consolidating operations with Omni La Mansion del Rio, the hotel said in a statement to KSAT late Wednesday. Both are owned by Omni and sit across from each other on the popular tourist destination.

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At this time, it is unclear if additional Omni hotels in the area will be shuttered due to the coronavirus, but we’ll update this article with any new details.

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Mokara said the effects of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry are “unprecedented."

“We staff our hotel according to business demand, so in the short term, we will be consolidating operations with Omni La Mansion del Rio. We will reassess each day, continue to monitor the well-being of our associates and will offer the best guidance we can for them," a spokesperson for the hotel told KSAT.

A disaster declaration issued by Mayor Ron Nirenberg Wednesday still allows hotels to operate, but limits restaurants and bars and other businesses.

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Deputy City Manager María Villagómez told City Council on Thursday that several San Antonio hotels are reporting occupancy rates under 10%.

Read more about the coronavirus’s financial impacts here:

JW Marriott and Hilton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Marriott International told CNN that the chain — the largest in the world — will begin to furlough employees as the demand for travel dries up.

The company employs 130,000 people in the United States, CNN reported. The chain said they intend to rehire many of the furloughed employees once the virus is contained.

It is not immediately clear if employees in the San Antonio area will be laid off due to the effects.

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COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.


About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.