In part one of the Spokane television show, Community Positive, we hear from Matt Damskov, General Manager of The Ruby River Hotel. “The property has been here since the 1970s and has been a great spot for Spokane … COVID-19 closures were a big surprise and we just got the restaurant finished. We were ready to get the ball moving, then we had to close the doors.”
In response to the mandated closures, Osprey Restaurant & Bar purchased meat smokers and opened a drive-thru barbeque. Mr. Damskov continues, “The people of Spokane have really enjoyed it and we are going to continue to keep doing the barbeque out front, and also offer this patio … We want to save as many jobs as possible, be as safe as possible, and make sure people are comfortable.”
Osprey’s restaurant reopened when Spokane County moved into Washington’s Phase II of reopening. To ensure the safety of its guests and staff, Osprey published the following on their website: “Osprey is following all COVID-19 reopening guidelines to ensure the best of health to our guests and team members. Maximum occupancy has been reduced, seating is at least 6ft apart, and we have one-time-use menus. Masks are encouraged and required of all servers and restaurant staff.”
You can read more about Ruby Hospitality’s COVID-19 response here.
In reference to the ongoing, full-property renovation at The Ruby River Hotel, Mr. Damskov reports, “Travel has slowed down, group business is not there, you can’t utilize meeting space (sic). We decided that this gives us the time to really attack it, and try to get this project done a lot quicker than we planned.” When asked what advice he has for other locals in the same situation, Mr. Damskov suggests being creative, and trying new ideas. “Sometimes the first idea isn’t the greatest idea, but if you keep trying and keep moving on, something will stick, and that is what we have been doing. Don’t get discouraged at the first at attempt of trying something new, keep going with it.”
Community+’s third segment featuring Jerry Dicker, President, begins with an intense game of cornhole. Mr. Dicker dives into the details of the COVID-19 slowdown in Spokane, “At some point, you have to figure out “How do we retain our core people? How do we bring the other people back? How long will this coronavirus last?” We are here for the long term so we are just doing the best we can.”
Additionally, Mr. Dicker is assisting with the development of the former Global Credit Union building into a multi-functional education and daycare center. Locals will be able to attend classes here while being provided with childcare services. “Hopefully we will just keep doing good things in the area. That is our goal.”