Loss of visitors forces Verona hotels to temporarily close

VERONA, Wis.– Verona usually attracts visitors from across the country, largely thanks to Epic. It’s not doing that this year which means the coronavirus is cutting off a lot of potential business.

A long and winding road leads to the Springdale Inn Bed and Breakfast.

“It’s just an honor to host people who are here with someone they love and looking for the good,” owner Nancy Hylbert said.

Business has been pretty good for Hylbert since 2012, but the pandemic brought her to an unexpected fork in the road.

“I didn’t know what would come of it, but it came apparent quickly within a period of months that this was no ordinary flu,” Hylbert said.

While individual hotel rooms circulate air from the outside, Hylbert’s Bed and Breakfast only has one furnace and air conditioning system. That meant making the tough decision to close.

“It would be out of the question for me to have people stay in the same dwelling together with this airborne virus,” Hylbert said.

The COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard on smaller bed and breakfasts like the Springdale Inn, but larger corporate hotels are hurting, too.

The Verona Holiday Inn Express, originally built to host people traveling to Epic’s Verona Headquarters, is also temporarily closed.

“The hotel industry has been hit from all sides with this and that trickles down,” Verona Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Le Jordan said.

Jordan said the loss of overnight stays in the city affects its smaller businesses, too.

“I do think our community will rally around our smaller businesses to try and help them stay afloat, but you will see some businesses go under if it continues on that long,” Jordan said.

Back at Springdale Inn, Hylbert doesn’t anticipate reopening until the path forward becomes clearer.

“It really matters to me to offer what I see as a really great experience for people and that’s just not going to happen during the pandemic,” Hylbert said.

Hylbert also has a Spring Green home listed on VRBO that’s getting a lot of interest during the pandemic. She said people staying there like the idea of having a place to themselves where they know it’s clean and safe.

In Verona, the Fairfield Inn and Suites, right across the way from the Holiday Inn Express, is still open. The Hyatt, located across town, is still open, as well.