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IL bed and Breakfast offers free rooms to local frontline workers

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    GALENA, IL (WQAD ) — Since the state-wide shutdown began back in March, the Aldrich Guest House Bed and Breakfast has remained open.

“We weren’t deemed unessential, but when you have no unessential travel in place… there’s no one really coming out here,” said co-owner Douglas Mahan.

Innkeepers and co-owners Robert and Douglas Mahan said their last guest checked out on March 20th and another did not come through their doors until May 22nd – a total of two months without guests.

“We were kind of closed by default not by executive order,” said Robert.

Douglas and Robert added that they rely heavily on the tourism the city of Galena brings in.

“With tourism being our number one industry, it’s definitely something where we’re all in this together,” said Douglas. “If one part of it is taken out it definitely makes the other struggle.”

Now, the city has re-opened small businesses and restaurants. City officials closed a portion of Main Street to allow for restaurants to have outdoor dining in the street.

Although Robert said income was scarce the past few months, he said they decided to give back.

“We’re giving away up to 25 nights to local frontline workers,” said Robert.

For every room sold in the month of May until June 16th, Robert and Douglas will give one away to local nurses, mail carriers or trash collectors.

“We’re been frontline workers for pretty much our entire lives in the service and hospitality industry. And we always loved when someone acknowledged it and said thank you,” said Robert.

“This is our way to kind of give some relaxation and some rest for all those people that work so hard during everything,” said Douglas.

Susan Barg is one of many who took part in the promotion.

“My husband surprised me with a little birthday stay-cation here at Aldrich Guest House,” Barg said recounting her stay. “I wanted to be able to be a part of giving back in some way.”

Robert and Douglas Mahan said all free stays will be collected until the end of the promotion when they can begin to be redeemed by essential workers.

The Mahans said they are also adapting to new post-COVID19 cleaning procedures – like spacing out guests, triple sheeting rooms, and wiping down high touch areas more frequently.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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