If you clean it, will they come? Rick Caruso’s visible plan to reopen malls & resorts

Caruso properties have new procedures and infrastructure in place for post-pandemic business

Rick Caruso, the Grove mall (Credit: Donato Sardella/Getty Images, and CARUSO)
Rick Caruso, the Grove mall (Credit: Donato Sardella/Getty Images, and CARUSO)

Rick Caruso plans to make his malls and resorts exceptionally clean when they reopen. So much so that he’s swapping out valet parkers for “distancing ambassadors” and a small army of cleaners.

His eponymous company Caruso released details of precautions and procedures that will be put in place at 10 Los Angeles area shopping malls, such as the Grove near Park La Brea and the Americana at Brand in Glendale, as well as its resorts. They go much further than the state’s current guidelines for retailers, according to the L.A. Times.

Part of the approach is to make cleaning highly visible. Public areas at the Rosewood Miramar Beach resort in Montecito, for example, will be cleaned hourly.

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Nontoxic-disinfectant spray machines will be utilized across all areas of Caruso’s properties at least twice a day. Bathroom attendants will clean stalls after each use and ensure that no more than 50 percent are occupied at one time, according to the Times. Reusable towels will also be replaced with disposable towels. “Physical distancing ambassadors” will police crowded areas.

“We used to make sure no one saw it cleaned,” said Caruso, speaking about his malls. “We want cleaning people to be visible and out there all day long.”

Housekeepers will use color-coded cloths to clean rooms to better reduce cross contamination and ultraviolet-light air purifiers have been installed in HVAC systems in the Miramar’s main building.

Caruso said the new procedures would increase overhead, but said that his company would “absorb a lot of these costs for smaller tenants.” Caruso isn’t collecting rent from smaller tenants but continues to collect rent from larger national brands. [LAT] Dennis Lynch

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