The COVID-19 pandemic has financially damaged many businesses, especially in the hospitality industry. But it’s also led to a slate of unique offerings for Valentine’s Day.
Hamilton County Tourism has partnered with local businesses throughout the county to offer packages, discounts, fun date ideas for couples, family outings and more for Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. One such offering includes a package deal with Cambria Hotel and Chiba, a Japanese restaurant, in Westfield.
“All facets of the hospitality industry, whether that’s hotels, restaurants, casinos, even Birdie’s miniature golf, we all have been hit hard by COVID,” Cambria Hotel Westfield Director of Corporate Sales Robin Turner said. “We all have had to think outside the box and change our business models.”
Prior to the pandemic, Cambria Hotel Westfield hadn’t offered Valentine’s Day specials or packages because it has typically been sold out due to tournaments at Grand Park or corporate events. But this year, the hotel is partnering with Chiba to offer 20 percent off standard hotel rates, free delivery of a romantic dinner from Chiba, a heated indoor pool and a bar.
“We are right here on the grounds of Grand Park, so typically in the past we were always busy during the weekends with tournaments and during the week with corporate travelers,” Turner said. “Tournaments have resumed, but there’s still an opportunity for more (business). Hence, the Valentine’s Day package. We are promoting a ‘staycation’ to local families just to be able to say we know it’s still COVID, but here’s a way to celebrate.
“You can have a romantic dinner delivered to the hotel, so if you’re nervous about going to restaurants, they are still being socially distanced and putting revenue back into the local economy.”
Turner said Cambria Hotel Westfield began promoting “staycations” this fall to cater to local families.
“Pulling out all the stops”
Hamilton County Tourism President and CEO Brenda Myers said the tourism organization’s partners have gone above and beyond with their creative ideas.
“We have always had creative partners, but everybody has pulled out all the stops, and it was really fun to see and really fun to talk to my spouse and say, ‘Which one of these do you want to do?’” Myers said. “It’s nice to have something to look forward to.”
Myers said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton County Tourism planned to ramp up marketing for Valentine’s Day because President’s Day weekend and Valentine’s Day weekend coincide, and Valentine’s Day is on a weekend rather than a weekday.
“We got excited and hopeful, not knowing at the time whether we would be locked down or coming out of it, but we are coming into a more positive direction with the pandemic,” Myers said. “So, I think everybody’s hopeful. And the other thing is, unlike the other holidays, this holiday can be done with your (immediate) family, with your bubble, and how we could promote the fact that you could really have a safe, bright spot in the middle of winter was really important to us. Our partners have been really creative. They have come up with some wonderful, affordable, accessible ways to take a break from all of the stress and really get out there safely and enjoy the holiday.
“It’s not only a mental break for our residents, it’s also another way to help our local businesses make it through this winter. I think the planets must have aligned with this one because of the weekend and when it is.”
Some Valentine’s Day offerings around Hamilton County
Organization: Nickel Plate Arts
Offering: Take-Out Date Night Kits. Kit reservations have a pickup on or around Feb. 9. Three types of ‘adult’ kits, separated by price point ($60, $100, $150) and one kid/family kit ($25) will be offered.
Organization: City of Fishers
Offering: From 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 13, Fishers will conduct a community Heart Hike event at Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve, 10410 Hague Rd., to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Heart Hike scavenger hunt, a free cup of hot cocoa and a campfire.
Organization: Noblesville Books & Brews and Moonshot Games
Offering: Valentine’s Day “Couples Play” Package. Moonshot Games partnered with Books & Brews in Noblesville to offer a $40 play/food/drink package that includes choice of one of the most popular two-player games, such as Fox & The Forest, Patchwork Express or Exit Game; a 60-second how-to-play video; an appetizer and two entrees from Books & Brews; and a mix-and-match six-pack from Books & Brews.
How to order: moonshotgamestore.com