Mohonk shut down midday Friday and will remain closed until Valentines Day so BMS Cat, a Fort Worth, Texas-based company, can clean every inch of the National Historic Landmark resort, said Nina Smiley, Mohonks director of marketing.
The staff first became aware of the contagious bug on Sunday as guests either left sick or called the hotel after they got home, Smiley
Thats when we became aware something significant was going around, she
Some got sick while they were here, and some got ill when they got home, but we didnt hear about it right away, she
We got phone calls, and it was like a jigsaw puzzle where we were putting all the pieces together.
said the illness is similar to a stomach virus that includes symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea.
said the virus does not appear to be food-borne and is believed to have been passed from person to person.
Those affected said the duration of the illness was between 24 and 48 hours, Smiley
She said Mohonks staff is working with the Ulster County Department of Health and has sent samples to a lab to identify the virus.
A reporters repeated calls Friday to county Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith were not returned.
About 200 members of BMS Cat
, a globally known company used in the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, is at Mohonk, using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved disinfectants to wipe down everything, Smiley
Theyre washing all the linens and laundry and working on the carpets and drapery, she
Everything from the guest rooms to the offices to the public spaces all the buildings are being cleaned.
said while the hotel is closed, its 750 employees can either choose to work with the BMS cleanup crews or take compensated leave.
Others, who are considered essential staff, will remain while the remediation efforts continue, she
called the resorts closing unprecedented.
In 145 years, its never happened, she
Weve never experienced anything like this, and were taking this extra step of closing for the welfare of our guests.
Mohonk, which can accommodate 600 guests and is one of Ulster Countys top tourist destinations, will likely feel the impact, Smiley
said, but she
couldnt say how much of a monetary loss the hotel will suffer.
, meanwhile, said the staff is working to figure things out as far as charging guests who were affected.
Were addressing the situation right now and are focused on that, she