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Businesses Cater To Travelers Who Want Bigger Social Spaces Amid Pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- As more travelers consider holiday trips and getaways, safety is foremost in their minds. People want to reconnect with their loved ones this holiday season, but they are also evaluating the degree of risk in the era of COVID-19.

So businesses are getting creative -- catering to guests who want to take advantage of bigger social spaces.

Taj Campton Place, a luxury boutique hotel in Union Square, has rolled out a first-ever booking option called "The Floor Is Yours." Guests can reserve an entire floor, which could be ideal for family get-togethers.

"The idea behind it really came from that idea that specially in these times that we live in, people want their safety, they want their space, you don't necessarily want to intermingle with other people," said Taj Campton Place General Manager Corinna Luebbe.

Since it reopened October 1, Taj Campton Place says it has become a popular choice for staycations, or guests driving or flying in from Southern California.

The smallest floor with four rooms, starts at $900 dollars a night.

"Our experience has been that guests who take that first step and realize that everything that hotels have been doing, I would say our hotels were clean before, and now it's one step away from being as clean as a hospital," added Luebbe.

Right now, the nation's COVID-19 surge is full force. New infections are nearing 100,000 a day, which may discourage people from long-distance travel heading into the winter.

Travel website and blog The Points Guy found in a recent survey that of the people who do expect to travel this holiday season, nearly 40% said it will be their first trip since the pandemic began. Gen Z travelers are also the most likely to get away.

"If you're paranoid about traveling, and you want to create that extra layer of protection, something like that might be smart," said Senior News Editor Clint Henderson. "It might be a chance for you and your family to spend a holiday in the city for the first time in your lives."

Movie theaters are also finding a lifeline in catering to small groups. AMC and Cinemark are allowing moviegoers to rent out the entire theater for up to of 20 of their closest friends or family, starting at $99. Renters can choose from about 30 fan-favorites movies.

Vacation rental site Vrbo recently offered what it calls the most socially distant ski vacation ever. The unique one-time listing for a three-night stay at a cabin in Beaver, Utah came with a private ski mountain at Eagle Point Resort for an entire day, for just $100 a night.

"Demand for Vrbo properties in mountain destinations within driving distance from home is higher this year, and homes are quickly booking up. To inspire families to start planning their ski vacations, we created a one-time only listing that combines everything people love about a winter getaway in a Vrbo: privacy, breathtaking natural beauty, access to the outdoors, room to spread out, and an opportunity to make some epic memories together," said Melanie Fish, Vrbo's travel expert.

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