Downtown Hotels Prepare for Impending Aug. 12 Anniversary Weekend

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Hotels in the area are taking extra precautions for the weekend of Aug. 12 Hotels in the area are taking extra precautions for the weekend of Aug. 12

Although no one knows what will happen over this weekend, hotels in downtown Charlottesville are taking extra precautions for the upcoming Unite the Right rally anniversary weekend.

The general manager of the Marriott Residence Inn says he has a plan similar to last year’s, but with one difference and a lot fewer people.

This time of year, the hotel on West Main Street is usually bustling with people.

“Last year we were full for the weekend, and that's pretty typical for a weekend in Charlottesville,” says Eric Pfister, the general manager.

But this year, as we approach the weekend of August 11 and 12, the number of guests has dropped.

Pfister says the staff is ready for anything this time.

“It left some questions for us if anything does take place downtown - when exactly that will happen - so we're just prepared for the entire weekend,” says Pfister.

Similar to last year, the hotel will lock its garage door. Staff will also close the main entrance earlier than usual, and only guests will be able to get in with a key.

“Last year, we brought in outside security,” says Pfister. “This year, we've extended that period to encompass the entire weekend starting from Friday afternoon just simply because nothing specifically planned."

Across the street, the Omni Hotel says it's prepared for the weekend as well.

Staff would not comment on camera and they can't disclose much about the hotel’s security plans, but they do say they'll ensure the safety of their guests.

That’s the main goal for both downtown hotels.

“We'll just have security walking the perimeter, walking inside, we've got some extra staff to kind of keep an eye on all our public spaces and make sure that everything is secure,” says Pfister.

Last year's rally didn't reach the hotels, but Pfister says he's being cautious since he really has nothing to gauge due to the lack a planned event.