But despite being resilient enough to survive the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic that killed 50 million people, the closure of the Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway that sparked its creation and the impact of World War II, the West Point Inn is facing its most serious hurdle amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
The damage inflicted by the coronavirus has been two fold. First, the inn’s all-volunteer board hasn’t been able to reopen it because its configuration – the inn and six cabins – has always been more like a hostel than a hotel. As a result, despite the fact that Marin County Public Health gave hotels and short-term rentals the green light to reopen in August, the guidelines don’t allow for operations like the West Point Inn, where the kitchen and bathroom, for instance, are communal.
Secondly, because it depends heavily on rental revenues that have been frozen since March, the board and innkeepers have continued to maintain the property and has burned through a substantial portion of its reserves. The organization also draws revenue from its approximately 600 association members.
With that predicament in mind, head innkeeper David Durr has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to support its reopening and partially reconfigure the space, as possible, to improve COVID-19 safety. The campaign seeks to raise at least $20,000, and has raised nearly $8,000 to date.
In addition to the GoFundMe, the board is accepting donations directly via its website. The board is weighing the possibility to offering limited stays for a minimum of three days, as well as the possibility of auctioning off stays over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, as well as New Year’s Eve.