By GAVIN ALEXANDER | Junior Reporter
A lot of people have been wondering what the holidays will be like this year in Palisades Village. I had the opportunity to speak with Rick Caruso, and he told me about their plans.
Given the pandemic, this holiday season will be a little different; there will still be a Christmas tree but there will be necessary precautions to ensure the safety of everyone.
I asked Rick which experts he and his team consulted with to come up with their social distancing strategy, he replied, “When this all started in March we were very early to engage the Head of Infectious Disease at USC Keck School of Medicine Dr. Nanda. We also hired a full-time registered nurse who specializes in infectious diseases and alongside the Caruso team, they developed all the protocols for the properties, including the hotel.”
I also learned that in the process of developing their COVID-19 protocols, the Caruso team consulted many other CEOs around the country on what they were doing in order to ensure the safety of their employees as well as the guests on their properties. If you are interested in learning more about the protocols in place, you can find them on Caruso.com.
Santa’s arrival in the village has always been a big deal. Of course, my big question was if there would be an opportunity for people to sit on Santa’s lap this year.
Rick replied, “We spent an enormous amount of time thinking about this because we wanted to do what’s right. The holidays are very important, and you know how much I love the holidays. It is seen in the way we decorate including the trees and the lights. We came to the conclusion that this year it’s best to have Santa at a distance. There will not be the opportunity to sit on Santa’s lap. We don’t want to take any chances with COVID spiking. We want to be extra careful with our guests and be extra careful with Santa and keeping him safe. There will not be a house for Santa in the Village this year. Instead, Santa will make appearances from time to time.”
I also learned the Christmas tree this year is 50 feet tall and comes from Mt. Shasta. Given the pandemic there will also be no Christmas tree lighting ceremony this year. There will be a Menorah this year at the village. I also learned that the movie theatre in the village will stay in business.
Caruso is one of the only developers in the country where every one of their properties has large outdoor areas for restaurants, which, when Public Health orders allow, is helping the restaurants do financially better now than before COVID.
When asking Rick about his vision in a post COVID world, he told me, “I firmly believe the Palisades Village is going to be even more important and integral to the Palisades community post COVID. As a result of COVID, people want to stay close to their home and more and more people have discovered the Palisades Village. The Village has become a part of their life and a place where they run into family and friends. It is safe, comfortable and familiar.”
We should also expect there will be some new tenants.
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