For Rebound Hospitality, the year 2020 started with a great deal of optimism as we came off strong having improved in all of our markets. And then came the COVID-19 pandemic. Most disappointing was the collapse of the St. Paul, MN hotel market just as our newest property, the Celeste of St. Paul was beginning to bloom.
However, challenging times force organizations to come together and find efficiencies. While we needed to make dramatic cuts in staffing as we closed and reopened properties, this allowed us to focus on leadership and staff with a true passion for the industry and our properties. Repeatedly, I have been impressed by our management and team as they found innovative ways to overcome the obstacles we have faced. We are thrilled with how the Decorah, IA market has rebounded and are encouraged by steady growth in Northfield, MN. It will take more time for the St. Paul, MN and Des Moines, IA markets to recover however we are fortunate to have two superb properties in each of those cities.
We were also able to take the time to make significant improvements at each of the hotels and bars, especially at the Hotel Winneshiek while it was closed or had light weeks. The hotel has never looked better and our already careful housekeeping was augmented with additional technology and procedures to increase sanitation and safety for staff and guests.
While business and markets recovered to 40-50% of normal levels late last summer and early fall 2020, we saw significant slowing of demand again this past winter and early spring. With business travel and conferences expected to be some of the last activities to recover and with college campuses and entertainment venues allowing only limited access, our markets will see many more months of depressed demand.
While we are hopeful that a vaccine will allow tourism and entertainment to increase dramatically in the second half of 2021, we will be cautious and deliberate with our business models. The biggest long-term risk for hospitality is consumer and business spending as we recover from the pandemic and handle the overarching damage to the economy. With consumer savings drained and individual, corporate and government debt on the rise, it will likely be years before we see revenues return to pre-pandemic levels.
We never want to face a year like 2020 again but the strength of our organization, attention to detail, quality of staff and guest safety and security have never been more optimal. We have also discovered new marketing and sales skills and partners that will allow us to gain share as our markets improve. We look forward to welcoming new and returning guests. We are grateful for the support of our guests, staff, investors, and communities!