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Hurricane Sandy Causes A Surge In Hotel Stays and Cancellations

October 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM | by | ()

The view just few blocks from the Marriott Downtown

Last weekend, it seemed as if Hurricane Sandy hadn’t worried enough hoteliers in the southern region of the country to do much more than shut down some areas of their hotels,and pull in deck chairs to keep them from flying around.

It’s been quite the different story in the last few days and particularly in the northeast which has been busy dealing with hotel reservation cancellation, extensions, and new requests for guests who can’t leave town or must leave their homes due to evacuation orders. Naturally because of generators, hotels are an easy option for safer ground.

Reports of hotel closures and evacuations dominated the news over the entire weekend. Yesterday on New York’s ABC channel, a reporter told the tale of how a groom-to-be named “Seth” of Great Neck, NY was scheduled to be married at 5pm on Sunday in Tribeca. However, the wedding party and their guests, who were staying at a Battery Park City hotel (we guessed The Ritz, who didn't confirm that particular party), were forced to leave the property by 7pm, as part of the city’s mandatory evacuation order. Add insult to injury, Seth and is bride-to-be wouldn’t be able to leave for their honeymoon today thanks to the cancelled flights which our sister Jaunted is covering extensively.

The Andaz Wall Street was also evacuated with guests moved to the Grand Hyatt. At 9:45pm Sunday evening, almost 100% of their guests had been relocated, with no change in rates or penalties.

The Ritz-Carlton, New York Battery Park is now closed until further notice but it assisted its hotel guests with immediate relocation to its sister property, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and also the Marriott Marquis. But its website says its re-accepting reservations for arrivals beginning October 31st.

Both The Carlyle and the Waldorf Astoria report to be fully booked with guests had been arriving from Connecticut, Long Island, and those from New York City--particularly tenants who live in highrise buildings and were nervous about the strong winds that have reached

New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie ordered Atlantic City casinos to terminate gambling by 3 p.m. and for guests to evacuate by 4 p.m. on Sunday and warned,"This is not a time to be a show-off. This is not a time to be stupid. This is the time to save yourself and your family." However Caesars' gaming stopped at noon and Revel Atlantic City has made a statement saying, "Our casino resort hotels are closed during the storm. No further information is available at this time."

In Washington D.C., The Jefferson reports that 22% of guests have not departed the hotel and remain on property. For guests that couldn’t make their reservations, cancellation fees have been waved. Check-ins will continue to be accepted until the city issues its ban on driving on the roads, however, the public transportation system has already been shut down.

Tiffani Cailor, Director of Public Relations for the Four Seasons Hotel New York, emailed to say say each guest who checked in over the weekend was given a small bag with extra water, a flashlight and a note of assurance from the General manager. She also says, "We are sold out tonight and tomorrow night. The majority of our guests are are not local. We probably had 20% of our guest count come from evacuation."

[Photos:Kathy Duffy for Marriott Marquis/Caesars Atlantic City]

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