Since Hurricane Sandy slammed the eastern half of the U.S. on October 29, many hotels in its path remain open and are serving guests and emergency services personnel. In New York City, 95 hotels submitted their daily performance data to Smith Travel Research; the normal sample is about 175, says Jan Freitag, senior vice president at Smith Travel Research. Several hotel chains with hotels in the hardest-hit areas issued statements on the status of their properties and guests on Wednesday.
Hyatt Hotels: “We express our deepest concern for our guests, associates, and neighbors impacted by the effects of Hurricane Sandy. At this time, Hyatt hotels in the impacted regions are working closely with local officials and continue to assist guests, as well as clients who may need to reschedule business meetings.
“Our hotels implemented emergency preparedness procedures in an effort to ensure the safety and security of guests and associates. Several Hyatt hotels experienced intermittent power outages throughout the storm, however, the majority are open and operating.
“Following New York City’s mandated evacuation of certain parts of Lower Manhattan, Andaz Wall Street relocated all guests to Grand Hyatt New York and will be closed until further notice. We are regularly receiving updates from our hotels along Sandy’s path, and we encourage any travelers with questions to contact us directly at (800) 323-7249, send an email to HyattFBFans@hyatt.com, or send a tweet to @HyattConcierge.”
Starwood:“Starwood Hotels on the East Coast coped well with Hurricane Sandy and all guests and associates are reported safe and secure. Starwood Hotels & Resorts hotels from Virginia Beach to Boston were well prepared for the storm. Two New York hotels and one in Atlantic City were evacuated by order of emergency services. Some other hotels through the region experienced outages of power and telephone services but are using backup generators and systems. In a few cases, guests are being relocated to other Starwood hotels.
“In New York, the Le Parker Meridien was ordered evacuated by emergency officials after a crane on a nearby building partially collapsed, threatening several adjacent buildings. The W New York Downtown also evacuated guests as part of the city’s mandatory evacuation order of lower Manhattan. The Sheraton Atlantic City evacuated guests as part of the city’s evacuation order but remains as a staging center for emergency services personnel.
“All properties followed the Starwood emergency operating plan for hurricane preparation and have the appropriate supplies and equipment. The hotels remain in close contact with authorities for any changing conditions and will continue to update guests as the safety and security of our guests and associates remains our paramount priority.
“For customers impacted by the storm, Starwood properties are waiving cancellation and early departure fees.”
Hilton: “Hilton Worldwide’s New York City hotels are all faring well, as we planned ahead and have enough food and supplies. The Conrad has been evacuated due to the flood zone and West 57th Street by Hilton Club has been evacuated due to the crane collapse nearby on 57th Street. Guests have been relocated to the Hilton New York.
Hilton Worldwide continues to monitor the impact of Superstorm Sandy. “Our emergency procedures remain active and we are working closely with local officials and tourism partners to communicate the most updated information to our guests. As always, the safety and security of our guests and team members remains our top priority.
“From Monday, October 29, through Thursday, November 1, 2012, cancellation fees will be waived for advance purchase reservations that are affected by the storm. We are currently conducting a full assessment of the storm’s impact on our hotels and we will update our policies accordingly.
“We urge guests to check on the status of existing reservations by calling 1-800-HILTONS.”