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Hotels Prepare for Hurricane Isaac
Hotels located in areas that suffered severe damage when Katrina hit New Orleans seven years ago, are bracing for another hurricane as Isaac picks up strength and heads for the Gulf Coast.
According to this report from NBC News, Isaac reached hurricane strength on Tuesday afternoon with sustained winds of up to 75 miles per hour. The storm is expected to make landfall on Tuesday night, and impact the coastlines of Louisiana and Mississippi and other inland areas. Risks include dangerously high tides and waves that will inundate coastal areas, drenching rains, flash floods, and high winds.The hurricane is expected to remain a Category 1 storm.
This update from CNN explains that flights from New Orleans are being halted Tuesday and flights from Baton Rouge will be stopped on Wednesday. Bus and street car service in New Orleans and Amtrak service to and from the city have also been shut down.
Hoteliers across the region are preparing for the storm and working with local officials to ensure guest safety.
Marriott International issued the following statement: "Marriott International, Inc. and The Ritz-Carlton continue to monitor Hurricane Isaac and have begun taking the appropriate precautions in areas that may be affected by the storm, including the city of New Orleans and other areas along the southeast Gulf coast. As always, the safety and security of our guests and employees is a top priority."
Hyatt Hotels have also offered the following general statement: "The safety and security of guests and associates is a top priority. Hyatt is monitoring the path of Hurricane Isaac and is taking precautions to prepare for the possibility of the storm affecting areas along the Gulf Coast."
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans has also made all preparations to ensure guests and associates safety during the storm and are in close contact with city and tourism officials. The hotel will also operate with only essential personnel the next couple of days.
The AH&LA has issued an advisory to its members in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, and Arkansas explaining that hoteliers should be prepared and have an emergency response plan in place. Hoteliers owners can visit AH&LA's Emergency Preparedness section on the association's website for additional tips, tools, and useful links for emergency situations.
This storm will also likely have an impact on hotels in the surrounding regions as evacuees seek safe accommodations. According to this article from KHOU 11 out of Houston, Texas, evacuees have already started to fill up Texas area hotels and are prepared to stay and ride out the storm.
Lodging has reached out to several of the large hotel companies as well as the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association (GNOHLA) and will update this post if we receive any additional information regarding preparations and information about the hurricane.
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