Route 1 Hotels House Residents During Power Outage
Hotels on Route 1 have reported a bump in business following Friday’s storm.
Major hotels on the Route 1 corridor are reporting a spike in business from local residents who face power outages at home following Friday’s violent storm.
The derecho knocked out power to homes and businesses throughout the corridor. As of Monday night, 107,385 Dominion Power customers remained without electricity in Northern Virginia.
Amanda Sellman, general manager at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Alexandria/Fort Belvoir and SpringHill Suites Alexandria, said the hotels were already busy before the storm hit. Since Friday, she’s now counted about 300 walk-in customers for whom the hotels could provide rooms.
“We probably now have 80 percent locals,” Sellman said. “We’ve been offering discounted rates to help people out, offering them more breakfast. It’s just been a tough time. People are coming in with oxygen who need rooms.”
The hotel is also offering transportation to the Metro, she said. “We’ve just been trying to help out as much as we can.”
At the Hampton Inn & Suites Mount Vernon/Belvoir/Alexandria South Area, General Manager Hilda Froelke said hotel guests are almost all local now. The hotel lost power Friday night, and all guests were forced to vacate Saturday morning. The power came back on about 10 p.m. Saturday, she said, allowing the staff to take in a few “neighbors.”
“Then on Sunday, we had almost an empty hotel, and now we have filled out with people from as far as Arlington, Fort Belvoir and Alexandria,” Froelke said. “And we usually do not accept pets, but we have waived that policy because people could not leave pets in the heat of the homes.”
The hotel is about 85 percent full right now, she said.
SpringHill Suites Alexandria was already sold out for the weekend, said Michael Owenby, director of sales for the hotel. “And now we’re sold out through Friday morning now, mostly to do with the power outages,” he said.
Some hotels were busier than others. Robert Whaley, general manager at the Red Roof Inn Alexandria, said business has been close to normal at the hotel.
“I guess it’s been OK,” he said. “It’s busy, but nothing overwhelming.”