Hotels see weekend boom from Hurricane Matthews’ evacuees

Published 5:16 pm Friday, October 14, 2016

As Hurricane Matthew headed towards the east coast, the hotel rooms in Bainbridge filled to capacity with evacuees. Many of them left on Sunday, but their short stay brought a large economic boom to the Bainbridge economy 

According to Hampton Inn’s front officer manager LaShondra Smith, on an average weekend roughly 40 of the 71 rooms at the Hampton Inn are booked. With the influx of evacuees the hotel was completely booked from last Thursday through Sunday.

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“Revenue wise it has a great impact,” Smith said.

She estimated that on an average weekend the hotel makes $20-25,000 in revenue, but that number jumped to $45-55,000 last weekend. They also had to purchase more supplies to meet the needs of the increased clientele. The economic impact was not limited to the hotel itself either. The employees will also see an impact after working extra hours.

“We brought in an extra front desk worker, every house keeper and doubled the kitchen staff,” Smith said. “It made it where everybody got extra hours.”

The Holiday Inn saw a similar increase, as all 73 rooms were booked, whereas the average is between 37 and 46 rooms. 

They did not bring in extra staff, but were forced to restock the sweet shop and provide additional food at breakfast to meet demand.

The economic windfall extended to restaurants as well. Beef O’ Brady’s owner Ron Wood estimated that they made an additional $2000 over an average weekend thanks to the evacuees, as well as the triathlon participants, and homecoming. He said that they were steadily busy all weekend long and had to bring in extra staff, especially table bussers, to help out.

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