Hurricane Irene erodes beaches in Fla.; most hotels stay open

MIAMI -- Hurricane Irene caused beach erosion in Daytona Beach Shores, New Smyrna Beach, the Space Coast and the Keys and caused some power outages before exiting Florida.

"Coming on the heels of Floyd, having Irene was very hard on our beaches," a spokeswoman for the Space Coast Office of Tourism in Merritt Island, said. Most hotels, however, did not shut down.

"The Quality Suites in Melbourne had a lot of water damage," with only 50 of its 208 rooms open on Oct. 17, the spokeswoman said. A fam trip for 150 AAA agents was moved elsewhere.

All Florida airports, meanwhile, have reopened. Major Orlando attractions remained open during the storm.

The Florida Keys Tourist Development Council launched a $150,000 trade advertising campaign to assure agents that the island chain survived and that Key West's Fantasy Fest (Oct. 22 to 31) was still on.

  • Holiday Isle Resorts, Islamorada, began a major beach cleanup. The property is open for business.
  • The 203-unit Cheeca Lodge, Islamorada, although open, closed 14 oceanfront rooms, a pool and a golf course. Beach erosion was significant.
  • Hawk's Cay Resort, Duck Key, had minor flood damage but was able to reopen.
  • Little Palm Island Resort off Little Torch Key had some beach erosion and foliage damage but no damage to buildings.
  • Pelican Cove Resort in Islamorada had some roof and flood damage to two structures. A third building was unaffected by the hurricane and is fully operational.
  • In Everglades National Park, Flamingo Lodge, Marina & Outpost Resort expected to have power restored by Oct. 20.
  • Bahia Honda State Park in the Lower Keys closed some areas; concessions were scheduled to reopen by Oct. 22.
  • Long Key State Park was shut down but may reopen partially by Oct. 23.
  • Hurricane Irene generally spared such gulf areas as Sarasota, Naples and Fort Myers.

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