MERIDA, Mexico -- The 40-room Hacienda Katanchel, situated about 16
miles east of Merida, sustained an estimated $1 million in damages
from Hurricane Isidore, said co-owner Anibal Gonzalez.
Gonzalez said that several of the roofs were either blown off
the resort's buildings or smashed by toppled trees.
"We built Katanchel in one year, but I promise to rebuild it in
three months," Gonzalez said. "We will be open by Christmas."
Gonzalez said that eight guests, including four Americans, were
at the resort as the hurricane rumbled through the area. He said
they all were evacuated by the military to Merida.
"[The guests] were at the hotel until [Sept. 23]. They slept in
hammocks in the main building and had food but no power," he
Gonzalez said the resort will refund guest deposits and will
honor travel agent commissions.
"Katanchel is a source of revenue for the 100 families from the
area who work there," Gonzalez said. "The monetary damage will be
double when you take into account what we will have to pay the
workers to help repair their homes."
In Merida, Yucatan's state capital west of Cancun, the storm
shattered windows, ripped roofs and balconies off colonial
buildings, toppled trees and downed power lines.
Merida Airport sustained $1.2 million in damage, but Merida's
major tourist hotels were undamaged.
In Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya, rain and winds ruined
beach vacations, but tourism officials reported no major damage or
Cancun Airport remained open, although some 90 arrivals and
departures were canceled.