Hotels in Lower Manhattan, Atlantic City affected by Sandy

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Hotels in Lower Manhattan and Atlantic City appeared to take the brunt of Hurricane Sandy in terms of closures and damage yesterday and today, while at least two Midtown Manhattan hotels were evacuated because of storm damage incurred to a nearby high-rise crane.

Atlantic City’s 12 hotel-casinos as well as the Sheraton Atlantic City were evacuated ahead of the superstorm and remained closed as of Tuesday afternoon.  Caesars Entertainment, which operates Atlantic City’s Caesars, Harrah’s, Bally’s and Showboat hotel-casino resorts, had “extensive damage” to the roofs of some of its properties, said company spokesman Gary Thompson, who added that he didn’t expect to have more detailed information until Wednesday. Atlantic City’s hotel-casino resorts alone total about 19,000 hotel rooms.

Marriott’s Courtyard and Fairfield Inn and InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) Holiday Inn Express West Atlantic City were closed to the general public, though the Holiday Inn Express was offering a $75/night discounted rate for emergency workers.

Meanwhile, Lower Manhattan hotels such as Hilton Worldwide’s Conrad, Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ W New York Downtown, the New York Marriott Downtown, the Ritz-Carlton New York Battery Park and Hyatt’s Andaz Wall Street were closed because of mandatory evacuations, with the latter hotel relocating all of its guests to the Grand Hyatt New York in Midtown Manhattan.

At least two Midtown hotels were evacuated because of storm damage to a nearby high-rise construction crane. The 727-room Le Parker Meridien and the 161-room West 57th Street by Hilton Club were both closed because of concerns that part of the damaged crane would fall to the ground, hotel representatives said. New York City officials evacuated West 57th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues because of the safety risk of the crane, which was being used for the construction of a 90-story apartment building, Reuters reported.

IHG said Monday that “about a handful” of Holiday Inn Express hotels along the mid-Atlantic coast were closed, though it didn’t provide any update Tuesday.

Hurricane Sandy so far has caused 34 deaths as well as the loss of power to about 8.2 million people along the U.S. East Coast, according to the Associated Press. More than 15,000 flights have been cancelled because of the storm, with about a fifth of those directly from New York  City’s three major airports – Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark.

And the effects of the storm are far from over. Best Western International, which has a “handful” of hotels closed from Sandy, has about 150 properties in Mid-Atlantic locations where rivers may flood during the next five days, according to company spokeswoman Laura Cherry.

To that end, Hilton was waiving cancelation fees through at least Thursday for reservations from customers affected by the storm.
Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly. 

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