With so many houses without power thanks to Saturday’s storm, a large number of people have left their cold and dark homes to stay in hotels this week.
“Right now every room is taken,” said Alicia Diamond, general manager of the Hilton Garden Inn on Route 59 in Nanuet. “The phones have been ringing off the hook since the storm.”
Diamond said they ran into some issues Sunday when the hotel lost power from about 1 p.m. until 9 that night and couldn’t check people in. Still, the hotel is booked until at least Friday, she said, although people have left pretty late at night if they hear good news.
“If someone’s power comes back on at 7 o’clock at night they leave,” Diamond said.
She also noted the hotel’s restaurant has been very busy, and if that’s closed, they are directing guests to other places to grab some food. One restaurant nearby that has seen some increased business is the Fortune Garden Restaurant in Nanuet, also on Route 59.
“We’ve been very busy,” said Steve Mui, the owner. “Since they have no power because of the storm, they have to come out and eat in a restaurant.”
Mui said that while talking to people, they’ve mentioned to him that they’re still without power. He said Sunday the restaurant also lost power, and didn’t open.
“The storm has been bad for business too,” he said. “But after Sunday, we made up for it on Monday and Tuesday because we were so busy.”
But those seeking heat and light aren’t coming just from Rockland. Chris Bono, a manager at Orangeburg Holiday Inn on Route 303, said people are coming from New Jersey to stay in the hotel. And to reverse that, some Rocklanders have had issues finding a hotel to stay at in Rockland, and have left the county.
Even some places that aren’t technically hotels are taking in guests, like the Paramount Country Club on Zukor Rd. in New City. While the club does have seven cottages, Kyla Jones, the director of membership and marketing at the club, said they had guests stay over because they lost power at their own homes.
Jones added that to stay in the cottages you have to be a club member, and some of them were already booked for the weekend the storm hit, and soon after all the others filled up. The issue was the club lost power in some buildings Saturday night as well.
“Our members had no way of contacting us to make the reservation, we had no emails, no telephones, no cellphones,” Jones said. “So the members who were able to come here physically to request the rooms were able to use the rooms. But we were at almost 50 percent capacity already. We weren’t able to help too many people, but for the handful that were able to get rooms it was probably incredibly beneficial.”
She added that the members without power have been staying there on a day-to-day basis, waiting to see if their own power will return. And there are also a few people waiting to see if those people will get power so they check out of the cottages.
“We actually have a waiting list of of members who say, ‘Call us if someone checks out and we can come in,’” Jones said.