Outages Send Residents Scurrying to Area Hotels

By Susan Morse

Hampton Union, Friday, December 12, 2008

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Hotels, motels and gas stations saw a steady stream of business Friday following Thursday night's ice storm.
[Deb Cram photo]

HAMPTON -- As Hampton Beach was spared the widespread power outages of the rest of the region, hotel and motel rooms there are open and busy.

"Yes we have electricity," said Jennifer Knowles at the Ashworth by the Sea Hotel. Knowles was working the reservation desk and was extremely busy late Friday morning, she said.

Cable was out but the hotel on Ocean Boulevard has power. Power went out for two to three hours early Friday morning, Knowles said.

People without power in their homes are reserving rooms.

The Sun & Surf also on Ocean Boulevard is open and has power and plenty of rooms available, said owner Shamin Usta. "The rooms are nice and clean, no pets," she said. "No cable right now."

Sections of Route 1 south of the High Street lights in Hampton also had power.

The Hampton Falls Inn on Route 1 got power back around 11 a.m. and the calls began coming in for reservations, said Manager Ismail Pethania.

Hotels, motels and gas stations saw a steady stream of business Friday following Thursday night's ice storm.

The calls are coming from the Hampton area and from Salisbury, Mass., he said. The hotel has 30 rooms that he expects will booked by Friday afternoon.

The Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth was one of many hotels in Portsmouth without power Friday morning. Tim Sulloway, a Sheraton employee, said there were only two hotels in town that had power: the Residence Inn on Pease International Tradeport and Homewood Suites on Portsmouth Boulevard. Both hotels are fully booked, he said.

As of 11 a.m. Friday, Sulloway said the Sheraton hadn’t seen an influx of customers without power looking to stay the night. He did say the hotel is having to refer any customers to other hotels in Manchester and Danvers, Mass.

"We don’t have the slightest clue when we might have power back," he said.

Around noon, the power at Comfort Inn on Lafayette Road in Portsmouth, had just been restored. General Manager Craig Lawry said phones were already ringing off the hook.

"We are trying to get things up and running so that we can sell," he said. "We have had an influx of calls as we do in any storm like this and we will be taking reservations this afternoon."

Lawry said he was hoping to have rooms available around 2 p.m. During such cases where an influx of customers are seeking rooms, Lawry said the Inn offers anywhere from 10-20 percent off.

Patty Spadafora at Microtel Inn on 6 Market Place Drive in York Maine said, "I have been getting calls since 7 this morning and they’re still calling."

The Inn is almost all booked for Friday night. Twenty-five rooms were given to York locals this morning.

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