Posted by: thescoundrel | July 25, 2008

Quad City Hotels in Awkward Public Relations Position Following the Storm

The recent windstorm from several days ago that knocked out power to a huge section of over 133,000 homes (the latest article I saw quoted that there were still over 16,000 homes without electricity) of our community has sent many powerless homeowners and out-of-town workers from the power company flocking to the local Hotels/Motels for lodging. From the sounds of a recent Dispatch/Argus article, the local hotels/motels are running at full occupancy with the extra business. There are a lot of side problems when running a hotel at full capacity usually associated with staffing problems and housekeeping issues. But that extra revenue is probably making all the local Hotel operators in the Quad City smile when the look at their Daily Average Revenue and their Revenue per Average Room totals. And those with bonus packages linked with sellout dates will find a little extra cash in their pockets. However it seems that the Quad City Hotels/Motels are also faced with the awkward public relations problem of possibly putting guests still in house from the power storm –> out on the street! Ouch! With this busy weekend rolling around and since not all homes are back on the power grid the rooms available situation could ruffle some feathers with the people still without power. And there will probably be many facial expressions that do not look like a smile from a lot of Quad Citians if they get evicted from the rooms they now occupy. According to the article many of the local hotels are already booked up for this weekend due to the fact that several special events are scheduled to happen in the Quad Cities. That means many of the homeowners still without power and any out of town workers from the power company will probably be forced from their current lodging and will have to make other accommodations. Most hotel checkout times are set at a mandatory leaving time. That varies usually anywhere from 11 AM to 1 PM. And those current guests that do not already have a room scheduled for the weekend will most likely be out looking for a place to stay. It is possible that there will be room reservation cancellations but those rooms may or may not be available as it is not uncommon for hotels to overbook room occupancy by up to ten percent. Hopefully the weather stays cool because a lot of Quad Citians will probably need to return home, even if they still do not have power. It will also be difficult for any of the workers needing places to stay until all the power is restored and the cleanup finished. That could be an interesting set of circumstances. The very workers that have worked so hard to get power back up since the power loss and that have helped make it possible to present the local events scheduled here in the QC, may be on the outs for a place to stay because they performed their job so well. I would suspect that those knowing they must stay are already being shuffled around to nearby hotels that have availability. For all the extra workload they have went through I hope the cities help find a way to accommodate the workers. But according to the quote in the article available local hotel rooms will be very limited. It could basically turn out to bedlam if many guests need to stay past Thursday night. Many individuals will probably be on edge and it would not surprise me to see tempers flare. (Hah, anyone ever staying at a hotel that seriously overbooked has probably already been witness to the conflict created.) I would not want to be working at any of the local hotels this weekend even if they were paying John Deere wages! And if I had a room scheduled I would get there as early as they allow check in to make sure I did not lose the room, even if the reservation is guaranteed. On the other hand if I were in the shoes of those still without power and forced back in to my hot house, it would probably be a good time to go out and enjoy the Quad City Educational and Entertainment variety and/or this weekends special events. Who knows, maybe by the time the partying is over all the lights will be back on in the Quad Cities.

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