Hurricane Irma Update: AIC Hotel Group is Back to Business as UsualSeptember 15, 2017
For those of us in the resort and tourism business, early September was a challenging time thanks to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Several destinations in Texas that cater heavily to meeting groups endured significant flooding during Harvey and will need some time to get their properties back to regular operating condition. And with Irma, many spots in the Caribbean where meetings and incentive programs are popular took a strong hit and therefore might have to restrict their operations for much of the high season in late 2017 and early 2018.
Fortunately for us at AIC Hotel Group, Irma delivered a very mild impact on our properties. First, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana on the eastern tip of Dominican Republic received only a glancing blow from Irma, which was centered well north of the island. As a result, we had very little damage, and it was simply cosmetic. The biggest effect was to the landscaping and shrubbery around the Punta Cana property, and we will have no problem restoring that element in the coming weeks so that our peak winter season will look and feel exactly as it does every year: lush and enjoyable.
Seeing that Miami was closer to the central path of Hurricane Irma, our two connected properties there–Eden Roc Hotel Miami Beach and Nobu Hotel Miami Beach—did have about 100 guest rooms that sustained some wind and rain damage. But seeing that the properties have more than 620 rooms between them, we have ample ability to take a few weeks to restore those rooms to their original condition. The good news is that the cosmetic damage on the ground floor from water and shifting sand is already well on its way to being remedied, so guests who visit the property in the coming weeks will see absolutely nothing different than before the storm came through.
The last point I’d like to emphasize to group planners is this: With AIC Hotel Group having properties on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Mexico in addition to Miami Beach and Dominican Republic, our entire organization is extensively trained to deal with the effects of storms, and to minimize any disruptions at the properties through advance planning and communication both internally and with group clients who have upcoming events at a property. This preparedness is simply necessary for a hotel company that operates in tropical areas, and we pride ourselves on our abilities in those temporary crisis situations. Further, we aim to be equally as thoughtful and prepared in everything we do, including the management of meetings and incentive travel programs.
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