Houston hotels provide aid, relief in Hurricane Harvey’s wake
As Houston continues to weather the effects of Hurricane Harvey, regional hotels are working hard to restore their own operations, as well as to help co-workers, guests, local authorities and other members of the community in need.
To raise funds for those impacted by the storm, Marriott International and The J. Willard & Alice S. Marriott Foundation are each contributing $250,000 to the American Red Cross, according to a release issued by Marriott. Members of the hotelier’s loyalty programs also have an option to donate points as contributions to the non-profit organization. In addition, many hotels in the most heavily impacted areas are waiving cancellation fees, but details depend upon the hotel.
According to Hilton, with more than 110 of their properties in Harvey’s path, “All but one remain open and operational at this time. Our immediate priority is to assist our guests, Team Members and first responders, as their safety and security is of paramount importance ... Cancellation fees will be waived for Hilton travelers heading to or within the affected areas.”
To support its Team Members and communities hit by Harvey, “Hilton has committed a total of $500,000 to the relief and recovery efforts led by the American Red Cross, and to our Hilton Responds Fund to assist affected Team Members,” according to a statement dispatched from the company. Hilton is also providing its Honors Members with an option to donate their points to the American Red Cross.
In addition, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a private family foundation established by the founder of Hilton Hotels, Conrad N. Hilton, has also pledged $500,000, for a total of $1,000,000 contributed by the two organizations.
At Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE, managed by Valencia Group, “We are housing several of the First Responders and their relief teams for several months,” says Nancy Alonzo, corporate director of sales for the property via email. “We offered an associate rate starting last Thursday to guests who were able to make it to the hotel, or were stranded in the area due to high water,” says Alonzo. “We offered the associate rate to associates working in the CITYCENTRE area to assist with keeping food options open. Fortunately, we did not lose electricity and offered complimentary WI-Fi and also provided complimentary garage parking for people that found themselves surrounded by high water.”
The Texas Hotel & Lodging Association team has been coordinating with the Governor’s office, local government, FEMA and emergency personnel, responding to issues that arise during this time of emergency, according to Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). “They have been releasing regular, timely updates and will continue to be a valuable resource in the coming days and weeks.” Those interested in supporting relief efforts can visit the THLA’s website at https://texaslodging.com/ for more information.