Hotels in Louisiana receiving increase in business after recent hurricanes

ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) – Many businesses have already taken a hit this year because of COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura and Delta have added to that. The hotel industry has been one of the few businesses that actually picked up after the recent storms.

Jay Sharplin is a hotel manager that has five hotels across Alexandria and Natchitoches and said a large percent of the customers he has had over the last two months have been those that evacuated for the storms, the utility crews that came in and volunteer groups that helped with the recovery process.

Nurses that were working at the Alexandria Mega Shelter had to commute from Natchitoches every day because the hotels in Alexandria were full.

The hotel industry hopes that this recent boost in business from the storms can help get them through the rest of the year.

“2020 was probably the best year for hotel industries in decades. Supply and demand were in the right spot and the COVID-19 hit. Everybody quit traveling and it was dead. Business started coming back and then we plateaued out in some markets. Then we had the storms here so we got a nice spike that will get us into the winter,” said Sharplin.

Sharplin said that his hotel in Alexandria did receive water damage from Hurricane Delta that left close to 25 rooms out of service.

He added that after Hurricane Laura, hotels were at high occupancy for over a month. He predicts that it will be until November before Alexandria hotels are back at normal occupancy following Hurricane Delta.

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