Hotels prepare for Emily

Guests at the Marriott Beach Resort Hotel on West Bay Road were waiting to hear whether they were to be evacuated off the island either Friday night or Saturday morning.

‘The next eight hours are going to be crucial,’ said duty manager Shawn Gooneratne Friday morning.

‘We are having a lot of early departures today and we are waiting on the Department of Tourism for advice on whether our guests are to be evacuated.

‘The guests will get first preference if an evacuation is ordered.

‘We have notice board up keeping them informed, but we don’t want them to get into a panic. We are trying to keep things calm,’ added Mr. Gooneratne.

‘As for general preparedness, a lot of work was done last weekend and we are continuing with sand bagging.

‘We will not be putting any guests in ocean front rooms and if the hurricane hits only staff and management will be on the premises.

‘If there is to be an evacuation then I believe guests will be flown out Friday or Saturday morning.

‘As of now the hotel is closed for reservations. Whether we provide accommodation for people affected by flooding in the event of any serious storm damage elsewhere will be up to the management.’

A spokesman for the Westin Casuarina adopted a similar line when asked about accommodation for hurricane victims, saying: ‘We would have to look after our guests and staff first and any decision would come from the general manager.’

Mark Bastis, manager of the Hyatt Regency Hotel said Friday: ‘We are beginning our preparations today. We are sand bagging, boarding up and moving everything out of harms way.

‘We are not a designated shelter and would look at requests for emergency accommodation on a case by case basis.’