Coast hotels see positive and negative impact from storm

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - South Mississippi hotels have been impacted by the winter storm just like every other business on the Coast has. Hotel officials said they have seen both positive and negative effects stemming from the freezing rain and temperatures.

The Hampton Inn off Highway 609 north of Ocean Spring was toasty warm for those seeking to escape old man winter's frigid grasp. The inclement weather that descended on the Coast yesterday, and is going to be here at least through the night, has definitely had an impact on the motel and hotel industry on the Gulf Coast.

Some businesses have seen some benefits from the storm, others have not. Management with the Hampton Inn said they actually lost some business due to the storm.

"We were sold out Monday and Tuesday. We had maybe one room left," said hotel General Manager Bill Sleger.

"Then, because of the weather, we had a lot of cancellations and we dropped down to 40 percent full."

Sleger said room cancellations were not always the case. Some patrons extended their stay in hopes of avoiding the cold for just a bit longer.

"Several did. We had probably five or six that did stay over because they couldn't get out because the roads iced up real quickly after sunset."

Managers from other hotels off of Interstate 10, such as Comfort Suites, said they saw some people coming off of the interstate to stop by and stay the night in the welcoming warm building. These hotels also saw guests extending their stays to avoid the treacherous roads.

The deep freeze that started last night, and has carried over to today, is definitely having an impact on the Gulf Coast hotel industry.

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