VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Back-to-back hurricanes have hurt Volusia County’s hotel and hospitality industry.
Several sea walls damaged during Hurricane Ian did not hold up during Hurricane Nicole. Now, some hotels and condo complexes may never reopen.
Several hotels had to be evacuated during the hurricane, with the main concern being the eroding beach.
The Hard Rock Hotel held up OK, and is now supporting other hotels that have to be rebuilt.
Hard Rock general manager Androse Bell said he’s never seen anything like it since he’s been the general manager at the Hard Rock.
“We’re reopening with caution, we’re reopening knowing that there are some areas of the sea wall, some areas of our property that you won’t be able to go to until we are able to build it back together,” Bell said.
About 40 rooms were reserved at the Hard Rock for people who lost their homes during Hurricane Ian. After Nicole, more rooms will be held. That’s been bad for business.
Bell said they’ll do what they can to help ahead of the busy season this spring.
Officials with Volusia County Beach Patrol said many structures can’t be saved, and the beach is still experiencing those extreme high tides.
“It’s definitely going to look different than it has in the past, but we are working even today,” said Tammy Malphurs with the beach patrol. “We’re working at recovery efforts and trying to clean up the beach.”
Bob Davis, CEO and President of Lodging and Hospitality of Volusia County, said getting back to normal is going to take a lot of patience.
“We cannot allow any tourists, any guests to be in a property that is not whole,” Davis said. “We have to be whole and we will.”
County officials said it’s crucial for people to stay off the beach until then.
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