Jackson hotels lose money turning away guests - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson hotels lose money turning away guests

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By Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) –Into day three of the capital city's water crisis the lack of essential services is taking its toll on some in the service industry.

Going without water is costing businesses like hotels and motels big bucks.

Owners are not pleased with the city's water problems.

Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites General Manager Nawaid Ahmad said since Monday he's had to turn away guests and lost more than $35,000.

He said 26 rooms booked for the cast of The Wizard of Oz performing at Thalia Mara Hall will remain empty.

"I'll have to turn them away. Either send them to the Ramada near the airport and this is a loss for the City of Jackson because they would have spent money in the restaurants and the mall," said Ahmad.

Many out of state travelers were sent elsewhere.

"It's amazing a city the size of Jackson something like this could happen. I guess the weather is the weather. What it is, is what it is. Where will you be staying?  The gentlemen said Pearl so I guess we'll turn around and head back that way," said John Pritchett of Mobile Alabama.

"I've got a premiere for my party this weekend, but I couldn't stay because the water went out, so I've got to find me another hotel to check in so, hey that's life."

Wednesday night those seeking a hotel room were told there's no water in the inn.

The Marriott in downtown Jackson has only about 30 guests.

General Manager Mike Bailey said they brought in water, ice, bottled water and using disposables in the restaurant.

They gave guests the option of other accommodations.

Barricades surround a repaired water line break in front of the Roberts Edison Walthall Hotel downtown.

They have no water and no guests.  

It's a tough time for the industry.

"It's very embarrassing. This is not a way to conduct business for a city," said Ahmad.

The veteran hotel site manager iS upset with the repair delays and what he said is a lack of city communication.

"I went through Hurricane Hugo in Myrtle Beach, but the City of Myrtle Beach informed the people," added Ahmad.

Ahmad's said he had to temporarily lay off workers, and they are all taking a tough financial hit because water line repairs are taking so long.

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