Powerless Dallas residents wait out freezing temperatures at home as hotels book up completely

Almost every hotel in the region is fully booked, forcing powerless North Texans to wait in cold houses as power outages and sub-freezing temperatures covered the region for a fourth straight day on Wednesday.

Richardson-born David Burrows, 58, and his wife Margaret finally found a room at the Courtyard Marriott in Addison Monday night after sitting in the cold for hours charging devices in their car while at work. When they arrived they were greeted with a dark lobby.

“We have no power. All reservations for today will be canceled and refunded, ”says a handwritten note on the hotel door.

Marriott offered another hotel downtown but was quoting an overnight rate of $ 700, Burrows said. So the couple stayed in their 44-degree townhouse.

Other Texans have reported cases of alleged hotel price cuts, said Rep. Kay Granger, who represents western Tarrant County. She tweeted that the practice was “unacceptable” and advised residents to report cases to the Texas Attorney General.

A note on the front door of the Courtyard Marriott in Addison on Monday, February 14, 2021.(David Burrows)

The only Marriott Hotel in Dallas-Fort Worth on Wednesday evening was the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel, which had two open rooms at 12 noon

Hilton posted a notice on its website that customer service was “recovered from the winter storm and power outages in Dallas-Ft. Value range and is currently operating in a limited capacity. “Of the 123 hotels listed online, only the Hilton Anatole and the Home2 Suites by Hilton at DFW Airport had some rooms available on Wednesday.

Hyatt’s 29 hotels in D-FW were also sold out, with the exception of Hyatt Place Fort Worth Historic Stockyards, and Wyndham had vacancies in just one of its 69 area hotels. Extended Stay America’s 23 hotels were also fully booked.

At IHG’s own Hotel Indigo in downtown Dallas, families have flocked to the check-in desk in the front lobby every afternoon since Monday, where they carry items in boxes and suitcases.

According to its website, the IHG had no vacancies in 68 hotels in D-FW on Wednesday. However, the Hotel Indigo kept its power supply up through the winter weather and outages.

Hotel Indigo sales manager Dawn Freeman said hotels were booked as of Monday and most of the downtown with electricity sold out on Tuesday night.

The hotel, which is next to Main Street Garden Park, went from 30% to 40% of occupied rooms on weekdays and completely sold out on Tuesdays.

“We’ve probably received over 100 calls [Tuesday] Tomorrow from people trying to find a place to stay, ”Freeman said.

Veronica Quiroz (left) of Seagoville checks her phone while she is checked in by General Manager Marcus Hennigan (center) while Brian Smith (right) visits another guest at the Hotel Indigo on Main Street in downtown Dallas on Wednesday afternoon, February checks in.  17, 2021. Veronica Quiroz (left) of Seagoville checks her phone while she is checked in by General Manager Marcus Hennigan (center) while Brian Smith (right) visits another guest at the Hotel Indigo on Main Street in downtown Dallas on Wednesday afternoon, February checks in. 17, 2021. (Irwin Thompson)

She led people to hotels farther from their homes, but warned that road conditions were still icy and unsafe. But even north of downtown Frisco there were few or no vacancies at the hotel.

Hotel operators also have problems meeting current demand.

“A lot of [hotels] Due to COVID and the fact that staff cannot come here, the team members here do not have the opportunity to clean the rooms and turn the house, ”Freeman said.

In the course of the pandemic, the hotel industry was affected by an immense drop in sales, which led to staff reductions. Then widespread blackouts and burst pipes hit the Texans and a number of hotels as well.

“We had hotels that didn’t have any problems. There were some who froze pipes and left guests stranded, ”said Traci Mayer, executive director of the Hotel Association of North Texas. “There are some who have no water and there are some who are hit by blackouts.”

North Texas electric utility Oncor was still reporting hundreds of thousands of outages in the region early Wednesday afternoon. Almost 7 million Texans have been asked to boil water before drinking it on Wednesday, although some do not have the means to do it without electricity. Others are completely without water.

The state’s utility company said it could not set a schedule for when power would be fully restored across Texas. Mayer recommended people who couldn’t find a hotel room to go to their thermal protection rooms.

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