That was the problem that hotel owners faced when the lines went dry last week.
At the Holiday Inn Express, Hema Gandhi said they had no choice—they had to turn away people.
“Without water, people did not want to stay here,” she said.
She said that Tuesday and Wednesday are some of their busiest days.
“We advised all the guests we would cancel their reservations without penalty,” she said.
Beyond just the financial loss, there was the unknown duration of the emergency that caused them such headaches.
“We were not able to get any good answer from the city,” she said. Like everyone else, they were never given accurate answers as to when the water would begin flowing.
Her husband, Roger, was just as irritated with the situation. When customers asked what happened, he could not answer their questions.
“We didn’t have a good answer because the city didn’t give a good answer,” he said.
“We did not think the water problem was going to last that long—maybe a couple of hours,” he said.
The water was off from Tuesday through Wednesday, and a boil notice remained in effect until Friday.
His irritation stemmed partly because he pays what he considers a high price for water.
“We pay $4,000 a month water bill. That is $50,000 a year,” he said. “I complained a couple of times—every month it’s the same amount.”
He is concerned because this will definitely impact future developments in the city.
“This is ridiculous,” he said.
Employees of the Best Western also did the best they could with what they had during the outage.
Jody Sexton, manager, said they had to limit their breakfast menu and bought as much bottled water as they could.
“We basically closed down anything that had to do with water,” she said. “Most of our guests were pretty understanding.”
They, too, offered late cancellations without penalty.
“We did lose a few people. We didn’t have too many major complaints,” she said.
One of the biggest obstacles though was the commodes.
They had to use pool water to flush the toilets.
The hardest thing for the employees, she said, was getting their customers to understand that they too were without water at their homes.
Overall, she is keeping her fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen again.
“It was frustrating,” she said. “We did lose some business over this.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.