In times of catastrophic disaster, our community really steps up with welcoming arms to embrace the displaced. Hurricane Irma evacuees will have that same welcome in our community as others have experienced. The hotels in our community have rallied with rates below rack rates, welcoming guests with pets at a property where they normally do not accept pets, waiving pet surcharges and creating a space for camaraderie, snacks and beverages 24/7.
Anil Patel, owner of Country Inn and Suites and Holiday Inn Express lowered rates purposefully and took down third party booking sites so he could offer rooms for less. Kalpesh Patel, owner of America’s Best Value is not even requiring a credit card secure reservations. Most properties are waiving their cancellation and no show policies as it is understandable that guests could be stuck in traffic. Displaced guests at Comfort Suites and Quality Inn will be treated to a complementary special managers dinner in partnership with Gondola’s Restaurant. Sarah Cargle, Director of Sales for Country Inn & Suites and Holiday Inn Express has welcome bags ready for guests with pets and a case of water upon check out. Winshape at Berry College has opened up housing to their Florida ministry partners, and are already sold out.
The compassion for our fellow man was evident as I called the owners and managers today to inquire about availability and how it was going with the influx of visitors to our area. Baymont owner, Hetal Patel asked “How can we not help them and offer them a good bed at a good price?” She is absolutely correct and all of the properties have done just that!
Rome’s restaurants are not to be forgotten in this mention of kindness. Jay Shell at Rome City Brewing Company is extending a 15 percent discount to evacuees dining at his restaurant. Sweet Frog’s owner, Stuart Hornsby is offering “Buy One Get One 50% off” for anyone from FL or southern GA displaced by Irma (must show your ID). The Rome-Floyd Welcome Center is giving out Explore Georgia’s Rome discount cards and a wonderful Rome souvenir.
A huge thank you to the hospitality industry for stepping up and making Rome and Floyd County stand out in the face of uncertainty!
For a complete list of Rome hotels, please visit http://romegeorgia.org/visit-rome/lodging/