Hotels Filled to Capacity and Restaurant Business Doubles - - ABC13

Hotels Filled to Capacity and Restaurant Business Doubles

Holiday Inn, downtown Lynchburg Holiday Inn, downtown Lynchburg
Choice Hibachi Buffet Choice Hibachi Buffet

Reporter: Melinda Zosh

Lynchburg, VA - After the power went out, many people in our area packed their bags and headed to hotels to beat the heat.

Hotels filled up so fast; many of them had to turn people away. All 241 of the Holiday Inn Select's rooms in Lynchburg are filled.

Managers say the phones have been ringing off the hook since Friday. In fact, hotels all across our area are filled to capacity.

The phone calls all sound very similar.

"'Do you have rooms, do you have rooms, do you have rooms?' We have to turn away so many people," said Tony Camm, General Manager of Holiday Inn. "We sold out Friday night, Saturday night, now we're sold out for tonight."

Kimberly Dillard just booked her third night at the Holiday Inn.

"And I checked again and there's still no power so we'll be here again tonight," said Dillard

About 30 extra staff members have been called in to help out until business slows down.

"We were almost capacity Friday night and when the storm hit we filled up immediately," said Camm.

Managers say if you can't get into a hotel right away, don't give up. Many people like Dillard checkout within a few days.

 "We're actually leaving town tomorrow, we're gonna head East," said Dillard.

Several Lynchburg restaurants are seeing similar crowds.

"It's been busy, insane busy, people are just trying to find a place to eat and cool off," said Jean Ferguson, Manager of Choice Hibachi Buffet.

Managers say crowds have doubled since Saturday morning. Power at Choice Hibachi has stayed steady since Friday night.

"I'm out in the country; we were looking to get something to eat, hoping and praying this place was open," said Kay Ashley, who lives in Amherst County.

Many customers came out just to sip on something cold.

"Everywhere I go, no water, no ice," said Larry Woolfoak.

Others stopped by Sundae Grill. The restaurant is giving away free drinks with every meal.

"We had a lot of ice we had created in our deep freeze for emergency purposes so we actually gave the ice to a lot of these people," said B.H. Kurby, General Manager of Sundae Grill.

Liberty University is opening its facilities up to the public. Reber-Thomas Dining Hall is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Cost is $3 for adults; kids eat free.

It will be open for breakfast from 7-9 a.m.; lunch from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and dinner from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m.

The laundry unit facilities on campus will also be open to the public. Cash conversion machines are on-site and provide a laundry card. Credit cards and coins are not accepted. A map of the facilities is available on Liberty's website.


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