HURRICANE, WV (WOWK) – Hundreds of utility workers were called into the Tri-State area to help restore power and if you passed any area hotel, the parking lots were filled with utility trucks.
Many of those workers had an extended stay, which was good news for hotels who took a big financial hit from the pandemic.
The Wingate by Wyndham in Hurricane opened up February of 2020. They actually had to close down for a bit because they weren’t meeting the demand for rooms due to the pandemic.
But when the back to back ice storms rolled through Putnam and Cabell counties, knocking out power to tens of thousands of customers, AEP booked 70 rooms for their out-of-state workers.
The workers have now been there for 18 days.
Hotel sales manager Sierra Hess says that she knows most of them are ready to go home to their families, but the hotel staff will miss the new family members they feel like they gained.
“It’s going to be really hard to see them leave actually, we know most of them on a first name basis, we see them at breakfast every morning we see them at the bar each night.. We’ve really had a great time with them, it’s going to be really strange to watch them leave.”Sierra Hess, Wingate by Wyndam Sales Manager
Hess adds that the hotel industry’s slowest times are usually from Thanksgiving to Easter, so this has been a welcome boost for them.
Some of the AEP workers that we spoke with at the hotel say some of them will be going home tomorrow, and they will slowly trickle out once their job is complete.