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Thursday, February 3, 2011

NORTH QUEENSLAND HOTELS AVOID DAMAGE AND RE-OPEN FOR TRADE


Cyclone Yasi spared most of North Queensland's hotels and they are preparing to re-open for trade this morning to help in the recovery effort.

Accor – the largest hotel group in the region with 12 hotels under the Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons and Ibis brands – reported that all its hotels withstood the strong winds and rain and should be trading normally by mid-morning.

The Pullman and Novotel hotels in Cairns maintained power throughout the night which was fortunate because the hotels were full with locals who had evacuated their houses. Mercure Harbourside Cairns lost power around midnight, but is expected to be fully operational again by mid-morning.

Accor's Grand Mercure and Ibis hotels in Townsville's Palmer Street were evacuated and power was lost overnight, but no damage was sustained at either of the hotels and they are expected to be fully operational and open for business later today.

Mercure Townsville remained open, and while it lost power, will be operational once power is restored.

Other Accor hotels from Port Douglas in the far north to Airlie Beach to the south of the cyclone path reported that they had escaped undamaged.

Cyclone Yasi is expected to continue inland and its remnants are expected to hit Mt Isa in the next 24 hour hours, but Accor reported that its All Seasons hotel would remain open and trade normally.

Accor regional general manager for Queensland, Neil Scanlan, said that it was a relief that the hotels had escaped relatively unscathed.

"We feel very sorry for people whose houses have been damaged, but we look forward to helping with the reconstruction effort," he said. "Our hotels were filled with locals last night who believed their houses could be vulnerable, now the hotels will fill with emergency workers and other staff whose jobs will be to get far north Queensland back on track as quickly as possible."


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