Global Hyatt Corporation and Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. Announce Worldwide Hyatt Relief Fund for Employees Affected by Hurricane Katrina
CHICAGO, IL — (MARKET WIRE) — 09/02/2005 — Hyatt Regency New Orleans and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) today announced the evacuation of hurricane victims — including both guests and employees — from the hotel. With the exception of a small group of Hyatt executives, safety experts, city officials and FEMA representatives, all guests have vacated the premises.
According to Hyatt Regency General Manager Michael Smith, guests and employees who had operable cars were evacuated and cleared to drive to points north via caravan, and the remainder were evacuated via bus. No guests were suffering from major injury or illness at the time of evacuation, Smith said.
The approximately 900 guests that remained on the premises following Katrina’s powerful blow — primarily hotel staff and their families, officials, and those in emergency-related roles — were safely relocated to the hotel’s well-sheltered ballroom, exhibit hall areas and serviceable guest rooms where they were kept comfortable following the hurricane while city and emergency officials began the difficult process of assessing storm related damage to the hotel and the city.
According to Smith, the heaviest physical damage to the property was caused by significant water and debris being blown into hotel guest rooms and atrium lobby after windows were shattered by severe winds.
A convoy of food and supplies provided by Hyatt hotels in Atlanta and Houston arrived at Hyatt Regency New Orleans on Wednesday of this week.
Those who are concerned about the safety and location of friends or family who were staying at Hyatt Regency New Orleans should call Hyatt’s toll-free, Special Assistance Number, (866) 674-8148 or contact a Hyatt crisis representative at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hyatt continues to alert its customers who have reservations through March 31, 2006 that the hotel will not be able to accommodate them and that all cancellation fees will be waived. In addition, Hyatt’s national sales force is in the process of contacting all meeting planners who have programs scheduled at Hyatt Regency New Orleans between now and March 31, to provide assistance with relocation to other destinations.
Hyatt and Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. Establish Global Relief Fund to Aid Employees Affected by Hurricane Katrina
Hyatt, in partnership with Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc., also announced today that a Global Hurricane Relief Fund has been established to allow employees of Global Hyatt companies around the world to provide cash donations to aid Hyatt Regency New Orleans employees and their families who have been so severely impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
Hyatt will match every employee donation dollar for dollar and both Global Hyatt Corporation and Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. — owners of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans real estate — will make significant corporate donations to the fund immediately.
According to Chuck Floyd, executive vice president of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, this is the first of several initiatives that the Company and many of its individual hotels are initiating to provide relief for employees’ loss of property and personal possessions.
“Hyatt Regency New Orleans is a large hotel and therefore has a large employee base,” Floyd said. “We feel that providing cash donations at the onset of the recovery process will have the quickest impact to hurricane victims. Once we establish an inventory of specific items that are needed by these families, we can begin supplementing our relief effort with food, supplies, clothing and other goods.”
Prior to the hurricane, Hyatt Regency New Orleans employed approximately 500 people.
Hyatt has also initiated a permanent and temporary job placement program for its New Orleans employees in other Hyatt locations, Floyd added. Several Hyatt and AmeriSuites hotels in affected areas are providing shelter for hurricane victims at both complimentary and deeply discounted rates, while other properties are providing bedding, linens and clothing to those who have been relocated to areas of Texas including the Astrodome and Reunion Arena in Houston and Dallas.
About Global Hyatt Corporation
There are 211 hotels and resorts (over 90,000 rooms) in 43 countries around the world, operating under the Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Grand Hyatt® and Park Hyatt® brands. Currently, there are an additional 31 Hyatt hotels and resorts under development, including 12 new hotels in China. Hyatt Hotels Corporation (domestic U.S., Canada and Caribbean hotels) and Hyatt International Corporation (international properties) are subsidiaries of Chicago-based Global Hyatt Corporation. Global Hyatt Corporation is also the owner of Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc. (timeshare), Hyatt Equities, L.L.C. (hotel ownership), and U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc. (which franchises Hawthorn Suites, Microtel and America’s Best Inns).
In January 2005, Global Hyatt Corporation also added an additional 143 U.S. properties to its growing portfolio with the acquisition of the upscale, limited service AmeriSuites hotel chain. These properties will be repositioned and renamed under the new Hyatt Place select service brand in 2006.
From the U.S. and Canada, reservations for any Hyatt hotel worldwide may be obtained by calling 1-800-233-1234 or logging onto www.hyatt.com.
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