CHICAGO, Aug. 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. (NYSE:SLH) today announced a preliminary status report on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
Strategic Hotel Capital has assembled a team of professional consultants, Hyatt’s engineering team, and an internal task force to conduct a complete damage assessment and plan appropriate action. The hotel has both business interruption and property insurance coverage.
Everyone was safely evacuated from rooms prior to the storm and some are still being sheltered at the property. There have been no casualties reported at the hotel. Approximately 580 of the room windows, in addition to eight atrium windows were damaged by the hurricane winds and flying debris, with some resultant water damage. At this time there is no flooding. The hotel is being powered by emergency generators and has ample fuel reserves for the immediate future. Although closed, the property is currently accommodating approximately 1,000 people, including some guests, a 70-person FEMA team, the mayor’s office, Entergy Corporation, the Office of Emergency Preparedness, as well as 165 of the Hyatt staff and their families. The company and Hyatt arranged for a convoy of provisions, which arrived at the hotel early this morning, and further relief supplies and executive personnel are in route.
Commenting on the situation, Laurence Geller, CEO of Strategic Hotel Capital stated, “We thank Michael Smith, the general manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, who along with his management team and hotel staff executed the contingency plan in an exemplary manner. Our internal crisis task force is working continuously with the on-site team as well as Hyatt’s corporate and regional offices to utilize all available resources in ensuring that our guests, staff and families who remained housed at the property are comfortable under these arduous conditions.
“We extend our sympathy to those who have suffered losses during this natural disaster. We are grateful for the support from the mayor and chief of police. Obviously concerned with the impact of this on the city’s infrastructure, we are not only focused on reinstating our hotel into service as soon as possible, but are also committed to work with the mayor, governor and visitor and convention bureau to rebuild this great city and its tourism base.”
About the Company
Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc., is a real estate investment trust (REIT) which owns and asset manages high-end hotels and resorts. The company has ownership interests in 17 properties with an aggregate of 7,640 rooms. For further information, please visit the company’s website at http://www.shci.com/ .
This press release contains forward-looking statements about Strategic Hotel Capital, Inc. (the “Company”). Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from the Company’s projections. Factors that may contribute to these differences include but are not limited to the following: risks related to natural disasters; rising interest rates; availability of capital; ability to obtain or refinance debt; cash available for capital expenditures; competition; demand for hotel rooms in our current and proposed market areas; economic conditions generally and in the real estate market specifically; the effect of threats of terrorism and increased security precautions on travel patterns and hotel bookings; the outbreak of hostilities and international political instability; legislative or regulatory changes, including changes to laws governing the taxation of REITs; and changes in generally accepted accounting principles, policies and guidelines applicable to REITs.
Additional risks are discussed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although the Company believes the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be attained. The forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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