We’ve continued to monitor the shifting path of Hurricane Irma, and received updates from our Florida and Alabama properties as of 11:30 a.m. today, Sunday, September 10. We want to take this time to provide an update on our Florida properties, and to set expectations for those who have friends or family either living or visiting these areas, and for those who may have reservations at these properties in the coming week.
On the Gulf Coast of Alabama, The Shores and Palm Beach Resort will be out of the direct path, but may experience heavy rain and wind. As a precaution, furniture is being removed from all balconies and outside areas. Our team there is continuing to monitor the storm’s path as it progresses.
On Florida’s east coast, Coconut Palms II in New Smyrna Beach and Ocean Gate at Hibiscus in St. Augustine remain securely closed and managers hope to be back on the property by tomorrow evening (pending bridge access) to assess any damage. We hope to provide an update at that point regarding the timeline for each resort to be back open for business.
In Orlando, Vacation Villas at Fantasyworld, Festiva Orlando Resort and Blue Heron Beach Resort are ready to wait out the storm. Each of these properties has staff, security and maintenance staying on-site as well as guests, many of whom evacuated from Tampa, Miami and other areas in south Florida. The resort staff is ensuring that guests have all supplies and provisions they will need, and are preparing to have everyone in their units and the resorts shut down by this afternoon, between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. depending on conditions.
Osceola, Seminole and Orange counties have imposed a mandatory curfew starting at 7 p.m. tonight until 6 p.m. tomorrow in anticipation of dangerous conditions during and after the storm. All area theme parks are also closed until further notice.
Please note that for the duration of the storm, contact from anyone in these areas may be sporadic or nonexistent, depending on power outages and availability of cell phone service. Once the storm has passed and it is safe for our on-site resort staff to exit their units, they will begin checking on guests and assessing the condition of the resort. At this point, the front desk will remain open 24 hours a day and will be available to assist with any questions or concerns that on-site guests may have.
Depending on the storm’s impact, it may be several days before the power and/or telephone is restored, as well as cable television and cellular telephones. The resort cleanup process could take several days depending on the debris and damage. Resort amenities will re-open as soon as they are properly cleaned and checked for safety.
It’s possible that damage to the area could be extensive and that it will be necessary to remain calm while authorities work hard to restore power, telephone lines and remove debris from the roadways. It is also possible that flights out of Orlando may be delayed or canceled for several days after the storm.
We appreciate everyone’s patience as we are entering a “wait and see” period for the next 24-hours or so, depending on the duration and severity of the storm. Our priority will always be those employees and guests who are on-site, but we will also update our members and guests with upcoming reservations as soon as we can. In the meantime, we are keeping everyone in the affected areas in our thoughts and hope for the best for all those in the path of the storm.