Florida hotels prepare for Hurricane Dorian

With Hurricane Dorian expected to make landfall somewhere along Florida’s east coast early next week as a potential Category 4 storm, residents and hotels are making their preparations.

The National Hurricane Center’s models currently place Hurricane Dorian just off the central Florida coast early Monday morning as at least a Category 3 \ hurricane. The center’s forecast cone ecompasses the whole eastern Florida coast and goes into southern Georgia. This morning, it warned that the risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds continue to increase in the central and northwestern Bahamas and along Florida's east coast. The center predicted rainfall of 4 to 8 inches in the southeastern United States and up to 12 inches in isolated spots.

Hurricane Dorian
The National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Dorian will become a Category 3 storm by tomorrow afternoon. Photo credit: National Hurricane Center

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Wednesday. “It’s important for Floridians on the East Coast to monitor this storm closely," he said in a statement. "Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster. I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials. The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare.”

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association’s CEO/President Carol Dover addressed the storm in a statement earlier today. “FRLA has asked members to prioritize safety in a variety of ways beyond basic storm preparation,” Dover said. “We encouraged members to waive cancellation fees as the storm approaches as our primary goal is always the safety of visitors, and we want to keep them out of harm’s way. Additionally, we have urged all members to extend hospitality to pets by relaxing any pet restrictions they may have. Many people are reluctant to leave their feathered and furred friends behind, and some will refuse to leave unless they can bring their pets with them. We hope that relaxed restrictions and pet-friendly accommodations will help motivate those in the path of the storm to heed evacuation warnings.”

Discounted Rates

Two hotel companies—Rosen Hotels & Resorts and South Beach Group Hotels—have introduced special distress rates for those affected by the storm.

Rosen Hotels & Resorts is providing lowered distress rates at its eight Orlando-area hotels. Five—Rosen Inn International, Rosen Inn, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista and Midpointe Hotel—will offer nightly rates of $59.99. Guests staying at one of these hotels can also add $15 a night to receive two adult breakfast buffets daily. The company’s three other Orlando hotels—Rosen Plaza, Rosen Centre and Rosen Shingle Creek—will offer rates from $79 to $89. Those using the distress rate will not need to pay an additional pet fee.

In southern Florida, South Beach Group Hotels is offering an additional 25 percent discount for travel now through Sept. 4. For those driving to the hotel, the company also will provide a daily rebate for parking in local Miami Beach garages with a valid receipt. All the group’s hotels are pet friendly and do not charge any additional fees for guests bringing their pets. South Beach Group Hotels encompasses 17 hotels in Miami Beach and one in Hollywood, Fla.