ATLANTA–AAHOA, the nation’s largest hotel owners association, recognizes the widespread devastation Hurricane Ian has caused throughout the state of Florida. AAHOA President & CEO Laura Lee Blake issued the following statement in response to the catastrophic hurricane that pummeled the West Coast of Florida this week:
Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Ian in Florida and other surrounding areas along the East Coast of the United States. AAHOA Members have witnessed, and in many cases experienced firsthand, Hurricane Ian’s devastation. Numerous of our members have seen their hotels — and main livelihoods — destroyed, damaged, and impacted. The reopening and rebuilding of the hotels will be a first and crucial step in the recovery process for Florida, especially since first responders — essential workers, builders, and contractors — will need lodging as they provide assistance and rebuild damaged communities.
AAHOA leadership is currently on the ground in Florida, assisting our members and reaching out to authorities to offer assistance as needed. Our organization has connected with several relief organizations including BAPS Charities, along with other groups focused on aiding those who need food, water, and related supplies. Our members stand ready to volunteer for these organizations and assist where necessary.
With 65% of hotels in Florida owned by AAHOA Members, it is crucial that efforts to reopen and rebuild the Sunshine State include the hotel industry, to ensure all necessary workers and related assistance are there for the entire state.