Restaurants, Hotels Crowded During Power Outage

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email
"We're doing the best we can to accommodate everyone as quick as possible, but I know we're filling up fast." -Monica Sober, Best Western Plus Manager

For businesses that do have power, they've been swamped with people who don't.

From hotels to restaurants, they're seeing an unexpected boom in business on what's normally a slow time during the holidays.

"No oven, no stove, no microwave," Jack Schick said at Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe in East Lansing.

Of course, that means no power. So, Schick took the family to Hall of Fame Cafe for some pizza, and they were lucky to find a seat

"I see a lot of people that have that look, like they're here a little bit longer, maybe trying to get warm and definitely we like having them here and we want to take good care of them," Hall of Fame Cafe owner Steve Montanye said.

The restaurant called in extra staff to help with the rush, but many of them don't have power either.

"We would like to have a few more people than we have, but people are pitching in and working with us," Montanye said.

Local hotels are just as packed, many of them booked solid. The Best Western Plus in South Lansing is offering a special reduced rate for people without power.

"We're doing the best we can to accommodate everyone as quick as possible, but I know we're filling up fast," Best Western Plus manager Monica Sober said.

There was a line in the lobby almost all day with people bracing to spend the holidays at a hotel.

"It's hard on the kids with Christmas. We always spend it at home," Andrew Eiferle said.

His family said they'll miss the tree back at home in DeWitt, but things could be so much worse.

"You think about the grinch who stole Christmas, and it really isn't about presents and places," Eiferle said. "It's about being together and the spirit of Christmas."

The hotel is making sure that spirit isn't lost asking for as many employees as possible to pitch in and also keep the restaurant open

"So our guests can have the best possible experience during the holiday season during the rough time," Sober said.

Guests are just happy to have a warm place to stay, because anywhere can be home for the holidays.

"As long as we're all together that's important," Eiferle said.

As a reminder, people without power are urged not to call 9-1-1 to find out when it is going to restored.

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