Not to fear, the Doubletree Hotel downtown will have 10,000 chocolate chip cookies on hand for hotel guests who find themselves stranded downtown in a possible blizzard.
Sandy Buonanni, the Doubletree’s general manager, said Monday he expects the hotel’s 414 rooms to be full Tuesday.
Hotel staff started planning for the storm last week, he said. Besides those 10,000 cookies — the hotel’s standard weekly reserve — there will be plenty of other food and drink on hand for guests.
The city’s centrally located hotels are likely to be booked up for Tuesday night after companies began reserving rooms as early as Sunday for their employees who might be unable to drive home or fly in or out of the city today.
“We’ve been in contact with a lot of companies downtown who’ve reserved rooms,” Buonanni said Monday. The hotel at 1616 Dodge St., which maintains a regular bank of rooms for several airlines, expects to make additional rooms available for airline crews grounded due to flight delays and cancellations.
Fortunately, there aren’t any big conventions or groups in town Tuesday that will have their trips disrupted by the storm, the Omaha Convention & Visitors Bureau said.
The Embassy Suites hotel at 555 South 10th St. should be fully booked Tuesday, in part because of its “partnership with Union Pacific,” said Jim Crawford, the hotel’s assistant general manager.
By Monday afternoon, Union Pacific had already made its reservations, Crawford said.
The 249-room hotel has been preparing for the onslaught for several days.
“Obviously everybody was talking about it last week,” Crawford said. “We expected it, and we’re stocked up.”
The Marriott Courtyard in downtown Omaha at 101 South 10th St. began taking reservations ahead of the blizzard on Sunday, said Hanin Alnajjar, the hotel’s operations manager.
Among the first to book several blocks of rooms? Airlines, Alnajjar said.
The hotel also has received a flurry of cancellations, freeing up rooms.
Some guests who planned to fly in Monday or Tuesday from destinations such as Chicago or Denver already had canceled their reservations Monday due to the impending storm, she said.
Car caught in a snowdrift? Can’t make it out of downtown?
Alnajjar said she expects the hotel may have some rooms available Tuesday.
“We’ll have some people walking in tomorrow,” Alnajjar said Monday afternoon. After all, she added “this is Omaha.”
At the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Omaha Southwest — that’s the recently remodeled hotel at 72nd Street and Interstate 80 — lead front desk agent Rene Graham said new bookings are making up for cancellations.
Business travelers especially were extending their stays, she said. The hotel wasn’t charging the usual fee for people who canceled rooms after a deadline.
“If you can’t get here ... ,” Graham said.
There were just six rooms left out of 100 on Monday afternoon at the Holiday Inn Express at 8736 West Dodge Road — fewer than normal, manager Mary Crawford said.
Area businesses were booking for their workers, and people traveling to Omaha for medical and other appointments were planning to arrive a day early to beat the snow.
Both hotels had set aside rooms for their own employees to spend the night.
“It’s kind of a vacation for them,” Crawford said of her employees — even if it’s one where they have to make their own beds.
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