Damage from Hurricane Irene has forced the Sheraton Atlantic Beach to close for the remainder of the year.
"After carefully reviewing the situation with repair and restoration companies, insurance and safety inspectors, and a host of others, we have regretfully concluded that the safest option for our guests and associates is to temporarily close the hotel in order to thoroughly and efficiently complete the work," said Hal Barnes, general manager.
The hotel is now contacting all the groups and individuals who were booked through December 31.
An employee meeting is being held this afternoon. Ninety employees will be furloughed during the repair process, according to Barnes.
"We will be communicating with employees twice a week regarding our process and sincerely look forward to the opportunity to welcome everyone back after the first of the year, " Barnes said. "Until then, we are working to place our employees in temporary positions and we welcome calls from employers who are looking for quality staff."
"We regret the inconvenience this has caused our guests and our employees and are eager to reopen as quickly as possible," Barnes said, "once we can assure the comfort and safety of all concerned."
Two of WITN's crews stayed in the hotel during Hurricane Irene and saw first hand the damage to the pier, the front doors and driving rains causing issues in rooms. The Sheraton is always very accommodating to media during hurricane coverage as crews seek safe shelter in which to report to our viewers.
The Sheraton Atlantic Beach is operated by MJS Hotels, a national, full-service owner and third-party management company with offices in Arizona, Connecticut and Florida.